A gut feeling..
5 steps toward better gut health
(and a healthier you)
One of the most significant things you can do for your health in the world we live in now, is to get your gut in healthy working order.
Put simply, improving the health of your gut is essential for your body's ability to absorb the nutrients and vitamins found in the food you eat and for that food to be used as fuel.
TAKE A HOLISTIC APPROACH..
It’s very easy to run straight to the pharmacy and buy the first quick-fix we’re shown for stomach cramps or wind. There are literally hundreds of brightly packaged bottles, well stocked on the shelves with photographs of flat tummies or catchy slogans about indigestion or bloating. But when we blanket a symptom with a cocktail of harsh chemicals with titles we can’t pronounce, we need to remember that these symptoms are only one part of a bigger picture, within our health profile.
When we look a little further into gut health, we find that it's more than just digestion and our tummy. Approaching gut health in this holistic manner uncovers a centre where many pathways and modalities meet.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) refers to the gut as our body's 'second brain', it's where our hormones are made and it's where some may locate the centre of our intuition. The effectiveness of our body's immune system is also reliant on a functional healthy, happy tummy.
2. BALANCE THE GOOD WITH THE BAD..
When there is an imbalance of bad bacteria (flora) within the gut, the body will show clear signs. Symptoms of a gut that has more bad bacteria than good, is often reflected as bad breath, bloating, constipation and regular nausea.
But it’s not just physical symptoms we experience when it comes to poor gut health. The condition of our internal digestive system also plays an integral role in how we feel, the quality of the sleep and the quality of our thoughts - ultimately flowing into the picture of how we truly experience life.
Have you observed how you really feel after eating poor quality foods like cheap takeaway or foods that are void of freshness and variety?
The mind is less sharp..
The amount of energy in the body and brain is reduced..
The quality and depth of sleep is lacking..
And the vibrancy of our thought patterns aren’t glowing..
So, here are some natural ways we can increase the good bacteria ourselves:
Taking a practitioner grade prebiotic and probiotic, along with consuming a well balanced diet will help to bring the microbial levels within the gut ecosystem back to natural harmony.
Eating a diet that is high in plant proteins, fresh fruit, a wide variety of vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and good healthy fats along with plenty of clean, purified water will allow your system the time to replenish that good bacteria.
Limiting gluten, animal fats, animal proteins, processed foods, carcinogens, artificial sugars and chemical fillers that are found so commonly in packaged foods, will naturally allow your digestive system the break it needs to find the balance it is ultimately wanting to hold.
Be aware of side-effects. All medication (prescribed or otherwise) will have some effect on one or more areas of your body, long after a course of medication has ended. Working in conjunction with modern medicine and learning how to naturally support your body whilst taking any medications, will give you the fighting chance to bounce back stronger in terms of trace mineral depletion, re-balancing altered hormonal levels and replenishing good bacteria levels in the gut.
(Think about the uncomfortable conditions one can often experience after taking an anti-biotic. This is a well known and highly common side-effect experienced by so many women and shows us how anti-biotics play a huge role in the imbalance of good and bad flora in our gut (and just how easy it can be altered, even changing the pH levels of our sensitive areas!).
3. A PROCESS OF ELIMINATION..
Eliminating certain foods from your diet is another way of identifying the foods that aggravate your digestive system.
Starting with one food category, like dairy or gluten and taking it out of your diet for a minimum of 3-4 weeks, will allow you to reset your digestion.
By slowly re-introducing the particular food item after an adequate break, you’ll soon be able to tune in with your body’s responses and identify if it is in fact a food group that allows you to thrive, or one that compromises your health profile, therefore one to avoid.
This process of elimination, choosing to remove one particular food item at a time, means the body is given the time and the chance to heal, giving you greater insight into which foods to limit or avoid all together.
4. REGULAR COLONICS - THE ULTIMATE SPRING CLEAN..
You may have recently heard of colon hydrotherapy, but this trend is not new. Traditional colon irrigation dates back to 1500 BC, found in a medical document in Egypt called the 'Ebers Papyrus', which described the benefits of colon cleansing.
It was then commonly used among European populations to assist with maintenance and promotion of overall health. Enemas were frequently used for the treatment of fever, anxiety and illness.
Over time, the body's ability to eliminate waste smoothly and efficiently can be compromised by factors such as pregnancy + childbirth, sitting for long periods of time each day (office work), and eating a diet of fried and fatty foods.
With deeper research and the improvement of modern technology, Colon Hydrotherapy treatments have also improved.
This widely practised and commonly used treatment for gut health consists of warm, purified water being used to break down the build up of faecal matter inside the colon. The steady flow of water causes the colon to contract, flushing out the fluids and waste through a second tube, allowing optimum elimination of what the body no longer needs in a gentle and discrete way.
A safer and less drastic alternative to laxatives, one will often notice less bloating immediately after experiencing a colonic.
COLONIC VS ENEMA + LAXATIVES
What's the difference?
Biodynamic Colonics are designed to cleanse, hydrate, and re-tone the entire length of the large intestine, about 180cm, whereas an enema only reaches the lower part of the colon or about 30cm. Laxatives often contain drugs and chemicals that irritate the walls of the colon and are known for dehydrating the bowel instead of hydrating the system.
5. STRESS LESS
We know, easier said than done right? It’s even easy to get stressed about being stressed which only sees us spiralling further into a pressure filled ball of tension.
But to simplify, stress really does have a long lasting effect on the physical health of our body, and the sooner we realise what contributes to and alleviates us from this stress, the better.
Find where you feel most free.
This is usually a place or moment where we are our least stressed Self. Walking in nature, being in the company of our loved ones and pets, taking a relaxing bath by ourselves or booking ourselves in for a long overdue massage are great ways to reduce the stress hormone production in our bodies, and the worry and anxiety that comes along with stress.
Regularly implementing methods and ways to reduce stress, like yoga and meditation or simply turning your phone off and walking along the beach with your feet in the sand will have a dramatic affect on your stress levels and overall well-being. Doing these regularly and inviting them into your routine will make for a very happy, healthy gut and a very happy, healthy body.
A WELL BALANCED YOU
When you focus on healing the gut first, the other areas naturally fall into alignment. This renewal of total health within the body will flow into total health within the mind and ultimately into total wellness balance of life.
Headaches, skin problems, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating/excessive wind and brain fog are all common symptoms of a clogged and toxic system.
You'll notice the strength of your immune system improves dramatically, because it isn't being compromised with disharmonious microbial levels and it can get to work on fighting disease the way it is designed to.
Your skin will look brighter, concentration levels will improve, and you'll sleep better.. and what's better than total body health?
Take control of your health from the inside out - it all begins in the gut.
..yours in wellness, eco babe xox
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