The 9to5 Foodie’s Guide To Health And Wellness: Gut Health


by Lucie Lemay |
Published on

So far in our quest to debunk 2016’s hottest diet trends we’ve looked at the Juice Cleanse) and the Alkaline Diet to find out whether they’re worth the hype. This week we’re quite literally going with our gut and taking a look into gut health.

Brought to fame by the Hemsley sisters in 2015, gut health is due to go mainstream this year. Sauerkraut is fast becoming a fridge staple and with the likes of bone broth now being sold in Pret a Manger, everyone seems to be obsessed with topping up their bodies good bacteria and working on their gut health.

So, is gut health really the key to good health or is it just another over hyped marketing ploy? Let’s take a look.

Trend: Gut Health

What Does 'Gut Health' Mean?

Our gut is often called our second brain as it not only controls our digestive system but also impacts everything from our skin radiance and immune system to our overall health and mood.

What’s more, the gut is filled with good bacteria! In fact, our gut has 10 times more good bacteria than all the other cells in our body, and this is used to keep our digestive organ in working order. When the gut is put under unusually high levels of stress and strain our gut flora can become damaged. When this happens the whole body can suddenly become susceptible to a whole range of health concerns, from mood swings to a depleted immune system.

And it’s not just a cheeky takeaway after a night out that puts additional strain on our digestive system. Today our bodies are put through much more pressure, from processed foods, daily stress and sadly just general modern life. So, it’s no surprise that this organ may need a little extra TLC.

Is Gut Health Worth The Hype?

Quite frankly, yes it is. There’s no doubt that the gut plays a major role in the workings of our body, so ensuring we give it the best shot to do its job is fundamental. We ingest so many forms of bad bacteria each day, and to top it off our bacteria levels also become increasingly depleted due to our stressful lifestyles.

With the gut controlling 75% of our immune system, it’s no surprise then when it’s not up and running properly you can quickly become ill. Poor gut health has not only been linked to the common cold, but diabetes, IBS, obesity, arthritis, chronic fatigue and even depression. So it really is crucial for everyone to give this organ more love.

What Foods Help A Healthy Gut? What About Your Gut And Anxiety?

Sadly, there is no quick fix for this. Improving the health of this organ and helping to rebalance your bacteria levels is an on going process.

Stress plays a large role, but unsurprisingly this is one of the hardest one to crack. Finding ways to help you de-stress will not only do wonders for your gut, but also for your overall wellbeing. Take a walk, meditate or start cooking, anything which helps you step away from general daily stresses.

Luckily, food can help too and the simplest first step is starting to take a good quality probiotic. Probiotics help to ‘top up’ the good bacteria in your body; this will help with bloating, digestion, IBS as well as your general health. That being said, you should never rely on supplements alone to provide key nutrients.

It’s just as important to heal your gut through diet. The best thing to help rebalance the bacteria in your stomach is to eat foods full of bacteria. I’m not talking about risking it with out of date foods, I mean eating naturally fermented foods that are filled with good bacteria. For the beginners, yogurt is a great place to start. Dairy and non-dairy yogurts contain cultures that can help boost the good bacteria in your digestive system. For the more advanced foodie, sauerkraut and kimchi are very potent fermented foods that contain a wealth of good bacteria and once you get used to their quite ‘pickled’ taste they’re actually really delicious. And finally we couldn’t talk about gut health without mentioning the mighty bone broth. Packed full of vitamins and minerals, a mug of this elixir will help get your gut back on track in no time!

Gut Health Verdict: Fact

Gut health is here to stay! Make sure you come back next week when we’ll be looking into the hype around Matcha Green Tea.

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