Gut Foundations - What’s Really Essential To Reset Your Gut?
Gut health is quite the buzz phrase these days, with experts shouting it out along with ways to “fix” it — on the daily. But how do you make sense of the information overload? And what are the primary things you need to do to set your gut up for good health?
Plus, why the heck should you even care?
Let’s dive in.
What Is Your “Gut”
When you hear the word “gut,” what do you think about? Your stomach? Many people do! But in truth, your gut is actually your entire digestive tract. It starts at your mouth and ends… well, you know where it ends.
The purpose of your gut is to take the foods you eat and break them down into the nutrients your body needs in order to perform its miraculous functions. Bottom line? Your gut is a pretty big deal.
Inside your gut are about 300 to 500 kinds of bacteria (“good” and “bad”). Together with other tiny microorganisms like fungi, parasites, and viruses, they make up your gut’s environment, or microbiome. The goal is to create a balance between the good and bad bacteria so they coexist peacefully in your body. When the balance is disrupted, illness — and even disease — can happen.
Why Is A Healthy Gut So Important?
In my many years as a naturopathic doctor, I’ve seen trending health fads and fixations come and go. But one health topic that deserves much more than 15 minutes of fame — heck, it deserves a lifetime in the spotlight — is gut health.
That’s because poor gut health can cause inflammation throughout the body, which may ultimately lead to:
- Leaky gut
- Increased blood glucose levels
- Skin issues, including dryness, acne, eczema, and discoloration
- Low energy levels
- Joint health concerns
- High stress levels
- Stubborn belly fat
Gut health also affects your mood, immunity, sleep, and even your libido. Yes, it’s that influential!
FUN FACT: Your gut is home to more than 90% of your body’s serotonin (the “happy chemical”) and about 50% of its dopamine (the “feel-good hormone”). So it’s safe to say that a healthy, happy gut plays a BIG part in becoming — and staying! — a healthy, happy YOU!
How To Get (and Keep!) A Healthy Gut
Even though your gut is in charge of some pretty darn important things, it doesn’t take long to “reset” it and restore law and order within your gut microbiome. In fact, all you need is 2-4 days! I think we can all agree that’s not long at all, considering the massive benefits your body and mind will reap.
One of my favorite ways to repair my gut is with a safe and effective cleanse. A high-quality cleanse should fill you with the necessary nutrients, fiber, and clean proteins that will help energize you and keep you craving-free. I created one to ensure it had all the ingredients I wanted to put into my own body — including healing and soothing collagen, my secret weapon!
Here are some other ways you can even the scales between your helpful and harmful bacteria:
- Take a powerful probiotic supplement to flood your system with good bacteria like lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium lactis.
- Watch your stress, since stress can do a number on your entire system, including your gut. No matter how cliché you think it sounds, be sure to carve out time to relax, sleep, stretch, recharge, and engage in the hobbies and activities you love.
- Add in natural gut healers like aloe vera, vitamins A, C, and E, L-glutamine, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Limit (or fully cut out) refined sugars, alcohol, caffeine, grains, processed foods, seed oils, conventionally raised, non-organic meats, and other sneaky pro-inflammatory foods.
- Take antibiotics only when absolutely necessary. It’s their job to kill off bacteria, and since they can’t distinguish between good bacteria and bad bacteria, they end up wiping out the healthy bugs your gut needs in order to thrive. (Yikes!)
- Avoid exposure to pollutants, pesticides, and other chemicals. This includes your foods. Whenever possible, choose local and organic.
- Probiotic foods like coconut milk yogurt, coconut milk kefir, sauerkraut, refrigerated pickles, kombucha, and kimchi. These foods supply your body with good bacteria.
- Prebiotic foods like jicama, onions, garlic, asparagus, leeks, bananas, chicory root, and Jerusalem artichokes. These foods supply the soluble fiber your good gut bugs love to eat.
- Bone Broth (my favorite!) for the gelatin and collagen nutrients that soothe and heal your gut.
- Lemons to flush out impurities and stimulate your liver. Lemons are also high in vitamin C, which helps the production of glutathione.
- Garlic and onions to produce the antioxidant glutathione, which helps combat free radicals.
- Beets to provide liver support and help rid your body of toxins.
- And, of course, water, to push through waste, support kidney and bowel functions, and keep all your body’s systems working as they should.
When your gut is healed and you’re consistently caring for it, you’re contributing to:
- A strong immune system
- Brain health
- Heart health
- Efficient and effective digestion
- A more stable mood
- Better, more restorative sleep
- Weight loss
- Clearer, healthier skin
- Increased energy
- And an overall feeling of wellness
It takes some effort to keep your gut microbiome happy, but the benefits are definitely worth it. Grab yourself some Bone Broth and get started on your gut health journey today. And remember, I’m always here, supporting you and cheering you on!