Trust Your Gut

Paying close attention to your gut is imperative to your holistic health.

There is a clear connection between your gut health and the occurrence of disease in your body, as your gut contains 75% of your immune system. When you get sick, you should pay close attention to what your gut needs. As Hippocrates said, “Death begins in the gut.”

In order for your gut to remain healthy, its microbiota population - which is made up of trillions of cells including viruses, bacteria and fungi - needs to have access to good bacteria and be without intrusive amounts of bad bacteria.

 

When your microbiota is out of balance, dysbiosis occurs. Dysbiosis exposes your body to several negative effects as the bad bacteria produces endotoxins in the body called lipopolysaccharides (LPS) that can leak through your gut lining and enter your bloodstream. This can negatively affect your body in the following ways:

Brain function

Decreases dopamine and serotonin levels, which can affect your short term memory and increase depressive episodes.

Gastrointestinal tract

Causes leaky gut syndrome and decreases villi in the intestine, which can lead to malabsorption.

Thyroid gland

Decreases TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) and T4 to T3 conversion, which lowers your metabolic rate, resulting in weight gain.

Kidneys

Decreases excretion of chemicals, resulting in your body being unable to expel toxins safely.

Weight gain

Increases levels of ghrelin – the hunger hormone - and decreases leptin, which is the hormone that informs your body that you are full.

Liver

Limits detoxification processes, thus weakening the liver’s ability to filter out harmful materials.

Adrenals

Increases cortisol levels, inflammation and, in turn, oxidative stress in your body.

There are many ways that an overgrowth of bad bacteria can cause extensive damage to your body. Luckily, there are also many ways in which you can increase the good bacteria in your gut…and it all starts in the kitchen.

By eating a wide variety of healthy foods, you can nurture a more diverse microbiome in your gut. The more diverse the microbiome, the healthier your gut is. Try eating fermented, probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt, kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut, which are high in lactobacilli - a type of bacteria that’s beneficial to your gut health. Additionally, consume high fibre foods that are rich in prebiotics to feed the good bacteria, such as flaxseeds, bananas, garlic, onions, and soybeans.

Looking for quality probiotic and prebiotic support to supplement your gut-friendly diet?

By Vashti Pedro

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vashti Pedro is a naturopathic practitioner graduate from the University of the Western Cape (UWC). She is passionate about nutrition and balancing the body, mind and soul.

 

“Wellness Warehouse strives to help you live life well but because we are retailers and not medical practitioners we cannot offer medical advice. Please always consult your medical practitioner before taking any supplements, complementary medicines or have any health concerns and ensure that you always read labels, warnings and directions carefully, prior to consumption.”