If not cared for properly, poor gut health can and will eventually lead to a host of other illnesses including acid reflux, leaky gut, IBS, constipation, diarrhea and many more. In this article, we will discuss the importance of recognizing gut health issues as well as learning how to heal your gut naturally.
Our gut health is more important than we may recognize at first glance. The gut is responsible for many aspects of our overall health including the digestive and immune systems. It is also directly connected to the brain.
Nerve cells in the gut communicate with the brain, telling it whether or not we should feel good or bad. It can even make us feel depression, anxiety, and stress. This is why many medical professionals refer to the gut as the body’s second brain.
How to Recognize Problems with Gut Health
First things first, you can’t fix a problem that you are not aware of. Recognizing and diagnosing issues with gut health is a bigger deal than you might be aware of. Luckily, most symptoms are easy to spot if you have a good idea what to look for.
Everything from acne to headaches and weight gain to pain levels can be indicators of what condition your gut health is in. It is critical to catch these signs as early as possible because once our gut health is out of whack, other areas of our health are sure to follow its lead.
Below is a list of a dozen of the most common signs that your gut health is beginning to suffer:
1. Acne, hives, or other skin related issues
2. Depression and anxiety
3. Peaks in pain levels
4. Foggy mindedness
5. Acid reflux
6. Vanishing energy levels
7. Cravings for sugar
8. Weight gain or trouble losing weight
9. Regular yeast infections
10. Recurring sickness
11. Bloated stomach and regularly having gas
12. Irregular bowel movements, constipation or diarrhea
Understanding How to Heal Your Gut Naturally
As you should now fully understand, gut health is extremely important to our overall well being. So, what can we do when as we begin to recognize the red flags associated with poor gut health? We turn to the amazing health properties of mother nature. In this section, we will briefly discuss several ways how to heal your gut naturally.
Keeping a healthy gut is not the hardest thing to achieve. You simply need to understand the basics of good gut health development and work at applying them in your daily life. A change to your dietary practices may be necessary as well, a small price to pay for a healthy gut.
When it comes to understanding how to heal your gut, the first step you need to take is learning and following the aware four R’s:
1. Remove – eliminate the bad
2. Replace – substitute the bad with the good
3. Restore – establish a balance of good bacteria
4. Repair – supply nutrients which help the gut heal itself
Understanding the four R’s is the quickest way to naturally restoring gut health to a positive state. In order to make the four R’s work for you, you need to understand a bit more about them.
This means eliminating foods harmful to your gut such as corn, dairy products, gluten, soy, sugar, and vegetables in the nightshade family such as tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. No one’s saying you can’t eat these foods, you just need to eat them less. A lot less.
After successfully selecting and eliminating as many bad foods as possible, it is necessary to replace them with good foods which contain nutrients and prebiotics. These may include fish, nuts, seeds, high-fiber vegetables, raw garlic, onions, and chickpeas.
while selecting foods to replace the ones you removed, make sure to include some foods which will establish a balance of good bacteria in your gut. These types of food include, but are not limited to, beans, blueberries, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.
The final step along the way to mastering the four R’s is choosing foods which supply nutrients to your gut which will help it to heal itself. Almonds, apples, blackberries, egg whites, wild salmon, leafy greens, and of course yogurt, as well as kefir, are all on this list.
The Leaky Gut Diet
A leaky gut is one of the most common gut health issues. Asthma, allergies, acne, depression, even diabetes 1 can be indicators of a leaky gut. Stress, too much alcohol, medication, or sugar, as well as several other factors, can be the root cause of a leaky gut. In basics, you have a leaky gut when your gut is damaged to the point that it begins letting dangerous toxins, bad bacteria, too much protein as well as undigested particles enter into your bloodstream.
The four R’s can be a great help in general, however, the leaky gut diet is even more beneficial in this case. The diet is centered around a particular list of foods which you should consume each day alongside taking certain dietary supplements daily as well.
The leaky gut diet includes bone broth, fruit, steamed or fermented vegetables, kefir, yogurt, and other foods containing healthy fats. Supplements include aloe vera juice, digestive enzymes, fish oil, glutamine, and probiotics.
Other Natural Methods for Better Gut Health
The best natural remedies for improving and maintaining a superior quality of health for your gut boils down to leading a healthy lifestyle. Aside from improving your dietary habits, there are several simples methods for how to heal your gut.
Below is a list of natural methods anyone can use to promote better gut health:
Sleep more – this allows your body the rest it needs to promote a healthy immune system – including gut health.
Stress less – stress can lead to a host of long-term gut health issues. Less stress equals fewer complications to gut health.
Laugh more – as mentioned above, stress is a common factor in many problems with gut health. More laughter equals less stress.
Use natural cleaners – avoiding the toxic cleaners, especially the ones marked as antibacterial. This will cut down on the destruction of good bacteria which is needed for optimal gut health.
Exercise more frequently – exercise not only reduces stress levels, it also helps to diversify the gut microbiome.
Open the windows – take in as much fresh air and sunlight as possible, both of which promote the diversity of our bodies microbiome.
Get your hands dirty – gardening and otherwise getting your hands dirty is an excellent way to introduce billions upon billions of microorganisms into your body, which in turn promotes good gut health.
Gut Health F.A.Q.
Are gut health issues common?
Yes. It is estimated that over 70 million people around the world suffer from issues with gut health. In fact, 10% of healthcare spending is related to gut health.
What are the most common gut health issues?
Some of the most common issues related to poor gut health are:
- A poorly functioning immune system,
- Acid reflux
- Constipation, diarrhea, and irregularity
- Diabetes type 1 & 2
- Mental health issues including anxiety, depression, even schizophrenia
- Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and rashes
- Trouble losing weight and weight gain
How important is gut health to our Immune system?
Gut health is extremely important to our overall health. Over two-thirds of the cells belonging to our immune system live in the gut. In short, once the gut begins to fail, everything else begins to suffer as well.
How much bacteria do we have in our gut?
On average, human beings contain between 3 and 4 pounds of bacteria in their gut. Technically, there are more bacteria in our guts than there are cells in our entire body.
Are antibiotics good or bad for my gut health?
Technically, antibiotics can be good and bad for your gut health. On one hand, they reduce bacteria levels in your gut which allows for excessive amounts of yeast to breed. Causing inflammation and even IBS. On the other hand, antibiotics can be used to treat severe gut health issues such as IBS.
Is fiber good or bad for my gut health?
Eating a proficient amount of fiber is excellent for gut health. Not only does fiber create short-chain fatty acids, which are an optimal fuel source, but it also plays a large role in creating the perfect environment for the growth of good bacteria in our gut.