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How to Improve Your Gut Health

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Gut health is an important way to improve your physical and mental health.  Eighty percent of your immune system is located in your gut.  When your stomach and intestinal tract is healthy your immune system works optimally.  A healthy stomach helps you digest food better which lessens gas and bloating while also lessening constipation and diarrhea.  Recent studies by UCLA and other universities are showing a clear correlation between gut health and brain health.  Scientists and natural health practitioners are now realizing that good gut health is one of the most important factors for overall well-being.

An unhealthy stomach leads to inflammation eventually leading to leaky gut.  Leaky gut allows toxins and undigested food into your bloodstream sending your immune system out of whack.  On the flip side, new studies show that a healthy gut filled with good bacteria can actually improve your improve your mood, clarity, and immune system.  A new study by UCLA shows that changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain functions.

An unhealthy gut leads to inflammation eventually leading to leaky gut.  Leaky gut allows toxins and undigested food into your bloodstream sending your immune system out of whack.  A new study by UCLA shows that changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain functions. The discovery that changing the bacterial environment, or microbiota, in the gut can affect the brain carries significant implications for future research that could point the way toward dietary or drug interventions to improve brain function, the researchers said. – UCLA Study

Good bacteria lives in the GI tract.  Prebiotics are high fiber soluble foods that are basically indigestible by the human body and are the organism that probiotics feed from.  Raw onions, garlic, bananas, and asparagus are good sources of prebiotics.  If your not getting enough prebiotics through diet alone your should consider taking a supplement.

Good bacteria or probiotics contain live beneficial bacteria.  Prebiotics and probiotics are especially important if you are taking antibiotics which kill off the good bacteria along with the bad.  Some good sources of probiotics are sauerkraut, pickles, kefir (99% lactose free yogurt like drink), kombucha, and yogurt with less then 15 grams of sugar.  Avoid yogurt with higher sugar content because bad bacteria feeds off of sugar.

Hydration is also very important in improving gut health.  As you know,  the body is made up of approximately 75% water.  Drinking plenty of clean filtered water keeps bacteria and waste moving through your system which is vital to good stomach health.

Eating anti-Inflammatory foods can soothe and heal the stomach and intestinal tract.  Bone broth not only heals the gut and fights inflammation but also leads to healthy bones, hair and nails.  Foods like coconut, ginger, avocados, green leafy veggies, berries, fatty fish, and green tea are also good foods to add to your diet to fight inflammation.

Here is a great bone broth recipe that I make when I feel my diet is out of wack.

1 chicken frame (or other bones)
Veggie scraps (carrot, onion, celery, garlic)
Pepper
Bay leaf
2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar (pulls nutrients from bones)
Enough water to cover the bones

Combine all ingredients into the crock pot and cook on low for 12 hours or on high for 6 hours.  Skim off the fat strain with a cheese cloth or strainer.  Once cooked, this bone broth mixture will store in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

I hope this blog gave your some ideas on how to improve your gut health.  In my own life, I have found when I eat the right foods and take a probiotic supplement that my mind is clear and focused.  Recent studies are now proving that there is a correlation between gut health and brain health.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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Healty Options

As a Certified Health Coach from Integrative Nutrition, I have combined my love for cooking, with my knowledge of healthy ingredients and recipes for specific dietary types.

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