At the very centre of your body and your overall health, lies your most important asset, your gut, gut flora and digestive health. Today, I'm going to clear some of the smoke and answer some of the questions you may have regarding this topic.
Have you ever felt bloated? Always have gas? Painful cramping after eating some foods? All of these symptoms are not normal, by any means. I'm going to break it down bit by bit to make sure you can understand what it is, why it's happening, what causes it, and how you can fix it and repair your gut.
WHAT IS IT?
Gut health refers to how healthy and effectively our gut works to break down and process food we eat, as well as be the central hub for healthy digestive enzymes to separate the nutrients in our food, which can then be transported around the body once they enter the bloodstream.
Inflammation occurs when we consume a food that we have an intolerance to, and is naturally an inflammatory food that causes the bloating. When we consume the food, our body doesn't have the ability to break down the food, and it creates a byproduct gas, which is essentially the food fermenting, that builds up in our digestive system causing the feeling of bloating.
The more we consume these food sources, the more and more damage we do to our stomach wall and digestive tract lining, as well as decrease our healthy gut flora/bacteria, where the breakdown and metabolic processing occur with our food. If we don't have this working as best as we can, then we lose the ability to effectively break down foods, which then effects our ability to take the desired nutrients from those foods, and effects our body's ability to remove waste. When we have build up of waste, we become toxic from the inside, which is a very bad thing. This will lead to several diseases linked to toxicity.
We want to make sure we get on top of it asap to prevent any further damage occurring internally.
WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?
We get bloated when we eat foods that our body is incapable of breaking down or we have intolerances to. When we eat these foods, our digestive system, "gut", becomes inflamed from the gas created, causing bloating, pain, cramping and discomfort.
It is simply our body's natural reaction telling us "Hey, I can't do anything with this food, best we don't keep eating it, this is my first warning. Keep ignoring me and I'll show you my true capability."
WHAT CAUSES IT?
There are quite a few foods that cause digestive bloating. They can vary from person to person depending on intolerances and other allergies. What food may affect me, may not affect you and vice versa.
It's about finding out the best diets and foods for ourselves, and eliminating those foods that cause these reactions.
The most common food causes of gut inflammation are;
- gluten (bread, pasta)
- dairy (milk, cream, cheese, yoghurt)
- grains (rice)
- fructose (fruit)
- artificial sweeteners
As well as inflammatory foods causing bloating, it can also be triggered by a number of different factors including;
- dehydration (preventing the removal of waste)
- digestive disorders
- constipation (also caused by dehydration and poor diet)
- poor diet (eg. not enough fiber, nutrients and minerals, as well as healthy fats)
HOW TO FIX & REPAIR YOUR GUT HEALTH
CUT OUT THE CONTAMINANTS: The best place to start when addressing this issue is to try and identify and remove any dietary contaminants straight away. You can do this by recording how you feel after eating. It would be easiest to do it with all the main food that cause this, and begin eliminating.
If you're unsure what is causing it still and are pretty sure something is, go and get some tests done by a qualified naturopath or someone else that does these food allergy tests.
STEPS TO REPAIR
DRINK MORE WATER: By drinking more water, you'll also be helping the body naturally remove any excess waste products, reducing your risk of developing any toxic byproduct build up.
HERBAL TEAS, SPICES, HERBS: These are all great at reducing inflammation, and helping to get things moving. Many herbs and spices are great anti inflammatories, like turmeric. Additions include; green tea, dandelion root tea/powder, garlic, fennel and many more. All of these will help in their own unique way. From getting things going, to pain relief.
PROBIOTICS: Now that you have removed all the stuff doing damage, we can begin the repair of your gut. Anyone who has ever taken antiobiotcs in their life, needs to start their gut repair to reintroduce new healthy gut bacteria to assist in the breakdown of foods and internal health. The best sources of good bacteria include, but not limited to; probiotics, fermented foods (kim chi, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickled vegetables), and raw dairy products (whey protein, raw cows milk, and high quality organic yoghurt/coconut yoghurt). These foods will give you a wide variety of bacteria strands to ensure you're getting the maximum amount of healthy bacteria in so they can cover all the bases.
Stay on top of these steps and you'll be sure to have a much healthier gut well into the future. The quicker you address and repair the problem, the better off you'll be in the long run.
- more energy
- better sleep
- sick far less often, if at all
- better skin
- quicker or slower digestion, depending on your main issue. Remember, fast digestion can be just as bad as slow digestion
- better quality of life, which is what we're all searching for yes?