Your Gut - The Ecosystem

Thursday, 10 May 2018 2:44:33 pm Pacific/Auckland

Thanks to our amazing naturopath Vanessa Vujcich for this article. Our guts are one clever part of our body, take care of them! Vanessa is available for appointments at Huckleberry's The Nest if you would like to talk to her about a specific issue. 

Your gut is a complex ecosystem of bacteria, yeasts, fungi and other microbes unique to you in terms of bacterial species and strain diversity. Up to 80% of your immune system is located in your digestive system, meaning there is a strong connection between gut health and overall health! We've listed some ways to support this important organ to help you do just that...

Fermented Foods

The word probiotic means ‘promoting life’. Fermented foods are a natural source of probiotics and foods such as sauerkraut, kefir (which means to feel good), tempeh, kimchi, natto, yoghurt and kombucha contain high numbers of beneficial bacteria, yeasts and organic acids. Eaten daily these foods are a great way to maintain a healthy gut.

Glutamine

Sauerkraut also contains high levels of glutamine, an amino acid that promotes a strong gut membrane. Having a strong gut membrane ensures toxins, undigested food and bacteria do not leak through the gut wall and into the bloodstream. Subsequent inflammation and damage to the gut wall can create tiny holes in the lining leading to a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome. Bone broth is a superfood containing key nutrients that nourish the gut. It is rich in the amino acids glutamine, glycine and proline, which provide the fuel that intestinal cells require to support healing and repair. Glutamine is also available in supplements formulated specifically for digestive care.

Probiotics & Prebiotics

We are meant to have a diverse range of bacteria in our guts but certain factors can upset the balance between the good and the bad bugs. Supplementing with a probiotic supports acute conditions such as tummy bugs and helps rebalance the bowel flora after a course of antibiotics. These formulas contain high numbers of bacteria which replenish the bowel quickly. Since their discovery in the early 20th century, research has shown that probiotics have health benefits that influence many biological functions and that specific strains can influence immunity, digestion, mood, weight and even skin.

Some formulas include prebiotics with probiotics. Prebiotics feed your friendly bacteria and increase their effectiveness.

Talking to one of our friendly in-store naturopaths can help determine which probiotic is right for you. Whether it is a capsule, powder or fermented superfood combining probiotics, prebiotics and raw wholefoods, there is something to suit everyone’s needs.

Posted in Naturopath Advice By

Gemma Fitzpatrick

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