5 steps to a healthier gut
All diseases begin in the gut.
Today's topic is my favorite topic of all - GUT HEALTH. The gut has been referred to as the "second brain" - and for good reason. A healthy gut means proper digestion, a healthy immune system, better absorption of nutrients, improved mental health, and so many other amazing functions in our bodies. This is my main focus with the majority of my clients, since gut health is so important to overall health.
There are many different things that go wrong with your gut, and everyone is a bio-individual with different needs. However, there are a few general things everyone can do to improve the health of their gut every day.
5 steps you can take TODAY to begin healing your gut:
Drink bone broth! This is a huge one; one that deserves it's own post. Bone broth provides many gut healing nutrients like collagen and L-glutamine, which work to heal and seal the gut lining. It also contains many minerals and electrolytes needed to stay hydrated. Drinking a cup of this a day will work wonders, and is a necessity in any leaky gut diet or autoimmune protocol.
Consume fermented foods. We've got billions - yes, billions - of bacteria in our gut, some bad but mostly good (hopefully). The more of the good bacteria we consume, the better chance we have of fighting off the bad guys. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, beet kvass, kombucha, kefir/yogurt, etc are a great way to get those probiotics (the good guys) into your system. A little bit each day goes a long way!
Reduce toxins in your life. There are 2 ways we are exposing ourselves to toxins - through food and through outside products. From the products we put on our skin and hair to the products we use to clean the counters, we are surrounded by toxins every day in our own homes. While it's pretty much impossible to avoid toxins out in the world, reducing our toxic load at home can be a huge step towards healing.
The other way we can reduce toxins is by getting rid of toxic foods. Toxic foods include all processed foods like refined flour, hydrogenated oils like canola or soybean, refined sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup), and soy. These foods are detrimental to our health if consumed on a regular basis.
Find ways to relieve stress. Stress plays a HUGE role in the health of our gut. Being stressed on a consistent basis means your autonomic nervous system is in a sympathetic state, which basically means you are in "fight or flight" mode constantly. This puts stress on your adrenals, liver, and entire digestive system. When you eat your meals, you should be in a parasympathetic state - aka the "rest and digest" state. Digestion begins in the brain, and it is crucial to reduce stress, especially around meal time.
Check in with your stomach acid production. If you are dealing with any sort of acid reflux, heartburn, or indigestion, there is a good chance your stomach is not acidic enough, which means you need more stomach acid (despite the popular belief that heartburn equals too much stomach acid). Next time you experience these symptoms after eating, drink about 4 oz room temperature water with about 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. If this helps at all, begin drinking this before your meals when possible. In many cases, you may end up needing supplemental hydrochloric acid, but DO NOT begin taking this unless you have consulted with your holistic doctor or nutritionist, as there may be some extra mucosal membrane healing needed before beginning supplementation.
I hope these gut health tips will help you on your healing journey - as always, feel free to reach out with any questions about gut health, or check out my services page to work with me on healing your body naturally!