I really am a believer in Gut Health. I think it is the foundation for overall health and if the gut is unhealthy or damaged, then everything else in the body will suffer. I have experienced this first hand- I used to have very sluggish digestion but I couldn’t understand why. I would eat way more fiber than anyone else, I had a nutritious diet, I exercised, I was the healthiest person ever yet I was always sick, had no energy, had skin issues and went to the bathroom once every 2-3 days. I had an unhealthy gut for many many years and I wish I had someone like myself 4 years ago telling me what I am doing wrong or right and what I can do to repair it and keep it functioning optimally.
Signs of an unhealthy gut are first and foremost- digestion! Digestion is honestly the most important indication of your health and if this is not regular and optimal then you should start there. Everything in the body is linked to one another, so if something isn’t quite right, other functional aspects of the body will suffer too such as energy generation, immune regulation; allergies and illness, sleep, inflammation etc. Other signs of an unhealthy gut may also include skin issues, constant illnesses, allergic reactions ie hay fever, rashes, itchiness, dry skin, hair loss and low energy levels to name a few.
I have suffered with poor gut health for YEARS and half this time I spent researching my symptoms and what I was doing wrong when I should have been trying to research what I can implement or change to make it right again. I have researched gut health through and through, been to doctors, naturopaths, experts and thought I would tell my story and help someone else going through a similar thing. There are so many things we could all be implementing in our daily lives to improve our gut health and I will be sharing many of them through this page. Anyway, basically this page will be able to help you guys with what your doing right and wrong with your gut health and how you can optimize it.
Starting with a few of the best changes I made which improved my gut health that you can implement now.
1. Supplement with L-Glutamine each morning
Every single morning I wake up and drink ~500ml of warm lemon water with a tsp of pure L-Glutamine powder in it. It has no taste at all, but if you would rather not drink it I think they come in tablet form also, you can buy it from health food stores or nutrition stores. L-Glutamine helps form a strong lining of the gut wall and thickens the wall to prevent small molecules in food from leaking through. It strengthens the barrier between the outside environment and the inside environment, making it harder for the nasty molecules to make their way through and therefore strengthening the first line of immune defense also.
2. Include many Prebiotic and Probiotic foods in your diet
This doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend a lot of money on a probiotic supplementation and take it every day, a wide variety of fruit and vegetables every day will be a LOT more beneficial then taking a small capsule every morning. Many fruits and vegetables contain prebiotics such as sweet potato, garlic, leeks, asparagus, onions, bananas (green bananas that are not quite ripe have more prebiotics while brown bananas contain more sugar and are sweeter). The probiotics are attained from fermented foods such as yogurts, sauerkraut, kefier, kimchi, tempeh to name a few. The idea is to populate the gut with the probiotics and then feed those good bacteria with prebiotics, so ideally a nice big plate of vegetables with some added fermented foods will populate the good bacteria whilst feeding them at the same time so they can grow and thrive.
3. Consuming a small amount of coconut oil daily
Coconut oil is a saturated fat, so too much is not good for us but it does also contain other properties that other saturated oils (ie. vegetable oil) do not contain. It differs from other oils in that it has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which again helps to weed out the bad bacteria or overgrowth in the body and favours the good bacteria. It aids with anti-inflammation in the body unlike other saturated fats. It is good for dental health- particularly ‘oil pulling’ and also helps with digestion and getting things moving. I find on the days that I just cant stop eating, adding some coconut oil in with meals can curb my cravings and keep me fuller for longer also. I cant really start my day without a coffee, so I always add 1/2 a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon in my coffee every day. It might taste strange at first but I promise you willl get used to it. Start small and work your way up.
I will be releasing an e-book that targets gut health in a lot more depth and how I got my gut healthy from start to finish in the next couple months, so if you feel like this would be useful to you, please let me know!