“All Disease Begins in The Gut.” said Hippocrates, the Greek Physician knew that good health and well-being came down to how well the person’s gut was functioning. Now science is backing his claims with the development of testing on gut bacteria and digestive absorption.
The trouble is in today’s world, our guts are thrown so many curve balls that Hippocrates would never of thought about. So what can damage a healthy tum tum?
- Medication – yes many of us need certain medications to get by, but long term use can change how the system works. Antibiotics, antacids, contraceptive pill, pain relief such as ibuprofen all affect the digestive system. Speak to your naturopath or prescribing doctor about alternatives before stopping any medications
- Stress – cortisol alters the secretion of digestive enzymes, affects blood flow and the natural waves of movement along the intestinal tract
- Overuse of anti-bacterial products – from sprays, wipes, sterilising and bleaching, we have spent the last 20 years attempting to eradicate troublesome bacteria but in fact have wiped out a lot of the healthy bacteria that lives n our lives and protests us
- Environmental toxins – including the soil quality things are grown in, pesticides used and plastic it is stored in, not to mention car exhausts, chemicals used on our skin. The list of what chemicals were are exposed to are at an all time high and negatively affect our digestive function
- Bacteria imbalances – from how you were born (caesarean or vaginal) what bacteria your parents exposed you to, infant formula ingredients, what mum ate during pregnancy and what you ate as a toddler can all influence
- Body size – how much weight you are carrying, ,as well as where on the body it is located can also affect how well your internal organs can function under pressure
So what can you do to support your healthy gut to improve function ? Let’s look at the Top 4 Gut Healing Favourites
It might be a new thing to us, but Kombucha, a fermented tea drink has been consumed for thousands of years. It starts as a tea, usually green tea full of
polyphenols and fermented with a ‘scoby’ which introduces and grows the healthy bacteria in the kombucha. Why is it good for you? Not only is it re-introducing lost strains of good bacteria, kombucha also stimulates the release of stomach acids to aid in breaking down and digesting incoming food. Best drunk 20-30 minutes before meals, start with just a shot of 30mls a day and slowly build your way up to half a cup to 1 cup per day. Be wary of commercially made kombucha that can have more sugars than most soft drinks
2. Kimchi & Saurerkraut
Another source of fermented bacteria, kimchi is a Korean food made by lightly salting cabbage and radishes and storing well to encourage fermentation and adding seasoning and spices. The key to kimchi and sauerkraut (its German non-spiced relative) is the naturally occurring bacteria on the cabbages that having incredible gut healing properties, encouraging high levels of beneficial bacteria whilst discouraging harmful bacteria from taking up residence in your intestines. Start with a small teaspoon of kimchi or sauerkraut – too much too quickly will increase gut bacteria too fast (think bloating, stomach pains and excess gas). But when combined with a fibre rich diet, the healthy bacteria from 1-2 tablespoons of kimchi per day will ferment your dietary fibre and producing beneficial substances such as butyrate known to protect against colon cancer.
A fermented milk drink, kefir is another easy way to introduce healthy bacteria into your digestive system, replacing what has been lost over the years. Brewed with milk and powdered bacteria or ‘kefir grains’ the bacteria feed off the lactose in the milk, turning it lactose free whilst keeping the benefical bacteria strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens, Lactococcus lactis, and Leuconostoc species all known for their different health benefits. Start with smaller amounts of kefir and build up slowly – ideal to use in smoothies !
4. Bone Broth
Unlike the other 3, bone broth isn’t a fermented food/drink,but is fantastic at healing the digestive system. Nearly every traditional society boiled bones of meat-giving animals to make a nutritive broth to heal their people. As the bones cook in water – especially if that water has been made slightly acidic by the inclusion of cider vinegar – minerals and other nutrients leach from the bones into the water. Make at home in a slow cooker yourself, purchase it pre made or use the dehydrated form for a quick snack. Aim for 1 cup per day, but it can also be added to soup, curry and stir fry recipes – just use as stock Recipe for Bone broth
Want to heal your digestive system to improve your health & wellbeing? Book a one on one consult with Carly Elverd – Clinical Nutritionist & Herbalist getting long term results for people like you
IMPORTANT NOTE Those who suffer from histamine issues are best to avoid fermented foods and drinks such as kimchi, saurerkraut, kefir and kombucha as these are naturally high in histamine. Check with your naturopath or nutritionist if you aren’t sure