The Importance of Gut Health

The Importance of Gut Health

Believe it or not, today many of the most common diseases we have, are caused because of an unhealthy gut. Hippocrates himself said that,”All disease begins in the gut”. All of this has to do with if your microbiome is damaged or weakened. Your microbiome is an intelligent bacteria ecosystem in your gut that makes up the majority of your immune system.

There are quite a few diseases that are encouraged to come into existence if you have an unhealthy gut. Some of them being heart disease, type II diabetes, skin conditions, and obesity. Obviously the list doesn’t exactly end there. But what I wanted to focus on today is the part of your gut called the colon.

The most common symptom of an unhealthy colon, is constipation. Ask yourself how many times you have a bowel movement a day. Most people will say once a day, or only a few times a week! But the actual normal amount of movements is two to three a day. Constipation is a very common thing in todays day and age, because many of us still eat a SAD diet. And by sad I don’t mean miserable, I am talking about the Standard American Diet. A diet that is too rich in animal proteins, too much junk food, processed and refined foods, and too little whole plant based foods. All of this can be summed up to one thing. Not enough fibre.

Symptoms of a Toxic Colon

  • Chronic constipation
  • Gas and bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight gain and inability to lose weight
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Stomach pain
  • IBS
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Acid reflux
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parasites
  • Food allergies
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Chronic headaches
  • Colon cancer
  • Rashes
  • Frequent colds

If one eats a diet that is high in fibre, then the residue of these foods are able to pass through the intestine with ease. They also help move everything else along and make sure nothing gets backed up in there. Keep in mind that fibre is ONLY found in plant based foods. So eating a diet that is high in plants, or exclusively plants helps keep the colon well lubricated, replenishes gut flora, and encourages bowel movements in general.

When one is constipated, or doesn’t have a bowel movement daily, a few concerning things happen. The longer feces sit in your intestine, the more water is drawn out making it more difficult for you body to move it out of you, therefore causing constipation. This also causes weight gain or the inability to lose weight. Because you literally have pounds of toxic waste sitting in your body. Plus the longer this waste sits, toxins that your body was trying to get rid of are slowly released back into the bloodstream. Recirculating toxins can cause weakness in tissues and other organs in the body. A build up of toxins in general are linked to cellulite and a host of other diseases. These toxins like to hangout in fat cells, the liver, kidneys, and large and small intestine.

Let’s briefly talk about how an unhealthy gut is linked to heart disease. Looking at the average diet todays society, a large portion of that diet consists of red meat, eggs, and dairy. All of which, when the bacteria in your gut eats the nutrients in these types of foods, gives off a chemical called trimethylamine (or TMA for short). Your liver then turns TMA into trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). The TMAO in your blood affects the inner wall of your blood vessels. This causes cholesterol buildup. If you have chronically high TMAO, you have double the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. This only reinforces the importance of eating a high fibre diet, and keeping animal products to a bare minimum, if not cutting it out all together.

While cellulite isn’t exactly a disease, it is something that is very common in many of our lives, so its well worth mentioning. Cellulite is something that many of us have, but not all of us realize what it truly is. If we did, I’m sure we would all take the necessary steps to rid ourself of these toxins. Cellulite is irregular fat deposits in the body, that are full of toxins, fluid, and waste. It’s associated with poor functioning blood vessels, constipation, poor lymphatic drainage, and toxicity. If blood vessels are weak, toxins will accumulate quickly, making it hard for the body to burn fat in in the affected areas. Constipation causes waste and toxins to stay in the body rather than being eliminated.

Consuming sugar, refined salt, alcohol, caffeine, tabacco, unhealthy fats and oils, and refined carbohydrates taxes your bodies system of elimination. This makes it harder for your body to get rid of waste, and easier for fat to get stored as toxins. This type of fat can’t be rid of just by eating some healthy foods and exercising. Changing your diet and detoxing your body to flush out these toxins is the best way to get rid of cellulite and to keep it away altogether.

I can go on for days sharing with you all the ways the health of your gut can affect your health in general. But I will end it here. To sum it up, here’s what you can do to detox your body to improve your gut health and any areas of your body that may be negatively affected by a toxic overload

Switch to a whole food plant based diet. Eating this way is the easiest, most affective, and most sustainable way of continually detoxing. A plant based diet is extremely high in fibre. This ensures a healthy gut and keeps constipation and toxic build up away. Sure doing a colon cleanse, or some sort of detox cleanse every month or so is great. But it only leads you right back to where you started. If you have to do a detox, it’s a sign that something is wrong. So why not switch to a way of eating where you are constantly detoxing?

Avoid taking unnecessary antibiotics. These destroy the good bacteria in your gut. So if you do have to take them for whatever reason, be sure to help your body replace the good flora in your gut. Probiotics can be found in a variety of plant based sources, which I recommend the most. Some of those foods are, kombucha, coconut yogurt (or any non-dairy yogurt which states that it has probiotics in it), sauerkraut, miso, sourdough bread, kimchi, tempeh, pickles, soy/nut milk, and obviously probiotic supplements.

Gut bacteria gets its nutrients from healthy carbohydrates. So it’s important to fill your diet with veggies, whole grains, and legumes that “feed” these bacteria. These foods have also been called prebiotics. Onions, garlic, dandelion greens, leeks, asparagus, raw apple cider vinegar, and jicama are especially rich sources of prebiotics.

If I haven’t already scared you away with all this talk of constipation, the last tip I have for you if to do a colon cleanse enema. Is sounds scary and uncomfortable, but its much easier that is seems. Plus if you are suffering from constipation, this is the quickest way to get that relief.

xoxo

Venessa