Digestion

Posted 28 February 2020

As we head into the third month of the year, many of us have already forgotten our new year’s resolution to eat healthy and look after ourselves. Take the steps today to improve your health through your digestive system - your body will thank you!

Know The Facts On Digestive Health

It is estimated that the number of bacteria in our gut is at a ratio 1:1 with the number of cells in our body[1], with over 1000 varieties of bacteria.[2] 

Did you know that your digestive tract processes on average over 60 tonnes of food in your life?[3] Through that processing our body takes in vitamins, minerals, digesting prebiotics and fibre, plus colonising bacteria. Take time to check out your kitchen.  Is your fridge full of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein and your cupboards spices, wholegrains, beans and lentils?

Different factors can impact our gut flora and microbiome including a poor diet high in processed food, alcohol and smoking. Stress, lack of sleep, antibiotics and inflammation all play role in disturbing the gut microbiome.

 
 

Digestive Health & Mood - what's the connection?

Our digestive tract is linked to many processes in our body including mental health and mood and is referred to as the microbiome-gut-brain axis. Changes in the gut can affect how our brain functions and even our behaviour.[4] Ninety percent of the brain neurotransmitter serotonin is produced in the GUT with bacteria actively helping in the production.[5] [6] Serotonin helps keep us feeling calm and happy. The digestive tract also plays an important role in the immune system with GUT bacteria interacting with the immune system and helping to control the immune response.

Improving Your Digestive Tract

You can start with including pre and probiotics in your diet through fermented foods such as apple cider vinegar and Kombucha. Fermented foods have been used in the diet for over 5000 years. A lot of people struggle with the taste so an option for those people is a capsule such as the new GO HEALTHY APPLE CIDER VINEGAR 1,000mg or GO HEALTHY KOMBUCHA 500mg PROBIOTIC PLUS containing beneficial prebiotics and 21 billion bacteria.

With inflammation having a direct effect on our GUT and the bacteria in our microbiome it can be beneficial to help reduce it. Turmeric works in our body as a natural anti-inflammatory similarly to NSAIDs and exerts a direct effect on the bowel reducing inflammation and helping to increase beneficial bacteria.[7] Other natural anti-inflammatory include ginger; it has been shown to reduce the production of inflammatory mediators.[8] It has traditionally been used to promote gastrointestinal health where it has been recommended to reduce feelings of nausea, diarrhoea and bloating.

Liver Health Benefits

Along with increasing our gut microbiome to improve our health, you may want to help support your liver. Your liver helps to clear toxins from your body and create energy. Milk thistle has traditionally been used in Western herbal medicine to promote, maintain and strengthen the liver health and has the added benefit of being a powerful antioxidant.[9] Look out for a high strength Milk thistle supplement.

Sources: 

[1] https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/can-gut-bacteria-improve-your-health
[2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4991899/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5433529/
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5040025/
[5] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190906092809.htm
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4662178/
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6311836/
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/
[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4050641/