Heal your Aching Gut
The gut is a complex organ that works side by side with the immune system. Along with all the other organ systems we have in our bodies, they play an essential role in keeping us alive and healthy.
The sad reality is that the ageing population is at risk for a plethora of chronic health problems which include digestive issues. This unfortunate consequence of getting old may be largely due to the changes in the integrity and declining health of ageing cells and tissues. But, it could also be from poor lifestyle habits like lack of exercise and poor diet.
It might be easy to lay aside and forget about gut health when you are busy at work or taking care of your home and kids, but it is important to keep it in check.
If you experience bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or irritable bowel, you may have a gut problem that needs to be healed. This blog post will go over some of the simple things that you can do to avoid and deal with these problematic conditions. Read on for some helpful tips.
What is a gut, and what does it do
Our gut is responsible for helping us with energy production and keeping our body into working order. It breaks down the molecules from foods that we consume, so it absorbs all of the nutrients and mineralsthat can support a healthy lifestyle and more! Without them, not only can we feel sluggish or lacking energy but also experience hormone imbalance and skin problems like acne or even mental health issues such as anxiety. The gut also aids us from eliminating toxins and waste in our system.
As a matter of fact, our gut’s job doesn’t stop at just breaking the food down; its main responsibility is to house 70% of the immune system. It has a crucial role in maintaining the stability of the immune system. For example, by controlling how fluid and gasses such as water or oxygen pass through the gastrointestinal (GI) membrane or orienting how the immune system responds to the contents of the GI tract.
The importance of the microbiome
Every day the microorganisms in your body work to keep you alive. Microbes, also referred to as microbiomes, are so small it would take thousands of them lined up head-to-tail (or whatever body parts they have) just to span an inch! Here’s another way to see it but an average microbe can be a million times smaller compared to the average human.
Besides the microbes that can make us ill, we have trillions of other microbiomes and they exist everywhere in our skin--on our fingertips, toes, hands, and even all the way inside our gut where 95% live there peacefully.
These microbiomes do many things that help us function properly. We would not have a working immune system without exposure to these microbes nor be able to properly digest nutrients from the food that we eat without them living in our gut. Pretty cool, right? Not only the benefits of microbiota involve digesting nutrients from food but they also break down food compounds that can be toxic and aid in the synthesis of vitamins B and K for instance.
But we still know very little about these tiny creatures or even what their role is because they’re always changing which makes studying this field harder than ever before - although scientists are working towards solving some mysteries soon enough (fingers crossed!).
How to heal your gut with probiotics
Now that we know how microbiota is crucial to our health, you might be wondering how we get them and get enough of them to survive.
Well, it's not that hard to find them. Microbiomes that are made up of good bacteria and/or yeast live in the body. When we get an infection, the bad bacteria are more abundant than the good ones; knocking the balance between them. To reduce the number of bad bacteria, it is recommended to add more good bacteria. Probiotic-supplements are a good way to add the good bacteria that we want in our body.
Think of it this way, probiotics keeps the body in neutral and in homeostasis. We might not be aware of it but this balancing function of probiotics happens in our bodies all the time.
Where do beneficial probiotics (microbes) live in my body?
The most common place for beneficial microbes to reside is our gut. Other locations include the following:
- Urinary/vaginal tract
Foods that are good for your gut
One major source of probiotics are fermented or cultured dairy products. See the list below for some examples:
Kefir is a drink that originated in the Caucasus and has been popular for many centuries. It is made by fermenting either a cow, goat or sheep milk with kefir grains to produce one of the oldest beverages packed full of good bacteria.
The name "kefir" comes from the fermentation process, possibly from the Old Turkic word köpür '(milk).
Kimchi is one of many delicious and popular dishes originating from Korea. It consists of pickled vegetables with a mixture based primarily on red chili pepper paste (gochujang) mixed with soy sauce, fish or oyster stock, vegetarian broth powder such as miso or gochukaru (Korean chile bean sauce), garlic cloves fried until golden-brown and ginger root sliced into thin rounds.
This spicy and tangy cabbage dish has high levels of probiotics, making it an excellent choice for those seeking better digestive and immune health.
Kombucha is a fascinating ancient beverage that was first brewed in China and spread to Japan. It became popular among Europeans during the early 20th century, although it still remains fairly niche outside of Asia where many people enjoy its refreshing taste on hot days. After World War II, it became an alternative to beer which had become scarce due to rationing.
The microbes found in kombucha have lactic acid-producing, probiotic properties. It's said to help digestion and get rid of toxins--boosting energy levels in the process. Advocates say that it can also prevent hypertension and certain heart disease. However, more evidence supporting these claims are needed.
Whenever you hear the word miso, what comes to mind? Chances are you are thinking of miso soup. And it makes sense—miso soup is a common staple in sushi bars and Asian fusion restaurants. It is made from soybeans, which contain lots of protein and other essential nutrients that contribute to a healthy diet.
Miso soup isn't just a tasty meal; several scientific studies support the claim that miso can actually make the gut healthier! It contains the probiotic A. oryzae, which aids in reducing the risk of constipation, inflammatory bowel disease (IDS), nausea or vomiting, and other digestive problems.
Nattō is a favorite dish in Japan among some of the most discerning palates. Made from fermented soybeans and healthy bacteria, it's often served with rice for breakfast or as an appetizer to sushi dishes.
With its strong smell that has been described by many people as "stinky eggs," this dish may not be everyone's cup of tea; however, its taste seems to blend well when paired with flavourings and condiments like vinegar which complements the mildly sweet flavor.
In natto, soybeans are fermented by Bacillus subtilis. This is a spore probiotic bacterial species not found in other probiotic foods and an important natural resident of the healthy human gut, which has been shown to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria while inhibiting potentially harmful microbes.
Fermented Green Pickles
You may have never known this, but the green pickle is a powerful probiotic.
Fermented green pickles are, in fact, considered as a probiotic food, containing beneficial strains of bacteria that, if consumed as necessary, can contribute to the balance and condition of our gut microbiome.
Sauerkraut has been praised for its delicious taste, but there are other reasons to love it. It's not just a food that will make you feel good because of how great your belly feels after eating some, as research says this fermented cabbage dish also provides antioxidant and anti cancer benefits as well!
For centuries, humans have harnessed the power of microorganisms to produce tasty and nutritious fermented foods. The microbes responsible for sauerkraut production are Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Pediococcus and Enterococcus among others.
Among these microbes contributing to sauerkraut production are believed to be beneficial and have been purported to serve as gut probiotics that contribute to human health and stability of human microbiomes.
Tempeh is a soy-based food known for probiotics and high protein content which help promote healthy digestion. It has an appealing firm texture that makes it perfect for use in many different dishes.
But, its versatility doesn't stop there. The fermentation process tempers the strong buttery flavour of the beans to create a signature tanginess while maintaining their nutritional value unchanged from tofu or any other meat alternative on your favourite vegetarian menu!
Traditional buttermilk is a by-product of churning butter out of cream. It has some probiotic benefits, the most common being Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria that can aid in digestion and improve the function of the immune system to ward off infection.
Take note however, that it should be the real traditional buttermilk because processed, cultured ones may be too processed to have enough probiotic left in it or may have so many additives in it such as potassium sorbate, natural flavours (which are often used as food flavourings), sodium benzoate, guar gum which helps thicken foods without adding fat; and xanthan gum which stabilizes emulsions such as salad dressings.
Yogurt is a tasty and healthy choice that has many health benefits. It has been around for centuries and was first introduced by nomadic tribesmen. The process to make yogurt includes culturing and fermenting milk with friendly bacteria. In fact, there are two key ingredients in yogurt production: milk and live cultures of good bacteria. These two required cultures are for microorganisms called Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, as well as several optional ones.
Fermented milk products like yoghurt are one of the best sources of probiotics. What they can do for our health is amazing!
Ways to relieve constipation naturally
Constipation is a common problem that can be caused by many different things. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to relieve constipation naturally without the use of laxatives or medications.
Eat more vegetables
Greens are not only good sources of fiber and folate, they also add bulk to your stool. These vital nutrients help to add bulk and weight to stools so they can pass more easily through your digestive system. Other fat-burning, bone strengthening greens that make up the cruciferous family (such as broccoli) are also rich sources of vitamins C & K.
Add fiber-rich foods like beans, oatmeal, and whole grains to your diet
Eating foods high in dietary fiber can have a long list of benefits. It can not only help with bowel movements but also lower the risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Although a lot of research is still needed, some say that fibers, also known as roughage, helps by reducing the accumulation of fat on artery walls, which restricts blood flow to vital organs such as the brain and kidneys. It may also improve skin health because certain fibers can help remove toxins from our bodies that result in acne or dryness.
It can also help someone lose weight through its ability to increase feelings of satiety with less calories ingested - much like how artificial sweeteners do without all those added chemicals.
Fiber comes in two varieties: soluble and insoluble. Both types are important, but the type we need most is called soluble fiber - it's found in foods like oatmeal, beans, nuts and barley; this helps to control blood sugar levels by reducing cholesterol. Insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water so they may be less attractive on their own as a home-cooked meal ingredient because of its lack of taste or texture appeal when cooked with other ingredients that contain more flavor such as carrots or tomatoes for instance!
Food sources rich in soluble fiber include:
- Citrus fruits
Food sources rich in insoluble fiber include:
- Green beans
- Wheat bran
- Whole grains
- Whole-wheat flour
Keep in mind, however, that the amount of fiber (both soluble and insoluble) varies from different food sources/plant foods. To maximize the health benefit you can get, choose a wide variety of high-fiber foods.
Investing in a high-fiber diet can help you maintain your optimum health. Fiber helps move quickly and relatively easily through the digestive tract, which is essential for its proper function. It has been shown to normalize bowel movements, maintain bowel health, lower cholesterol levels and control blood sugar levels - all important factors for preventing the onset or recurrence of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, lower risk of obesity, and cancer.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
Drinking more fluids may not magically cure your constipation, but it can make passing a bowel movement easier. If you are experiencing diarrhea or stomach cramps as well, consult with a medical professional to determine the underlying cause of constipation and what treatments might be appropriate for you. To stay hydrated, drink plenty of water throughout the day so that you have enough fluid in your body to soften up stools and help them pass through easily.
Simply getting up and moving can help promote bowel movement. A regular walking plan -- even 10 to 15 minutes several times a day can play an important role in keeping the body and digestive system functioning at their best.
You can also try aerobic exercise or running and jogging if you are allowed to. Being active and regular exercise are proven to keep gut health strong by stimulating blood flow throughout the entire gastrointestinal tract while also maximizing bowel movements per week. Stretching may also help ease constipation as well as yoga.
Use a sitz bath or take a warm bath with Epsom salts to relieve constipation
Epsom salt is a crystallized form of magnesium sulfate that people use as a traditional remedy for many ailments, including constipation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approves the use of Epsom salt as a laxative to help someone have bowel movements when they are temporarily constipated.
Reading the instructions is important when using Epsom salt for constipation, as there are different recommendations depending on what the person's needs may be. The amount of water and salts used can vary between products, so it is vital to read all labels before use.
Epsom salt helps with constipation because it attracts more fluid to the bowel and stretches out intestines. However, there are some risks involved that may not be worth taking if you have a chronic illness or old age-related medical condition such as heart disease or diabetes.
Doctors suggest using Epsom salts for treating conditions like constipation when they find nothing else is working, but caution against doing so in certain situations such as having cancer, Crohn's Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Ulcerative Colitis, Parkinson’s Disease Alzheimer's Dementia which can lead to dehydration from excessive use of laxatives.
Try an enema for severe cases when other methods are ineffective (do this only under medical supervision)
An enema is a common procedure in which liquid or gas is inserted into the rectum, located at the end of your large intestine. It can be used to treat certain medical conditions and also for an examination after someone has had surgery.
It should not be randomly or regularly used for health reasons as this can cause serious side effects such as incontinence and dehydration.
Use supplements with probiotics
If you want to maintain a healthy weight, take care of your digestive system--and promote the right gut bacteria in doing so--try our product Total Gut Solution. We use scientifically-proven ingredients that work on the gastrointestinal tract for incredible results. Coupled with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and other healthy habits, you can promote healthy digestion.
What you need to know about Helicobacter pylori
Helicobacter pylori, sometimes called H. pylori, is a bacterium that thrives in the inner lining of our stomach, causing common stomach infections. They are rod shaped Gram negative anaerobic organisms which thrive best within layer one or two cells deep in the stomach lining—within this region they have plenty of proteins with which to grow their cell membrane.
H. Pylori infections
Most H. Pylori infections occur in childhood and usually last a lifetime unless it is treated. Also, some people infected with the bacterium don't have any symptoms or health problems related to this bacteria. Some people who carry the bug live their lives without being aware of its presence. They experience stomach pain, nausea or vomiting as well as an inflammation of inner lining tissue on your stomach called gastritis and ulcers in the stomach.
Your Gut Deserves More!
The gut is a complex part of the body that doesn’t get much attention, but it deserves more. It starts with digestion and ends in our immune system. In between those two points are trillions of bacteria which have a crucial role to play in human health. It is time to take care of them! Putting these tips into action can help you heal your gut from inside out.
If you suffer from any digestive issues or chronic pain, chances are your gut could use some healing too! Luckily for us, there are many ways we can heal our guts – including taking probiotics, eating specific foods like yogurt and kimchi, drinking plenty of water and practicing stress reduction techniques such as meditation or yoga. All this information about how to relieve constipation naturally will help you feel better right away!
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