Gut Health – It all begins with food. Oakleigh South Naturopath explains
It all begins with Gut Health – A statement that Naturopaths have been saying for many years.
Lets think about what the gut does for us:
– takes part in nutrient absorption from our food
– is a pathway for elimination of toxins
– houses approximately 70% of our immune system
– is a home to gut (good) bacteria
If one of the above processes is not working efficiently, we will have poor gut health and can begin to feel UNWELL.
For example, if DIGESTION is not adequate and food is not being broken down well enough in the stomach, optimal nutrient absorption from our food doesn’t occur in the small intestine. We hence miss out on vital nutrients that we need to keep us going and feeling well.
Another example is, if we are not as “regular” as we should be and not going to the toilet on a daily basis, toxin build up occurs and we can feel tired and foggy. This is another sign of poor gut health.
Recently in the medical field there has also been a lot of talk of the “microbiome”, which refers to the community of trillions of good bacteria in our gut. This is a fascinating topic as research is discovering the many ways in which the microbiome affects us. The health of our MICROBIOME has the ability to affect our digestive system, immune health, mood and even weight.
The way to nourish the microbiome, keep bacteria numbers up and with good variety can be done by excluding or keeping the following to a minimum:
- processed foods
- refined carbohydrates
- refined sugars
To nourish the microbiome (especially over this Christmas period!), increase your intake of the following:
PREBIOTIC RICH FOODS (prebiotics are the fuel source for our good bacteria)
- slightly under-ripe bananas
- raw garlic
- raw and cooked onion
- Jerusalem artichoke
- raw dandelion green
PROBIOTIC RICH FOODS
- sauerkraut (traditional European fermented cabbage and vegetables)
- kimchi (traditional Korean version of sauerkraut)
- kombucha (fermented tea drink)
- kefir (fermented milk drink. Coconut milk versions are also available)
- miso (traditional Japanese fermented soy bean paste used to make soups and sauces)
- yoghurt (make sure to choose unsweetened natural yoghurt)
Making sure you include at least 1 food from each list per day will ensure a happy healthy gut over the holiday period!
For more gut or health information make an appointment with Magda today!