5 Tips To Improve Gut Health So You Can Strengthen Your Immune System and Prevent Disease
As Hippocrates once famously said, “all disease begins in the gut.” While not every single disease begins in the gut, there is a lot of truth to this 2000-year-old advice.
Most chronic metabolic diseases do begin in the gut. It is because of this, that working to improve digestive and gut health is almost always the first thing that holistic health practitioners address when working with clients on a wide variety of health ailments and complaints.
When gut health is compromised, often the integrity of the gut lining is weakened, which allows unwanted bacterial products and undigested food particles to leak through the gut lining and enter the blood stream, where they are not supposed to be.
These particles trigger an immune response, resulting in inflammation. While inflammation is a normal, healthy, and necessary immune response in the case of injury, the inflammation caused by this so-called “leaky gut” is chronic, low-grade inflammation. It is this type of inflammation that can weaken the immune system and is linked to many chronic diseases.
So how can you strengthen the integrity of your gut and help prevent disease? Below are my top 5 tips for improving gut health:
1. Avoid overuse of antibiotics. Antibiotics are an integral, life saving part of modern medicine. Unfortunately, their overuse has led to a wide variety of problems, including antibiotic-resistant microbes and compromised gut-health in humans. Only use antibiotics when necessary – they won’t do any good for viral infections like colds.
2. Incorporate probiotic-rich foods and a probiotic supplement into your lifestyle. Foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha provide healthy bacteria that the gut needs to stay healthy and strong. A probiotic supplement can also be very beneficial, especially if you have any history of antibiotic use.
3. Identify food sensitivities. Certain foods for certain people can cause problems and worsen damage in the gut lining and cause a variety of symptoms throughout the body. Some of the most common ones include gluten, dairy, eggs, and soy. Avoiding foods that your body is sensitive to is an important part of strengthening the gut lining.
4. Eat gut healing and soothing foods. One of the best foods for gut health is traditionally made bone broth. Bone broth, made from grass-fed, organic bones that have been simmered for many hours, up to a couple of days, is rich in gut-supportive nutrients. The gelatin in broth can help soothe inflammation, and amino acids like glycine and glutamine can help strengthen and protect the lining of the intestinal walls.
5. Use gut soothing herbal teas. Drinking herbal teas is an inexpensive and easy way to support gut health. Herbs like marshmallow root and slippery elm can coat the lining of the stomach and gut, and soothe and strengthen the barrier of the gut lining. Always talk to your pharmacist before using any herbs if you are taking medications.
Improving your gut health is one the best thing you can do for your body and your long-term well being– show your gut some love and your body will thank-you!
By: Ali MacBoudreau
Ali is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. Her mission is to help you discover just how vibrant and amazing you can feel, by giving you the tools you need to make lasting changes. (Hint, it involves delicious food!) To learn more about Ali and holistic nutrition please visit her website https://www.holisticali.com/about