Go With Your Gut
The benefits of a healthy gut go far beyond making individuals feel more energetic and maintaining a healthy weight.
There is a growing body of research that the gut bacteria that we host in our bodies plays a vital role in many physiological processes. The integrity of the tract walls which absorb nutrients is also essential and damage to it may lead to a higher risk of many different diseases including diabetes and cancer.
What Is the GI Tract?
The gastrointestinal tract runs from the mouth right down to the anus where waste products are excreted. It consists of the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines and colon.
As food is pushed through this organ through muscle contractions, it is digested and the useful nutrients are absorbed through the wall and used to feed our bodies. Glands in the stomach produce enzymes and acids that help break down food at different stages of the tract.
In addition to this, there is a vast array of bacteria in our gut that further help to digest the food.
What Is the Gut Microbiome?
The gut microbiome is the collection of gut bacteria and other microorganisms that inhabit areas like the stomach and which are involved in helping to break down food.
There are thousands of different types of bacteria, some considered ‘friendly’, others that can adversely affect our health, and they number in their trillions. These are living organisms that can either thrive or suffer a demise depending on what we eat.
There are various factors that can affect the fine balance of the gut microbiome. For instance:
- Our propensity for eating processed foods is thought to promote unhealthy bacteria over healthy ones.
- Medications such as pain killers can impact the microbiome in a variety of ways, many of them to the detriment of our overall health.
- Even stress can have an impact on the health of our gut microbiome.
The gut lining is almost as important as the bacteria that live in the digestive system. If it is damaged in any way, this can mean those essential nutrients are not absorbed properly. This can happen, for example, if we drink too much or eat the wrong foods. Chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome are not uncommon in modern society and much of it has to do with our lifestyles and the nutrition choices we make.
The Gut-Brain Axis
A recent study demonstrated the link between neurons and glial cells and how they can affect gut motility and it’s well known now that glial cells play an integral role in the gut nervous system as a whole.
How to Maintain a Healthy Gut
Paying more attention to our gut microbiome is more important in the modern world than it has ever been. Making lifestyle changes to promote healthy bacteria not only helps repair damaged intestinal walls but can have a long-lasting and profound impact on health and wellbeing.
There are simple but effective ways in which individuals can do this. The first is to eat a balanced, healthy diet:
- Introducing fresh foods, including fruit and vegetables, into the diet helps provide the fuel that healthy bacteria are looking for.
- Reducing alcohol intake, cutting out processed foods and taking regular exercise can stop the proliferation of bad bacteria in our gut microbiome.
- Many foods such as yoghurt, kefir, kimchi and other fermented foods like sauerkraut can add healthy bacteria to our gut.
- Adding plenty of different colours to meals ensures that there is a rich diversity, something that healthy bacteria love.
- Finally, putting more fiber into the diet is essential as it’s one of the key ingredients that healthy bacteria need to proliferate.
The Miskawaan Way
We will get to the root cause of your symptoms through an individual diagnosis. The goal is to maintain or restore the health of your gut so that you are healthy and energetic.
At Miskawaan Health Group, we work with you to balance the composition of your gut microbiome and achieve optimal health and wellbeing with IV treatments developed by Miskawaan.
The content above is based on the information featured in the article linked below.
The author of the article is Dr Ross Walker, one of Australia’s most esteemed cardiologists and a member of the Miskawaan Medical Advisory board.