Gut Health – What is Your Gut Trying to Tell You?
Gut Feeling – Are you listening to your gut?.
The amazing gastrointestinal tract (GIT), or gut, essentially consists of a long tube where the foods you eat are broken down so your body can absorb the nutrients and goodness they contain.
A sign of a healthy gut is not only good digestion, but also passing regular, formed bowel motions and being free from uncomfortable symptoms.
IBS Symptoms: Signs of a Gut Problem
Bloating, intestinal pain, wind, constipation and diarrhoea are all signs of an unhappy gut; one that isn’t working optimally. Unfortunately, though you are not meant to experience symptoms such as these, many people live with them on a daily basis.
Foods to avoid with IBS or unhappy Gut
When you eat and drink things that are detrimental to your gut (e.g. takeaways, processed foods, or alcohol), your gut can become irritated and inflamed, and you may experience uncomfortable digestive symptoms…sometimes referred to as IBS.
More than 70% of your immune system is found in the gut; and inflammation is your immune system warning you that these foods may be harmful to the sensitive lining of your gut.
A Gut problem is not always a sign of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Ongoing gut irritation has been linked to the development of many health conditions, such as asthma, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and autoimmune diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, coeliac disease and multiple sclerosis). It can even impact what is considered your ‘gut-brain connection’ – the part of the nervous system that links your brain with the GIT. In these situations, people may find they experience anxiety and low mood when their gut is out of sorts.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome treatment : IBS Diet
Certain nutrients and herbs can help to heal gut irritation, leading to relief from uncomfortable digestive symptoms, and improving your gut function once more. These include:
- Glutamine: this amino acid helps protect the lining of your GIT, leading to an easing of pain and uncomfortable digestive symptoms.
- Zinc, vitamins A and D: these three nutrients all contribute to healing an irritated gut lining; while zinc also helps support healthy digestion.
- Boswellia: a herb with anti-inflammatory benefits, to help reduce intestinal pain and discomfort.
- Larch arabinogalactans: an excellent source of fibre, which ensures your gut bacteria have plenty of food to keep them healthy and functioning well!
Fibre Fuels a Healthy Gut
Eating plenty of plant-based dietary fibre (found predominantly in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes) is a great way you can provide yourself with better gut health.
Fibre promotes the natural movements of your gut, and adds bulk to the stool, helping to keep you regular as well as supporting healthy bowel function. What’s more, the ‘friendly’ bacteria or ‘microbiota’ (the term used to describe the beneficial microorganisms living and growing inside your digestive tract) love to feed on plant-fibre, however, when they don’t have enough, they can also feed on the protective gut lining wearing it down and leading to irritation and inflammation.
Keep your gut microbiota happy and well-fed choose from a wide selection of colourful vegetables and fruits, perhaps some chickpeas or lentils, and other plant-based wholefoods every day.
The Power of Probiotics for IBS and a healthy GUT
Probiotics are specific strains of beneficial bacteria that can also help assist in improving and/or maintaining optimal gut health by influencing your own gut microbiota.
Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM®), Bifidobacterium lactis (Bi-07), and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®) are all suitable for supporting everyday gut health and function, reducing signs of bloating and discomfort, and supporting healthy immunity.
If you experience IBS symptoms such as pain, speak to your Practitioner about Lactobacillus plantarum (299v), a probiotic strain proven to help reduce excess wind, intestinal pain and inflammation.
Have the Guts to Improve Your Health Today
Good health starts in the gut so make sure you prioritise this vital part of yourself. Remember, even if you are feeling well make sure to eat a healthy, plant-based fibre-rich diet to keep it that way!
Listen to the messages your gut is giving you, your ‘gut instinct’. It holds the key to your whole body’s health and wellbeing.