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Maintaining a Healthy Gut

18th July 2016

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Maintaining a Healthy Gut

A healthy gut is essential for overall health! It doesn’t matter how good your diet is, how often you’re exercising or how much you’re sleeping, you’re body will not function optimally unless you look after your gut. The gut is not only involved with the digestion of food, it also secretes hormones and transmits nerve signals. However, despite it being a major contributor to the functioning of the body, gut health is an issue that we often over look.


Role of the Gut

The gut starts at the mouth and ends at the anus and is responsible first of all for digesting the food so that it is in a state which it can then be absorbed into the blood. Once food is digested the gut wall selects the substances required by the body such as water and nutrients and allows them to enter the bloodstream whilst preventing harmful substances such as antigens and toxins from getting in. The good bacteria in the gut known as gut flora are heavily involved with this selective absorption process and they compete with bad bacteria to prevent their growth.


Improving Gut Function

With the gut serving many functions and significantly contributing to overall health, it is important that it is working optimally. Regularly experiencing issues such as cramps, bloating and flatulence are signs that your gut is irritated and its performance may be hindered. To help prevent any irritation to your gut in the future consider the following tips …

Remove Irritants…

Identify any foods, drinks or medication that could be causing you problems with your gut and reduce your intake of these potential irritants. If your gut health improves following their elimination then carry on avoiding them. The most common irritants include; caffeine, sugar, alcohol, gluten, antibiotics and dairy.

Eat Slower…

Without sounding like your mother…take your time when you are eating and chew your food more so that the particles that are swallowed are smaller and more manageable for the gut.

Probiotics…

Eat fermented foods such as yoghurt, buttermilk, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and bacterially cultured cheese. These foods contain probiotics which are good bacteria and help maintain a healthy bacterial environment in the gut. Probiotics can also be obtained through supplements.

Omega 3s…

Make sure you are consuming omega-3s as these fatty acids can help to reduce the inflammation experienced in leaky gut syndrome. These fatty acids are found in fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. A lot of people however find it hard to consume enough omega 3’s from the diet and therefore taking supplements is a good option.

Glutamine…

You could also consider taking a glutamine supplement as this essential amino acid fuels the cells lining the gut and helps restore the permeability of the gut wall.


If you experience consistent problems with your gut then go and see your GP.



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