I’ve written a few blog entries here on a variety of subjects around gut health, and if you read my blog regularly, you’ll already know that digestion begins in the mouth, that we should love stomach acid more than we do, that your gut talks to your brain and what to do about constipation.
The digestive system is the least talked about and probably our most underrated organ, and yet it truly is the foundation of good health. While I cannot guarantee that a healthy gut will make all your troubles go away, I can safely say that true health will remain out of reach if the digestive system is not working well.
Did you know that 30% of people with imbalances in the gut don’t even experience digestive problems? It is not difficult to think that you should investigate your gut and find out what to do if you suffer from indigestion, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, or inflammatory bowel disease. That’s a no brainer. Of course you’ll look at the gut!
But if you are suffering from chronic fatigue or low energy, brain fog, depression and anxiety, headaches and migraines, sleep disturbances, stress, hormonal imbalances or even auto-immune disease, would you even think of your digestive system? Yet gut health has been linked to all of the above!
Our digestive system does so much for us that we do not always fully appreciate. It is, of course, the entry point and processing facility for our nutrition: food is broken down into nutrients – think glucose, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – which our body needs to do anything at all. It is also the route for the excretion of waste – that’s the bit we really don’t want to think about too much (but should!). But that’s not all by far:
Did you know that the gut has as many nerve cells as a cat’s brain and is actually able to make decisions for itself – and execute? It’s the only organ besides the brain that can do that.
Did you know that our immune cells are ‘trained’ in the gut? It is here that ‘baby immune cells’ are shown what the bad guys look like, so that they’ll remember them once they are on the job.
Did you know that the intestinal lining – the ‘inside skin’ – is only one layer of cells thick, much thinner than the outside skin? Yet it is arguably exposed to just as many potential invaders and toxins. It is expected to let the good stuff in and keep the bad stuff out. A tough job! How does it know what’s what?
Did you know that your microbes have a say in how you metabolise food, extract extra calories and vitamins for you from the fibre you can’t digest, affect whether you’re skinny or portly, courageous or fearful, happy or sad?
Do you know which foods and drinks and which commonly used over-the-counter drugs damage the intestinal lining and threaten our good microbes? And do you know which foods and drinks strengthen the gut and feed our beneficial bacteria?
The digestive system does so much more for us than we give it credit for, and it is time to think about what we can do for our digestive system. A little TLC can go a long way, but to support your gut in the best way you can you’ll first need to know what to do.
I have pulled all of my blogs on the gut and much more together into a workshop I’ll hold next month. Learn how the gut works, the wonderful things it does and what it needs from us to function properly. There is so much you can do yourself before even thinking about supplements and functional test. Start here, see where it takes you and if you then need are more targeted and individualised approach I’m here to help.
But really the foundations of gut health are quite basic and can yield amazing results. Come and see for yourself!
Click here for details about the Happy Gut Workshop.