Current research shows the vast benefits a healthy gut has on both mental and physical health. As more evidence is revealed around the key role the gut plays in our overall health, assessing ways to promote good gut health is vital.
“The concept that the gut is just somewhere to absorb food has been blown out the water,” says Dr Emma Parry, medical ambassador of natural health company Lifestream. “Gut health has been shown to be important for many things, including balancing our moods and keeping our immunity in check.”
A healthy gut also supports the metabolic system, regulates cholesterol levels, promotes immunity, aids liver function and bowel movements, fights inflammation, reduces stress and enhances weight management.
Probiotics are one of the best and easiest ways to nourish the gut. These microorganisms are the good kind of bacteria that fight off bad bacteria in the gut.
Parry says past approaches to probiotics are problematic given the different functions the gut serves. Previously, people generally took supplements with high doses of probiotic strains, as opposed to specific strains. “We now have a better understanding of how introducing specific strains of probiotics is key to helping with certain conditions,” she says.
To enhance the probiotics in your diet, take supplements that target specific strains or eat probiotic food such as yoghurt, kvass, kombucha or cultured vegetables. Try fermenting for health as a starting point.