What Is Your Gut Telling You?

How important is a healthy gut to the body? Or the better question to ask is, how important is it to keep a balanced gut microbiome to keep you healthy? Not everyone is aware of the big role that the gut plays in the human body and today, we’ll discuss the gut as the powerhouse and how to ensure a healthy gut for optimum well-being and vitality.

The Role the Gut Plays

The gut plays different roles in the human body, all of which are equally valuable. For one, the gut nourishes the body with essential nutrients through the food you eat. At the same time, it reduces damage from external pathogens as well as autoimmune diseases. Further, the gut has a special relationship with the brain, especially with the production of hormones, vitamins, and neurotransmitters which are all vital to the optimal functioning of the brain that also affects one’s mood.

What if the human body doesn’t have the gut? You will lack your first line of defense from the food you eat, which is often accompanied by different pathogens, toxins, and bacteria. The stomach has a highly acidic environment and this immediately helps kill parasites and bacteria that come with ingested food. As a result, the body is protected from stomach infections and diseases.

After the stomach, the food moves to the small and large intestines, which have the intestinal lining that’s made up of epithelial cells. This lining blocks any foreign parasites to enter the bloodstream — another line of defense.

What About a Leaky Gut?

So you might have already heard about a leaky gut, but what does this mean? Over time, the intestinal lining develops perforations due to the body’s intolerance to certain foods. These perforations can also be caused by the pesticides, colorings, additives, and preservatives in the food we eat. Not only that, high sugar and low fiber foods aren’t good for the intestinal lining also.

Because of these perforations, undigested food particles escape the intestinal walls and enter the bloodstream. Once that happens, the body sees them as impostors and launches an attack that results in gut inflammation. This is the leaky gut syndrome.

Research over the years has determined that a leaky gut, together with a genetic predisposition are the main causes of Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Specifically for people with Celiac disease, their bodies see gluten as an imposter. And when gluten leaks into the bloodstream, it triggers an attack causing inflammation.

Getting to Know Gut Bacteria

The gut bacteria or microbes are the heroes of the gut. They have multiple functions and are ten times in number compared to the cells in the body. One of its main functions is to communicate with the immune system. Another of which is to determine which are healthy cells and foreign bodies.

However, when there’s a leaky gut, the gut bacteria tell the immune cells that the gluten or protein that leaked into the bloodstream are enemies. And so, the immune cells attack the gluten and the healthy cells, too, which leads to inflammation.

Focus on Your Gut Health

The only way to improve gut health is to give it a rest to heal from the perforations. Integrative Nutrition health coaches help in assisting clients with repairing the permeability of the intestinal lining and then maintaining it afterward. Usually, the first step is to give the gut a rest from gluten, additives, sugar, preservatives, dairy, soy, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates. This gives the epithelial cells time to recover and heal.

After that, the next action to take is to improve the health of the gut microbiome. To keep the army of microbes in the gut healthy and happy, you can eat oligosaccharides like asparagus, onions, legumes, garlic, jicama, leek, and Jerusalem artichoke. These are also referred to as prebiotic foods. 

To complete the healing, it is also recommended that you eat foods rich in probiotics like kefir, yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Probiotic foods help in nursing the gut bacteria.

Remember, your gut is a dynamic organ and is very important in maintaining your optimal health and well-being. Always listen to it closely. Nourish the diverse gut microbiome and eat foods that protect and improve the permeability of the intestinal lining. Keeping your gut healthy will ensure happier and healthier years to come!