I believe gut health is one of the key foundations of our health and impacts many functions in the body and mind. Not many of us know our gut is unhealthy until we have the obvious signs and symptoms such as bloating, gas, belching, diarrhoea, constipation, pain, cramping, reflux, and nausea to name a few. Less obvious symptoms not often equated with poor digestive health include; poor skin health (acne, rashes, eczema, psoriasis), low energy, compromised immunity, low moods, low motivation, poor cognitive function (poor memory, brain fog, anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating and decision making) and difficulty loosing or gaining weight.
You may not be thinking about your gut on a daily basis, but this is what it is doing for you…
- PROTECTION against pathogens and harmful toxins
The gut is your first line of protection against the outside world, it protects you from viruses, toxins, bacteria and pathogens in the environment and our food. Poor gut health means poor protection and this can lead to poor mental cognition, mood disorders, poor sleep, fatigue, skin conditions, imbalanced hormones and poor stress resilience.
- Provides NUTRIENTS to the body and brain
Digestion begins before we put food in our mouths. Just the sight and smell of food is enough to initiate the processes that help us digest food. Once we start chewing, enzymes in our saliva start to break down food. Chewing our food well is essential to ensure food is broken and essential nutrients are absorbed. Your body uses these nutrients to make energy, to rebuild and repair, to make hormones (e.g. serotonin – happy hormone and melatonin – sleep hormone), to neutralise harmful toxins and so much more. You are not only what you eat, you are what you absorb.
- It drives your IMMUNITY
Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that perform many vital health functions such as making vitamins, hormones, digesting fibre, fighting off pathogens and eliminating toxins. A healthy and diverse range of gut bacteria is essential for optimum health and function.
- It supports your BRAIN
When we are conceived our brain and our gut are formed within the first 21 days, they stem from the same cell. The brain takes on the role of governing all functions of the body and the gut ensures all functions are given the nutrition required to function optimally. So next time you get a ‘gut feeling’ about something listen! Our mental health and gut health are so intimately linked and have an equal influence on each other.
- It is an essential component in healthy ageing and LONGEVITY
Current research suggests the imbalance in our gut function may be a contributing factor to more chronic conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, obesity, type 2 diabetes, IBD, Chronns, celiac disease, cancer, and various autoimmune conditions. So if you are concerned about ageing well, make sure your gut is functioning optimally.