Did you know your gut is full of bacteria, viruses, and fungi? This collection of microscopic microorganisms is called the gut microbiome and is vital to your wellbeing. There are approximately 1000 species of bacteria in the human gut microbiome, most of them of which play a vital role in supporting your health. In fact, they may weigh approximately 1-2kg!
Why is gut health important?
The gut is fundamental to all aspects of health. As you may be aware, the gut is where food is broken down and nutrients are absorbed. A healthy gut microbiome contains a mix of good bacteria and immune cells that help to fight off pathogens. Your gut also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones which helps to maintain overall wellbeing. So if you digestive system isn’t functioning well, you can experience a range of health problems. Research indicates that there is link between poor gut health and mood issues, autoimmune, endocrine disorders, and skin conditions.
How do I know if my gut is unhealthy?
Several factors can influence the health of your gut. A number of facets such as high levels of stress, poor diet (high in sugar and processed foods) and taking antibiotics can throw the gut microbiome off balance. When your gut is unhealthy, it is not uncommon to experience:
- Stomach upset: Symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, and heartburn are all common.
- Weight fluctuations: An unhealthy gut can impact the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar and store fat.
- Sleep disturbances: Gut issues impact the quality of your sleep and lead to fatigue.
- Skin irritations: Scientists have found that skin conditions such as eczema and acne can be linked to poor gut functioning.
The Gut Skin Axis
The microbiome is thought to play an important role in a variety of skin issues. Scientists have found that quite often, skin diseases such as acne vulgaris, dandruff, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis are often accompanied by an altered gut microbiome. The idea that the gut and skin are connected are not new. In fact, traditional Chinese medicine has a gut-centric approach to health and disease.
The gut is thought to interact with the skin in several ways, such as:
- The absorption of nutrients having a direct effect on the skin.
- The absorption of nutrients impacting hormonal changes, which can lead to skin dysfunction.
- The influence of the gut microbiota on the immune system.
What else can I do to improve gut health?
There are several things you can do to keep your gut in top shape. To stay healthy, try:
- Lowering stress levels: Chronic stress is tough on your whole body, including your gut. Regul8 Relax is a great natural supplement to help keep you calm and aid gut health.
- Eating slowly: Chewing food slowly and mindfully promotes digestion and absorption of nutrients, which in turn reduces digestive discomfort.
- Watch your diet: Reducing the amount of processed, high-sugar, high-fat foods you eat can help improve your gut health.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can have a beneficial effect on the mucosal lining of the intestines and the balance of good bacteria in the gut.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can not only help reduce stress, it can also help you maintain a healthy weight and have a positive influence on gut health. Studies have found that regular exercise promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut which produces fatty acid, butyrate. Butyrate can promote the repair of the gut lining and reduce inflammation.
- Ensuring you get adequate sleep: Quality sleep is important for healthy gut functioning. People who sleep poorly often experience gut disturbances.
Foods for good gut health
- Whole grains: Whole grains such as barley, brown rice and buckwheat are ideal for supporting gut health. They provide nutrients and fibre to help keep your digestive system functioning efficiently.
- Leafy greens: Greens such as spinach and kale are great sources of fibre and nutrients such as folate, vitamin C & K. Research has found that leafy greens also contain a sugar that helps to fuel to growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
- Fermented food: Many fermented foods such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir and tempeh are rich in lactobacilli, a type of good bacteria that can have a positive effect on your health.
- Prebiotic foods: Prebiotics are foods that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Great prebiotic foods to add to your diet include garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, leek, asparagus, bananas and oats.
Regul8’s Digestive Tune-Up
The Regul8 range is specially formulated to restore and nurture gut health. Regul8’s products feature a carefully selected blend of gut-friendly herbal ingredients to help you improve your health. The Digestive Tune-Up is a herbal-based three-step process that cleanses, soothes, and repairs the gastrointestinal system, and it a great choice if you are looking for a natural solution to improve your gut health. It is designed to remove unwanted organisms, soothe irritations, and aid sustainable gut health with its micro-encapsulated probiotics.