7 signs of a poor gut and 7 ways to improve it
Our gut does more than just digest and process the food we eat, a good gut could make the difference between how healthy and happy you are.
· 70% of our immune systems is within the gut
· 90% of our serotonin (the chemical which makes us happy) is within the gut.
Good gut bacteria help digest food and is the first line of defence against disease and infection. A person has about 3-500 varieties of good gut bacteria in the digestive track that help us digest and process our food and provide a first line of defence against disease and infection.
Research is uncovering new benefits of the effects of good gut bacteria all the time and a recent study from the Flemish Gut Flora Project, found that people with low levels of good bacteria tended to suffer more from low moods and depression. This makes sense as gut microbes produce neurotransmitters that are crucial for good mental health.
And it doesn’t stop there, having a healthy gut has been linked to good quality skin, increased energy, lower stress levels and weightloss. Also, as we get older the number of the varieties of bacteria lessen, weakening our digestive system. We can manage the impact of this taking care to ensure that the good bacteria outweigh the bad and consistently maintaining good gut health
Here are 7 common signs that indicate an unhealthy gut.
1) Upset stomach
2) High sugar diet
3) Fluctuations in weight – gaining or losing
4) Disturbed sleep or constant fatigue
5) Skin irritation
6) Inflammation – low immune system
7) Food intolerance.
Below are 7 steps you can take to counteract an unhealthy gut. It is always advisable to seek medical advice in the first instance.
1) Add Fibre in your diet. Fibre helps the digestion and clears waste effectively. Foods high in fibre include wholegrains, oats, berries, pears, melons, broccoli, carrots and nuts
2) Increase your good gut bacteria with probiotic supplements
3) Add prebiotics daily to you diets either naturally or through supplements. Prebiotics are found in foods like leeks, onions, garlic, chicory, beans and cold potatoes. Try and source organic foods where possible.
4) Cut down on sugar and rich foods. These foods feed the natural yeast in our gut causing an overwhelm to the friendly gut flora and leading to fatigue
5) Drink plenty of water. Water aids digestion and absorption of essential vitamins and minerals.
6) Massage. Massaging your stomach two hours after eating helps.
7) Manage stress. Stress causes and increase in the hormone known as cortisol which can change the blood flow and secretions in the gut leading to the production of bad bacteria.