The gastrointestinal tract contributes to health in many ways. Research clearly shows that the function of the gut is not limited to digesting food and regulating nutrient and fluid uptake. There is evidence that the gut also:
- communicates with bacteria that support digestion by their enzymatic capacity
- regulates epithelial and immune functions that are important for gut health and overall health
- provides feedback to the brain via the vague nerve and hormones about energy uptake and other conditions that may affect mood and general wellbeing
Gut health comprises a healthy upper and lower gastrointestinal tract and has the following characteristics:
- Effective digestion and absorption of food
- Absence of gastrointestinal illness
- Normal and stable intestinal microbiota (gut flora)
- Effective immune status
5 Tips to restore gut health:
Mindful eating is an effective and easily implemented tool to assist digestion.
Check out our blog on how to practise mindfulness with tea
Avoid processed foods
Eating processed foods causes gut inflammation. Focus on eating nourishing wholefoods to assist in repairing the gut.
Include nourishing fats in meals
Healthy fats promote gut healing and are satiating. Add avocado, coconut oil, ghee and olive oil to meals. Wild fish (e.g. salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel) are also excellent sources of essential fats and protein.
Add live cultures to meals
Live cultures are present in foods (e.g. high-quality yoghurt /coconut kefir yogurt/fermented foods such as kimchi & sauerkraut) and drinks such as Remedy Kombucha. It can also be taken as a supplement (probiotic capsule or powder). Adding a small portion of any of these ingredients to a meal will dramatically increase the live cultures ingested, support the growth of healthy gut bacteria and improve the integrity of the gastrointestinal lining.
Add kombucha or bone broth to meals
Kombucha and bone broth contain essential nutrients that support the healing of the digestive system.
Remedy Kombucha Lemon, Lime & Mint is a great choice as it contains enzymes, live cultures and organic acids which:
- nourish the gut
- assist the growth of healthy gut bacteria (flora)
- balance intestinal pH levels
- help stabilise blood sugar levels
- promote gut health and overall wellbeing
Remedy Kombucha is also:
- Completely natural
- Raw and unpasteurised
- Certified organic
- Paleo friendly
Bone broth contains vital minerals and collagen to soothe and restore the gut lining, thereby promoting gut healing.
Gastrointestinal microbiome and Gastrointestinal barrier:
There is evidence that the GI microbiome and the GI barrier play an essential role in achieving and maintaining gut health. The GI barrier consists of both epithelial defence (mucosal immune system) and metabolic functions (enteric nervous system).
The GI microbiome consists of approximately 1014 bacteria that are mainly located in the large intestine.
Functions of the microbiome:
- prevents colonisation by potentially pathogenic microorganisms
- provides energy for the gut wall from undigested food
- regulates the mucosal immune system
- contributes to energy homeostasis
- prevents mucosal infections
- counteracts immune system hypersensitivity
- assists in maintaining an intact GI barrier
The GI barrier integrity has been linked to various infectious, inflammatory and allergic diseases.
Why it is important to introduce live cultures in food, drinks or supplements slowly:
It is very important to gradually increase gut flora to avoid unwanted symptoms. Aggressive supplementation may result in the release of excess toxins as the bad bacteria die off quickly. This can overwhelm the liver’s detoxification pathways and cause various symptoms.
Some people experience an overgrowth of opportunistic bacteria due to a long-standing lack of good bacteria. People who have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) may feel worse on probiotics irrespective of using a low starting dose. In these cases, it is best to stop all probiotic foods, drinks and supplements. These should only be reintroduced at a lower dose, once symptoms have resolved.
Remedy Kombucha. 2018. 5 WAYS TO HEAL YOUR GUT AT EVERY MEAL (PLUS A RECIPE!) - Remedy Kombucha. [ONLINE] Available at: https://remedykombucha.com.au/blog/5-ways-heal-gut-every-meal-plus-recipe/. [Accessed 27 August 2018].
BMC Medicine. 2018. 'Gut health': a new objective in medicine? | BMC Medicine | Full Text. [ONLINE] Available at: https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-9-24. [Accessed 27 August 2018].
The WHOot. 2018. Best Way to Restore Healthy Gut Bacteria Reduce Inflammation. [ONLINE] Available at: https://thewhoot.com/health/best-way-restore-healthy-gut-bacteria. [Accessed 27 August 2018].
Sara Russell, NTP. 2018. Gut reactions: Gentle dosing of probiotics. [ONLINE] Available at: https://yourprobiotickitchen.com/probiotics-micro-dosing/. [Accessed 27 August 2018].