When you set that resolution to “get healthy” in 2019, chances are, you didn’t think about the importance of your gut health?
Happy gut, happy life. It sounds silly, but it’s true – some of the health concerns you’re struggling with (whether it’s allergies, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, dementia and more) could be attributed to your digestive health. See, our gut wall houses 70 per cent of the cells that make up our immune system, so when something’s messing with our gut flora, any number of health issues could arise.
When considering your gut health, it’s obviously important to consider the types of foods you are putting into your body. For example, do you know the difference between your probiotics and your prebiotics? Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system as they keep your gut healthy. You can find probiotics in supplements and some foods, like yogurt, miso, sauerkraut and kimchi. Dietary prebiotics, however, are typically non-digestible fibre compounds that pass undigested through the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract and stimulate the growth or activity of those advantageous gut bacteria. In short, prebiotics feed our healthy gut bacteria.
While considering your food intake, don’t forget that liquids are important too. It goes without saying that increasing your health means decreasing your alcoholic intake, but have you also considered the water you drink? According to Pure Water Systems, did you know the chlorine in your tap water could be damaging to your gut health?
“In Australia, our town water is treated to ensure it is safe to drink,” explains Angela Healy from Pure Water Systems. “The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines allow our water to be treated with up to 33 different chemicals including chlorine, ammonia, copper sulphate and fluoride, however, chlorine is designed to kill bacteria – the good and the bad.” explains Angela Healy from Pure Water Systems.
Tips on how to improve your gut health:
- Eat more vegetables – they provide the nutrients and fibre you need
- Probiotics – supplements are great but remember you can get natural probiotics from yoghurt and fermented foods
- Prebiotics – prebiotic foods provide food for the healthy bacteria in our gut eg. bananas, onion, garlic, brussels sprouts, broccoli, whole grains and other fruits
- Drink less alcohol
- Drink filtered water to protect good bacteria in your gut
- Reduce your junk food intake