Gut health is the relationship between our bodily functions and the bacteria that exists in our gastrointestinal tract. Under perfect circumstances our esophagus, stomach, and intestines are designed to all work together, allowing us to enjoy and properly digest food. However, millions of people with poor gut health are suffering from uncomfortable symptoms such as heartburn, diarrhea, and bloating.
Good Gut Health
When our gut health is in good form, food should be consumed, and then broken down in our system to its most basic forms, then the nutrients can enter our bloodstream and be delivered throughout our bodies. The good bacteria in our system also help fight off bad things such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Poor Gut Health
Poor gut health can be recognized by a number of symptoms that we all experience at one point or another, but when they persist it may be time to seek help. These symptoms include abdominal pain, loose stools, constipation, bloating, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. More serious symptoms such as weightlessness without explanation, black stool or visible blood in your stool, and pain in your throat or chest while consuming food could be a sign of a more serious gut health issue and you should seek out professional help immediately.
So How Can We Promote Good Gut Health?
√ Start by eating a clean diet. Consume a proper amount of fruits and vegetables – but avoid too many starchy ones such as potatoes
√ Consume caffeine and alcohol in moderation
√ Consume a variety of whole grains
√ Remember to stop eating when you are full
√ Try homemade yogurt and other fermented foods which contain good bacteria for your gut
√ Snack on a moderate amount of nuts daily
√ Drink water throughout the day – try adding a splash of citrus such as lime for taste
√ Increase your physical activity
X Avoid eating greasy foods, red meats, eating out, sugary and diet marketed drinks and sugar free foods – which can cause bloating
X Avoid cigarettes
Aside from diet, sleep is essential for gut health. Poor sleep is strongly correlated with nausea, bloating, and constipation. Regular exercise can help to reduce stress, and maintain a healthy weight which is important for good gut health. Antibiotics can also decrease both good and bad gut bacterias.
How we can help
Working with a naturopathic physician who is trained in the field of clinical nutrition can help make guiding the ins and outs of proper gut health easier. Dr. Catherine Multari, ND can work with you to determine what type of diet is best for you and provide a personalized plan to meet your individual needs making it achievable and sustainable.