Gut microbiome: Get to Know Your Gut
We all agree that a healthy digestive system is an important component of general health, but is it true that the gut is the root of all disease?
From food intolerance to IBS, ulcers to bloating and constipation, your stomach and intestinal health speaks volumes about your general wellbeing and your future health. So how can we protect ourselves against chronic issues of the gastrointestinal system?
Digestion starts with enzyme activity. Digestive enzymes work like scissors to chop food into small molecules that are small enough for our body to absorb. Sadly, digestive enzyme production begins to decrease in our 20s. By the age of 40, we have just 75% of enzyme activity that we need to effectively absorb nutrients from food. This continues to decline as we age. To get the functional benefits of food, focusing on enzyme supplementation may be advantageous.
A balanced microbiome is another essential component of a healthy gut.
Prebiotics from fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut provide beneficial food for the bacteria for our intestine, while a broad-spectrum probiotic can protect from not only gut issues, but also inflammation, allergy and skin issues. Pre- and probiotics also improve digestive capacity, as they improve production of stomach acids (needed for adequate digestion). If that’s not enough, fermented foods have also been shown to boost the immune system, decrease allergies and treat diarrhea.
Collagen-based powders are another a fantastic way to maintain gut integrity. Collagen contains amino acids like glycine, proline and glutamine that work as the building blocks of healthy digestive tract tissue. Through reduction of intestinal inflammation, Bone broth is an affordable way to protect your tummy while gaining vital nutrients for energy production, brain health and beauty.
Lastly, the key to gut health lies in the avoidance of one particular food – sugar. Sugar wreaks havoc in your gut, feeds bad bacteria, creates dysbiosis and leads to yeast overgrowth (Candida). A diet high in sugars can also lead to constipation and toxic buildup and stimulate cravings for more. Keep sugars down to a minimum to stop the vicious cycle of sugar addiction and support gut health.
Use these functional foods and supplements to support digestion, because if all disease begins in the gut, then all healing can too.