This month is all about gut health. I’m sure we have all experienced issues with our gut at one time or another.
Many people now suffer from food intolerances and chronic gut issues. I truly believe this is due to our high stress lifestyle and poor diet – and the research agrees3.
There are many ways we can help to begin to heal our gut. If you have gut issues, I would always recommend you see a health practitioner (GP, chiro, naturopath, nutritionist) who has training in this area.
There are however some things we can do at home to help improve our gut health:
Varied whole food diet
This helps us to have a diverse gut microbiome. This has been shown to be important in the reducing the incidence of issues such as allergies and autoimmune conditions1. There is testing that you can get done that can look at the bacterial diversity of your gut. I had one done a few years ago, and interestingly I had very low numbers of a bacteria that (if you don’t have enough) has been linked to allergies. I suffer from seasonal, environmental and food allergies which were set off by some antibiotics I required in my early 20s. If your interested in this kind of testing please ask us for a referral.
Reducing stress allows our body to get out of the sympathetic part of our nervous system (fight or flight) and into our parasympathetic part (rest and digest). If we are stressed the body shunts blood away from internal organs to the arms and legs so you are ready to fight or run from the ‘tiger’. Unfortunately, the tiger is now more likely to be a full email inbox or traffic2. There are loads of great apps and guided meditations out there and you don’t have to be meditating for hours, even 10 mins per day will make a difference to your health.
Chew your food
Next time you eat take notice of how many times you chew your food before your swallow it. As Dr Libby says: Your oesophagus doesn’t have teeth. Swallowing huge bits of food puts stress on your stomach to try to break it down.
Including bone broth, gelatine and collagen in our diet
Many gut issues come from having ‘leaky gut’. Leaky gut means that tiny particles of foods can penetrate the gut wall and make it into the bloodstream. As they are not supposed to be there the body can treat them as an invader and then we can become sensitive to this food. Collagen and gelatine appear to help to ‘reseal’ and nourish the gut lining to promote a nice healthy thick mucous layer to stop particle crossing into the blood. The research on this is still emerging. I use loads of bone broth and collagen daily. I have collagen protein in my morning smoothie and bone broth in the majority of my cooking. I have noticed a significant improvement to my allergies since I’ve started this.
There are loads of great recipes out there for bone broth. I hate the smell of it cooking so I use the Nutra Organics dehydrated one. Also have a look at gelatine gummies if you or your kids like lollies. Make sure you source your collagen, gelatine and bone broth from organic, grass fed sources where possible.
 Meaney, Michael PhD Stress and Disease: Who Gets Sick: Who Stays Well Cortext Educational Seminars Fall, 2001.