Most people don’t tend to pay too much attention to their digestive health or how to take care of it until something goes wrong with it and they’re symptomatic, or worse, diagnosed with a gut-related disorder.
A registered nutritional therapist and wellbeing coach, I appreciate, both professionally and personally, just how critical gut health is to overall health. And, I encourage all Reboot fans - even those who are healthy, happy and symptom-free - to take steps to look after their guts, and in turn reap the short and long-term benefits to their health and wellbeing.
Here are five reasons (there are many more) why you should care about your gut:
- A well-functioning gut is critical to making sure we breakdown and absorb adequate nutrients from the food that we eat - and that’s so important because those nutrients in turn literally support every single other system in the human body. Your daily diet could be amazing, but if your digestion is compromised or your gut is inflamed, you may not be able absorb adequate nutrition.
- The mucosal lining of the digestive tract, and the population of 100 trillion gut bacteria which reside there, are the first line of defence the body has when it comes to protecting itself from various bacteria, viruses, toxins and antigens that can be ingested with food. When you imagine that the average person takes in more than 25 tons of food in their lifetime, you can see why we might need an efficient army of gut flora to help protect us.
- Our gut bacteria is metabolically active. This means that enzymes produced by intestinal bacteria are important in the synthesis of several vitamins, including vitamin K, biotin, vitamin B12, folate, and B1. Our gut bacteria is also capable of fermenting fibre (indigestible carbs!) to short-chain fatty acids, and these acids are a little known but important energy source for us humans. Gut bacteria may even impact everything from our blood sugar levels to our tendency to store carbs as fat.
- The main symptoms we associate with gastrointestinal disorders are localised in the gut (think bloating, acid reflux, constipation and diarrhoea amongst others). But did you know that gut dysfunction can underlie many apparently unrelated conditions too, which may affect other parts of the body? If the immune defences of the gut microbiome suffer too many challenges over time, they can eventually weaken which may results in certain molecules entering circulation and this may be linked to many systemic inflammatory and immune-related diseases and symptoms affecting everything from the gut to joints to skin health.
- Mental health and wellbeing may influenced by our gut bacteria and the 100 million nerve cells in our gut – hence why the gut is now touted as the second brain. The latest research in this area is revealing how gut bacteria can communicate with the brain, influencing how we behave, think and feel. Whilst the exact mechanisms are still yet to be fully understood, we’re learning all the time. Gut health has already been linked to ADHD, autism, CFS, OCD, Tourette syndrome, anxiety and depression, and the research continues.
If you would like to learn more about gut health and the interconnectivity with another hot health topic, inflammation, AND what get my top tips about things you can do to look after own your gut health, then please join us at Reboot on the evening of Thursday 24th October. A FREE seat can be booked by following this link:
Reboot stock a great range of products to support many dimensions of gut health. Talk to the Reboot Team to discuss how best to approach your concerns. To browse online, follow this link:
Written by Sarah Grant of Gut Reaction, nutritional therapist and wellbeing coach www.gutreaction.co.uk 07974 221 994.