If you know me, then you know that gut health is a topic I enjoy talking about. With my two fermentery businesses in Thunder Bay, I regularly brew kombucha which improves my own gut health and also spreads that goodness to the local community. It’s something I truly love doing. So, what exactly is gut health? If you want to know then continue to read below and of course, reach out to me if you have any questions.
So…what is gut health?
“Gut health” essentially describes the function and balance of bacteria of many parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Our organs work together to allow us to eat and digest food without feeling any sort of discomfort.
It’s been said that the gut is the body’s second brain and when you have an unhealthy gut, it can take a toll on the rest of your body. In order to understand why this happens, it’s helpful to know how a properly functioning gut is supposed to operate.
The foods we eat get broken down in the gut to a simple form that can enter the bloodstream and be delivered as nutrients throughout our bodies. A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off infectious bacteria and other viruses and fungi. A healthy gut will communicate with the brain through nerves and hormones that help to maintain general health and well-being.
Pay attention to your gut
Many factors of modern life such as high stress levels, lack of sleep, and consuming processed foods can affect your health. There are multiple ways your body will communicate with you to signal an unhealthy gut.
Experiencing gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn are signs of an unhealthy gut.
Unintentional weight changes
Gaining or losing weight without making any changes to your diet or exercise can also be a sign of an unhealthy gut. An imbalanced gut can damage your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar, and store fat.
An unhealthy gut can contribute to sleep disturbance such as insomnia or poor sleep, which leads to chronic fatigue. A majority of the body’s serotonin is produced from the gut, so an unhealthy gut can damage your ability to sleep well.
Skin conditions like eczema may be related to an unhealthy gut. Inflammation in the gut from a poor diet may cause skin irritation.
How you can improve your gut health
If you’re experiencing any of these, then don’t worry, there are ways to improve gut health. You just have to make some changes.
Start by eating a diverse range of food
Eating a diverse diet rich in whole foods, fruits and vegetables is a great place to start in terms of improving your gut health. After all, they’re the best sources of nutrients for a healthy microbiota. They’re high in fiber, which normalizes bowel movements, prevents the growth of some disease-causing bacteria, and overall enhances gut health.
Eat whole grains
Whole grains contain lots of fibre and non-digestible carbs that can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria within the gut. These changes to the gut can improve aspects of metabolic health.
Eat fermented foods
Fermented foods are foods altered by microbes. The process of fermenting usually involves bacteria or yeast converting the sugar in food to organic acid. Foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha (although kombucha is a beverage) can improve digestion, boost metabolism, reduce inflammation, and more!
A change in diet can make a world of difference, but your change doesn’t have to be drastic. You can always start small. Start by adding some kombucha to your diet. You can drink it with your lunch or dinner as it is a healthy alternative to sodas or juice. Best of all, they come in delicious flavours. These are some of my favourites:
In Health and Wellness,
Nadia La Russa
Click here to learn more about my small-batch, big-love fermentery in Thunder Bay.
Click here to learn more about the other kombucha business I recently acquired in Thunder Bay.
Click here to learn more about how kombucha can benefit your body.