What on earth is your “gut”?
Well…when we are talking about “the gut” we are usually talking “small intestine”. This sometimes overlooked organ has a LOT to say when it’s come to your health and it’s incredibly important we keep it very happy 🙂
You see, your entire digestive system is in jeopardy when your gut isn’t happy. And that “happy gut” experience needs to be taken very seriously. Because you HAPPINESS is ALSO connected to it. Sometimes called the body’s “second brain” — most of the body’s serotonin is stored there, regulating your moods. Your immune system is also deeply connected to gut health.
Did you know…there are GA.ZILLIONS. of bacteria in your gut. Most of the bacteria in your body lives there. And not all bacteria is bad. In fact, the stuff in your gut SHOULD be mostly good. You want about 85% good bacteria in your gut — and that pretty much takes care of the naughty guys.
It’s a delicate balance though. Once in a while, you let in a bit too much sugar/caffeine/alcohol, and/or a lot of stress — or you take a round of antibiotics (or more) — and before you know it, your gut is being overrun by the NOT-good guys. It’s a tricky place to end up. But not hopeless. There are things you can do to improve or heal the gut (or prevent bad bacteria from coming in the first place).
BUT FIRST: Why Do I Want To Bother Improving Gut Health?
- Your immune system will thank you. Getting sick a lot? You need to address your gut health FOR SURE!
- Keeps your hormones in check — this involves everything from periods to your thyroid and more.
- Avoid or remove allergies — because these suck on pretty much every level.
- Depression and anxiety — did you know the majority of serotonin lives in your gut? Weird eh?! This regulates mood, depression, anxiety, sleep, etc. Your gut is where your enteric nervous system lives — not your brain…
- Digestion — it’s the chicken and egg thing. Your gut is part of your digestive system, and in order for it all to work optimally, you need to address how your ENTIRE digestive system is working — from chewing, to stomach acid, to nutrient absorption, to healthy bacteria, to pooping.
- Nutrient Absorption, Or Lack Thereof — because you’ve heard me say before: “It’s not what you eat, it’s what you absorb.” And gut health plays a huge role in whether you actually absorb or assimilate any nutrients you eat. (Or any vitamins you take, FYI.)
- Auto-Immune Disease, Arthritis, Headaches — all related to gut health. Sorry. But true. For a plethora of reasons…
Yep — those are all things affected by the state of your gut health! Now to keep it healthy…keep reading:
TOP 5 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR GUT HEALTHY & HAPPY
- EAT LACTO-FERMENTS: Sauerkraut and kimchi are easy to make and FULL of such amazing bacteria. Super tasty, too. Or eat other good bacteria foods, like coconut or regular yogurt and kefir. (I can teach you how to make this.)
- SLEEP & STRESS: Your body can’t fight anything efficiently if it’s only working half-ass. Get your butt to bed. And find a way of addressing stress. Stress will prevent the body from properly digesting — always — and the worse you gut gets, the harder it is to battle stress. Adopt some meditation techniques, get some exercise, laugh, take a great big breathe, take a big ol’ bath. Do what it takes and get some self-care in. It does EVERYBODY GOOD in the end.
- AVOID CRAP FOOD (OR AT LEAST TOO MUCH): Sugar feeds bad bacteria — coffee and alcohol prevent absorption of essential nutrients, and effect the mucosal lining of the gut. And processed foods in general wreck a variety of havoc. All of these foods give your body less opportunity to heal, and allow bad bacteria to proliferate.
- WORK WITH A PRO IF YOU HAVE CANDIDA, LEAKY GUT, AUTO-IMMUNE DISORDERS (or even if you suspect): — the longer you wait? well…it’s not going to get better, that’s for sure. And they can help you sort out EXACTLY what steps you need to take.
- USE ESSENTIAL OILS: Oils for gut health? Well…totally!! There are a number of ways this could work, but my personal fave is the Vibrant Blue Gut Repair Kit. It addresses gut repair AND stress management. I am TOTALLY IN LOVE with essential oils. (And there are MANY amazing brands out there.)
I could go on for days talking about this stuff. My favourite topic ever. But I want you to have this information going into the intensity of winter AND holiday madness. So you understand the damage that can be prevented if you are mindful about sugar, alcohol and stress (the big ones for the holidays). Winter is a time to go inward. It’s also a great time to address things that have been shoved aside for too long.
Here is an EASY recipe for a lacto-fermented mayonnaise. You see, you’re already on your way to true health by eating MAYONNAISE of all things 🙂
GET THE PRINTABLE VERSION HERE: Recipe