Why a healthy gut is more important than you think

Are you feeling down?

Are you dealing with skin problems?

Do you feel constantly bloated?

All of these issues and more can be traced back to your gut health.

Gut Health

It turns out that the tens of billions of microbes in your digestive tract are the master puppeteers of a healthy gut.

So, how can you support healthy digestion with the right gut health foods, wellness supplements, and emotional wellbeing?

Your gut does much more than digest your food, research shows. A healthier gut can mean a happier you.

Scientists have discovered over 1,000 species of bacteria in the gut.

These bugs do a lot.

They digest your food, keep your immune system humming along, protect your intestines, remove environmental toxins from the body, produce B vitamins and generate vitamin K, which helps your blood clot.

FACT: Each of us has a microbiome-some call it our forgotten organ. It’s made up of trillions of bacteria living inside our gut.

Each busy micro-universe is unique, depending on our own particular mix of bacteria, just like a fingerprint.

The gut microbiome plays an important role in your overall health by helping control digestion, strengthening your immune system and many other aspects of health.

An imbalance of unhealthy and healthy microbes in the intestines may contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and other disorders including autoimmune through leaky gut.

You receive your first dose of microbes as you’re being born, when you pass through your mother’s birth canal.

From there, your microbiome changes during the first couple of years of
life, influenced by microbes in breast milk, antibiotics and your first solid foods.

Your gut microbiota stabilises around the age of 3. This early development of intestinal flora is critical because it sets the tone for your gut health for life.

It’s tough to even find a condition that isn’t connected to your gut health in some way!

Why does good gut health matter?

  1. Helps with Weight Loss.
  2. Improved heart health.
  3. Boost immunity.
  4. Can help slow cancer growth.
  5. Can improve mental health such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and other issues due to the GI and central nervous system line of communication (gut vs brain psychology).
  6. Can improve food allergies.

Symptoms of an imbalanced gut

  1. Food sensitivities or allergies
  2. Digestive problems like occasional gas and bloating
  3. Weight changes
  4. Skin issues
  5. Fatigue
  6. Mood swings
  7. Difficulty concentrating

What negatively impacts gut health?

  1. Eating processed foods
  2. Low immunity
  3. Persona beliefs and self talk (emotional immunity)
  4. Drinking alcohol or taking drugs
  5. Increased and long term stress
  6. Weight changes
  7. Lack of quality sleep
  8. Getting older
  9. Travelling overseas or to new environments
  10. Taking medication that can affect the microbiome

FACT: Our gut helps us process thought and emotion, so much so that it is often referred to as the second brain.

What if I told you that science is showing that the bacteria in your gut can directly affect your behaviour and emotions?

This might be surprising for many, however it’s a critical, and often overlooked factor in treating anxiety.

Many factors besides poor digestive health may contribute to your symptoms.

Maybe you’re in an unhealthy relationship, suffer from low self-esteem, struggle with panic attacks, or worry needlessly about little things.

No matter what the issues that are contributing to your anxiety, experiencing it can leave you feeling isolated, scared and mentally exhausted.

When it comes to treating emotional distress, utilising multiple agents of change is the most beneficial way to experience relief.

For example, when treating anxiety, it’s extremely beneficial not only to receive therapy, but also to change your diet, exercise, patterns of self-talk, methods of self-care and introduce relaxation techniques.

Working on balancing your gut flora can be a very healing addition to the aforementioned therapies.

Is the role of the digestive tract regulating emotional health and decision making?

The brain and the gut are in constant communication via the vagus nerve, a large nerve that connects the two.

The concept of “gut feeling” and butterflies in your stomach is actually a
real thing!

In a study conducted in Ireland, researchers found that when the vagus nerve was cut in mice, they no longer saw the brain respond based on changes to the rodent’s gut flora.

Scientists have also begun to study certain neurochemicals that have not been described before being produced by certain bacteria, thus suggesting that gut microbes can produce their own version of neurotransmitters.

This is another way that gut microbes may communicate with the brain.

How can I support my gut health?

  1. Eat more probiotics and prebiotics.
  2. Reduce stress it can damage your thin digestive lining, increase positive talk.
  3. Practise calming exercises that focus on the breath such as mediation, yoga, tai chi, reading or something creative like painting, drawing, pottery.
  4. Reduce sugars, simple carbs, and grains, experiment with intermittent fasting, eating simpler foods and combined food group eating, metabolic type eating etc.
  5. Increase your body/food awareness. Notice how you feel after eating. Take note of fatigue, bloating, anxiety, gas, reflux or any other symptoms that you might be experiencing. This will allow you to start mapping patterns and become aware of what foods might be troublesome for you. If you continually eat foods that don’t react well to your body, it can damage your delicate digestive lining and balance of good bacteria.
  6. Eat a metabolic type diet correct for you.
  7. Hydrate hydrate hydrate.
  8. Get good sleep and rest.
  9. Perform a good gut health test.

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