What Is a Healthy Gut and Why Does Gut Health Matter?
I know it seems like the subject “du-jour”, but you truly are what you eat. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates, (c.430 BC). Words to live by, and words to live well by. There is a huge movement afoot of people who are realizing they can change their lives by changing what they eat, and what they eat affect their gut health. I am one of them.
My life has been transformed in the past year and a half by a gradual change in my diet. This is not something that happened overnight, but rather an awareness of what foods work and don’t work for me. Because it has been a gradual change, it has become a lifestyle rather than a diet. This means I won’t be doing the yo-yo diet thing or the yo-yo mood swing thing because I go on and off the wagon with good eating habits; my gut health is now consistent, and I feel better for it! I want to share with you some thoughts and realizations that are important for you to be aware of so you can make good decisions for yourself about whether it might help you feel better if you made some dietary changes.
More and more attention is being paid to the digestive system. We know we feel better when our stomachs are happy. Issues like gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea are not fun to deal with. In fact, they have a significant effect on mood and mindset. Scientists, however, are discovering that digestive or gut health has more of an impact on overall health than previously thought. In fact, digestive problems have been linked to:
- Autoimmune disease
- Skin rashes and acne
- Chronic fatigue
- Mood disorders
The more scientists learn about the bacteria in your digestive tract, the more they discover just how vital it is to optimal health. In fact, according to scientists, there are 500 species of bacteria in your gut. They average a whopping total weight of approximately three pounds!
This vast collection of bacteria helps digest the food you eat. They regulate your hormones, help eliminate toxins from your body and even produce vitamins and other nutrients that support good health and a strong immune system. If this balance of bacteria is tipped, meaning there’s more bad than good bacteria, it can threaten your gut health and can cause serious health problems.
Chances are you’ve also suffered from the occasional bout of digestive discomfort. You may have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, or even Crohn’s disease or colitis. You’re not alone; more than 100 million Americans suffer with digestive problems.
Amazingly, there are more than 200 over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for digestive disorders. Unfortunately, many of these remedies cause more problems than they solve. They can interfere with the proper functioning of your digestive system and can actually worsen the problem or create new issues. In addition, there are many widely prescribed prescription remedies being dispensed everyday like “the purple pill”.
Taking steps to achieve good gut health helps you prevent or reduce your risk of developing gastrointestinal problems or illness. Before you can achieve good gut health, though, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how your digestive system works.
We’ll tackle that subject in future blogs, but for now, here’s what we call our “elixir”. Enjoy it every morning to get your day and your digestive system off to a great start! To Your Good Gut Health!
Elixir for good gut health: 1 tbsp Organic Tart Cherry Juice, 1 tbsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, juice of ¼ lemon, add cool or warm water. Enjoy!
Make Major Improvements in Your Life!