In this modern world, gut health seems to only be something we think about when we have an upset stomach however, gut health issues can be communicated across our bodies and throughout our energy and mood levels. Whether we like it or not, the gut is the gateway to great health and plays a significant part in our energy, mental health, and general wellbeing. Gut health also has an impact on our hormone levels too (increasing our oestrogen levels), compromising our liver functions and encouraging the unprocessed toxins in our bodies to be stored within our fat cells!
All disease begins in the gut.
Symptoms of gut health issues may appear in the form of skin issues (like eczema or psoriasis), bloating, digestive discomfort, brain fog, immunity issues.
A Leaky Gut
Sounds gross, right? Well, it sort of is! Ben Warren states, ‘a leaky gut is when there are gaps in the gut lining that create ‘leaking’. The result isn’t pleasant either. In simple terms, ‘half-digested foods and larger proteins make their way out of the small intestine and into the bloodstream’. Our immune systems, designed to protect us, actually identify these foods as invaders which results in an immune (inflammatory) response. This can cause unwanted symptoms like bloating, low energy and low mood.
Here are some more signs of bad gut health: gas, diarrhoea, sugar cravings, bad breath, food allergies or sensitivities, anxiety, depression, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.
Ben points out that commonly, gluten and dairy are the issues here. Gluten specifically, has been identified as ‘inflammatory for everyone’. This means that while you may not be celiac, gluten will still be an issue for you! Dairy, on the other hand, is also a reactive and inflammatory protein. These days, the biggest issue with dairy is the form that we’re consuming it in - which is usually homogenised and pasteurised (changing the biochemical structure of the protein).
Leaky gut and bad gut flora are common because of the modern lifestyle.
So, what are Ben’s tips to cure a leaky gut?
1. Avoid Gluten and Dairy
2. Try an Anti-Inflammatory Diet: avoiding excess sugar, coffee, alcohol, refined sugars, processed foods and foods high in trans-fats.
3. Drink Bone Broth (or add it to soups etc.): it contains lots of essential amino acids and trace minerals which help seal the gut lining.
4. Reduce the Stress Factors in your Life: go for a walk, do some breathing exercises and do a yoga/pilates flow!
5. Embrace the following nutrients: Vitamin D (found in oily fish, lard, pork fat, and mushrooms), Omega 3 (found in eggs, nuts, raw milk, leafy greens and oily fish), Zinc (found in oysters, raw milk, lamb, maple syrup, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and beef)
Our bodies are full of bacteria (mostly healthy of course). Our gut flora is bacteria which promotes normal digestive function, looks after 80% of our bodies immune response and regulates our metabolism.
Our gut flora can be negatively impacted by:
Ben’s Tips include:
- drink bone broth, consumer a probiotic-rich diet (kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut) if you require antibiotics
- eat plenty of vegetables (fermentable fibres - kumara, pumpkin, whole grains)
- eat fermented foods (kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi)
- consider taking a probiotic/prebiotic
- manage your stress: use abdominal breathing regularly
- begin your day with lemon, apple cider vinegar & warm water
- exercise and drink water regularly
- chew your food until it’s liquid
What are Probiotics and Probiotics?
Probiotics - these are beneficial bacteria. ‘Fermented foods assist in restoring the correct balance and diversity of beneficial bacteria in your gut’.
Prebiotics - the foods which feed the beneficial bacteria. Great sources of probiotics are lentils, beans, and chickpeas. While raw garlic, raw onion, artichoke, sweetcorn, and watermelon are helpful.
For more information about Ben Warren and his work, be sure to check out his blog, find a seminar near you and check out the links attached below. Also, for our tips from his most recent seminar ‘Food, Mood and Anxiety’, be sure to head to our Facebook page here!
From our home to yours,
Find a complete list of Prebiotic Foods at the bottom of this post:
For more on Gut Health from Ben, watch this FREE 60-minute video:
Recipes which Support Gut Health:
Our Favourite Bone Broth Recipe
Macronutrient Type - find out what ‘food type’ you are!
Gut Health Questionnaire
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