What is gut health?
Gut Health is currently a hot topic in the medical and health and wellness world. There is plenty of research and commentary occurring on the importance of the human microbiome, that is the trillions of microorganisms living in and on the human body. Science now acknowledges there are more microorganisms living in and on a human body than there are human cells. In other words, human beings serve as the ‘host’ to these valuable organisms, now known to have a direct impact on our health.
Two thirds of the microbiota (bacteria) in our large intestine are actually unique to us, like a fingerprint for your gut. Interesting!
Gut microbiota can weigh up to 2kgs!
Microbiota not only serve a purpose in the digestive system, but also brain function, the immune system and overall health.
So, what does it do?
Gut mircobiota aid in the digestion of foods that were not digested in the stomach and small intestine.
Helps the body produce some vitamins, such as Vitamin B and K.
Helps fight off the ‘bad’ gut bacteria, such as those grown from taking antibiotics and those that result from high sugar and highly processed food diets.
Forms a barrier to outside pathogens, assisting the immune system.
Ensures the digestive system is functioning optimally.
What can go wrong?
Gut microbiota actually have their own genes and there are 150 more gut genes present then there are human genes! Our gut bacteria is quite adaptable, however, if it becomes unbalanced, that is ‘bad’ bacteria outgrow the ‘good’ bacteria, a condition known as dysbiosis can occur.
Dysbiosis may be correlated to bowel disorders, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), allergies, obesity and diabetes.
How do we fix it?
Prebiotics and probiotics have been shown to improve our gut health. Fermented foods, in particular, serve as fodder for our gut bacteria, this is what it likes to eat! Also eating a wide variety of vegetables, avoiding processed and refined food, sugar, and in some of the population, gluten.
Foods good for your gut:
- Full fat plain yoghurt
- As many different varieties of vegetables as possible
- Microalgae, such as spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae
Incorporating these foods into your diet, will ensure the balance, diversity and integrity of the colony of your gut bacteria.
If you’d like more info please contact our nutritionist, Bec Nasr on firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch our You Tube clips and read more about gut health in our other posts:
Gut Health and Fermented Foods – article and You Tube interveiw with Jacqui (gut health specialist) from Grateful Harvest
Bone Broth – it’s benefits for gut health, recipe and You Tube cooking episode with instructions on how to make bone broth.