Nurturing the gut is essential in order to maintain good health and function throughout the entire body. Research links an unhealthy gut to inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, poor brain health, Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease, thyroid problems, diabetes, as well as bloating, constipation, indigestion and food intolerances.
Holistic health coach and author Lee Holmes says there are numerous foods you can consume to promote good gut health. “Turmeric to me is a wonderful healing spice [with] anti-inflammatory benefits,” she says, adding that minerals including magnesium, calcium and gelatine are also good as they “help with muscle pain and restore the lining in the gut.”
The importance of what we put into our bodies can’t be stressed enough, says nutritionist and BePure founder Ben Warren. “If you put the wrong fuel – diesel into a petrol engine – it’s not going to go very well. It’s exactly the same for us,” he says. “So much of our immune system is centred around our gut as well,” he adds. “Obviously we know that the immune system is incredibly important to health, but it’s also heavily related to many immune dysfunctions generally related to modern disease.”
So how do you tell if you have an unhealthy gut? Bloating, fatigue, a change in bowel movements, indigestion, bloating, acid reflux and heartburn are all possible signs of poor gut health. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visiting your doctor is a good idea.
In the meantime, here are 3 everyday ways you can care for your gut:
- Drink more water – it helps flush out toxins
- Increase your intake of fermented foods such as kombucha – they create good gut health
- Get moving – exercise promotes gut mobility