The importance of gut health is a hot topic in scientific research right now and for good reason…!
The digestive system has been linked to our overall health. Namely: our immune system, mental health, skin health, chronic inflammation, many other non-communicable diseased, energy levels and appetite .
Research showing that we have at least 1000 varied species of bacteria living in the gut (both harmful and helpful) ! This little community of bacteria is often referred to as the gut microbiome, it is important that these good guys and bad guys are in balance, to keep our minds and bodies functioning properly!
Signs your gut is unhealthy?
If you are experiencing constipation or diarrhoea on a regular basis, this could be a tell-tale symptom that there is something unbalanced happening with your gut microbiota.
Bloating is quite common, especially amongst ladies around certain times in our cycle. However, if you are regularly experiencing bloatedness and pain, it could be a sign that your gut is not functioning properly and it is possibly struggling to break down food. Thican lead to bloating, tummy pain and trapped wind!
Whether it’s acne or eczema, the skin is our biggest organ and eliminates waste, so when there are flare ups of the skin it can signal a problem deep in the gut!
It takes a lot of energy for our bodies to break down food and extract nutrients. Meaning that, if your digestive system isn’t working as it should this might leave you feeling more drained than usual..
So how do we keep our guts healthy?
Above all, we need a wide variety of bacteria in our gut. But how?
Chew your food!
Avoiding stress isn’t always possible, but learning to manage it can have a calming effect on our tummies too. The gut and stress are very interlinked and is commonly referred to as the gut-brain connection, particularly for those with IBS symptoms. Personally, if I let stress build up too much, my tummy bloats as if I were 8 months pregnant! Have a listen to our free podcast all about stress if this sounds like you!
Quit the supersize portions
To aid the digestive system and to reduce the amount of undigested food in your gut, eat smaller portions. After all, your stomach is typically the size of a clenched fist, although it can usually expand to 4 times the size, eating smaller portion sizes will make it easier to digest your meal!
Enjoy fats, but not too much
Good fats, although very healthy for us in moderation, are harder for us to break down. So being mindful of portions and not overloading the stomach can help your digestive system working efficiently and avoid tummy troubles.
Shift the sugar
A diet high in processed food and processed sugar can feed the bacteria in our guts and ultimately make our microbiome out of whack, it can even lead to nasty conditions like SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) where there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria! Avoid processed sugars where possible and opt for sensible amounts of natural sweet foods like fruit instead.
Move your body
Any movement, even gentle walking can help us digest our food and helps food move through our stomach – much better than lying down after a big meal, however tempting that is!
Being hydrated is key to healthy guts, and to prevent constipation and bloatedness! Try to drink at least 2 litres of water a day, to keep your bowel movements regular! Healthy stools are important for healthy bodies!
Enjoy some pro-biotics
Taking pro-biotics regularly can help to restore a balance between the bacteria in our digestive system. Taking a regular probiotic can support the guts and help with bloated bellies, toilet habits, skin conditions and any other conditions which are a result of an unbalanced microbiome. There are tonnes of probiotics to choose from, and there are small amounts found in some yoghurts! For an effective probiotic, choose one that needs to be stored in the fridge and is a value of 1 billion or higher. At FitER, we offer probiotic supplements and a 7 day boost trial packs including 3 different supplements to be taken healthy. A great way to give your digestive system a kick start of the good stuff and to make your gut happy!
Sciencey bits! https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k217  https://www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/en/about-gut-microbiota-info/