Gut Health? Why is it so important and what does it actually mean?
It’s a new year, and if you’re anything like us, this year you’ve vowed to be healthier.
But what does that really mean…… and how can you make ‘being healthier’ a simple part of your everyday life?
Let’s start by clarifying a few things;
1. When we refer to your ‘gut’ we are not just talking about your stomach, we are talking about your digestive system; your mouth, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon, and rectum.
2. What is a healthy gut? Although specifics will differ among individuals there are a few signs that indicate a healthy gut, here are a few of the main ones; regular and comfortable bowel movements, uninterrupted sleep, clear skin & a strong immune system.
So why is it important?
In short, if your gut is healthy it’s more than likely that you & your mind are healthy.
Here’s what the Huffington Post had to say about it;
"When your digestive system is not functioning properly, it can result in poor nutrient absorption/malnourishment and lead to a number of chronic problems and symptoms, including acid reflux, indigestion, irritable bowel disease and others. But it can also directly impact overall health as well as the health of your immune system, nervous system, hormonal health and more".
"In fact, this 30-foot long tract (your gut) is major headquarters for immunity, neurological health and more. Digestive health directly impacts your immune health, and vice versa. Your gut is also home to the largest concentration of mood-altering neurotransmitters such as serotonin".
So how do probiotics help?
We’ve found a great article by written by Ruairi Robertson, PhD that explains the gut and pro & prebiotics, you can click the link below to read the full version. Or here are some bite-sized bits;
Bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microscopic living things are referred to as microorganisms, or microbes, for short. Trillions of these microbes exist mainly inside your intestines and on your skin.
Most of the microbes in your intestines are found in a "pocket" of your large intestine called the cecum, and they are referred to as the gut microbiome.
The microbiome can affect gut health and may play a role in intestinal diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
However, certain Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, which are found in probiotics can help seal gaps between intestinal cells and prevent leaky gut syndrome.
Here is some more on this from the ABC;
Your gut microbiome is sensitive to environmental exposures (beginning with the bacteria passed on from your mother at birth) and influenced by genetic factors.
It's also largely shaped by your diet, said Dr Beckett, and this works in two ways.
"The first way is by eating foods that contain bacteria — so foods with probiotics in them," she said.
Probiotics are live microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, similar to those living in our digestive tract. They are found in fermented foods including yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha tea.
Where do we come in?
We create a range of fermented foods & drinks; fermented foods are known for their probiotic rich, good bacteria. What’s even better, is that the majority of our products are ‘wild fermented’ (with the exception of our kefir) meaning we use no starter culture & they ferment naturally.
Making fermented foods a standard part of your weekly diet is a great way to steadily & naturally increase your pro-biotic intake- hence improving your gut health.