To be at optimum health, your gut should function as well as possible. Your digestive system has a much larger impact on your body than most people think. You could quite easily say that the gut is at the heart of your health. The gut is a bit like an assembly line: put the right components onto it and the factory will produce a healthy body. Your intestines are the place where all the nutrition is extracted from the foods you eat to produce energy for the body. Helpfully, they process the waste too. The gut takes care of all this, but you still have to make sure you eat well, and that is not always easy…
Functions of the Gut
The most obvious purpose of the gut is the digestion of food. Beyond this, your digestive system also provides:
- A healthy immune system;
- Protection against harmful bacteria;
- The production of lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that processes lactose (the sugars present in milk). As we get older, the small intestine produces less and less lactase. For those who continue to drink milk, this can sometimes cause infections. This is why we generally suggest that milk-alternatives are preferable.
Yakult is a Waste of Money
There are more than 400 bacteria active in your gut; these are called intestinal flora. When we asked, on social media, how people look after their intestinal flora, many replied that they drank Yakult. We all know what the adverts want us to think – it’s a drink that will help your friendly bacteria. Unfortunately, Yakult is a complete waste of your money. Of the 400 intestinal flora, Yakult contains only one. To make matters worse, it’s mostly just sugar, which is exactly what intestinal flora are there to process. So, what’s the point?
Intestinal Flora Out of Balance
Newborn babies receive most of their good bacteria on the way out of the womb, and these are supplemented by the drinking of mother’s milk. Over time, the intestinal flora build up, but it is also very easy to knock them out of balance. Stress, alcohol, medicine, and antibiotics are all prime examples of things that will upset your intestinal flora. The eating of bread and the drinking of milk can also have a negative effect for some. Even a sedentary life is something that gets in the way of a healthy and balanced gut.
Your Mood and your Gut
It might sound odd, but imbalances in your intestines can seriously affect your moods. You perhaps know the feeling. When you’re nervous you may have to visit the bathroom more frequently; stress impacts on your gut in a very noticeable way. This is why many suggest that the gut functions as something like a ‘second brain.’ Your small intestine is in charge of processing an amino acid called tryptophan (something that must be obtained from diet, as the body does not create it). This amino acid is responsible for the production of serotonin in the brain, a hormone often associated with feelings of well-being and happiness. When your gut stops delivering enough tryptophan to the brain then the production of serotonin suffers, seriously affecting your mood and even, in some cases, causing depression.
What Signals Does our Gut Give us?
A negative mood can be one indicator that our gut is not functioning properly. But are there any other signals that we should be on the lookout for? Bad skin, trouble with sleep, being overweight, or a weakened immune system are just a few more examples of indicators that your gut is imbalanced. But did you know that being underweight could also be a sign that your intestines are not functioning as they should? It’s possible that you could be eating enough, but that your gut is not able to extract the required nutrition from the food as it passes through the assembly line. This, of course, is a great waste.
Fortunately, intestines are quick to heal themselves. I remember one of my first clients. She was a young woman and when I first met her I assumed she was pregnant. In tears, she told me that she could no longer cope with her intestinal problems. She had been bloated for years, flatulent, and fluctuating wildly between bouts of diarrhoea and constipation. The doctors could not find a cause and suggested that she should learn to live with it. Complete rubbish! She started the Eat Wright Plan and within a few weeks these intestinal problems disappeared, leaving her to live her life to the full once again.
Tips for Healthy Intestinal Flora
So, how best to look after your intestines?
- Avoid wheat products
- Eat a range of healthy foods
- Eat healthy fats, that can help to combat infection
- Drink plenty of water
- Try to eat organic produce
- Get moving!
- Eat enough fibre
- Take probiotics
Of course you will never hear me say that you should not take medicine or antibiotics, but be careful with them. Ensure that you always take probiotics after antibiotic treatment. The best probiotic is kefir. With a daily glass of kefir your intestines will keep themselves in great shape, and it is so easy to make! It will be more natural than the kefir you could buy in a supermarket, because it will not have stabilisers added to it.
How to Make Kefir
Add a sachet of kefir powder ( which you can purchase from me) to a litre of organic, unsweetened soya milk. You can use almond milk, but your kefir will come out thinner. Fresh cow milk is also good. If you want to make the kefir from unsweetened soya milk, you must add a spoonful of palm sugar for a thicker kefir with a bit of tartness. Virtually all the sugar will be fermented away.Leave the milk with the powder in it on your kitchen counter for two days. Yes, the milk will “go off,” but what really happens is that it ferments. Your kefir should now be the consistency of yoghurt.
Before you finish your batch of kefir, remember to put 3 spoonfuls in a new litre of milk at room temperature and add a tablespoon of palm sugar. Keep the new batch on the counter for 24 hours. Repeat this procedure every time the kefir is nearly finished. You will have enough for 1 month. Then you will need to start a new sachet.
If you really want to give your body a proper cleanse and reach an optimum in your health and weight, I have a fantastic 12 week plan that will just do that. It’s is not about going on a diet for a while but about changing eating habits that you can maintain for the rest of your life. I would love to help you. For more information go HERE
To better Health,