Updated: Oct 18, 2019
“Let’s start with this: lick your wrist, and after one minute, smell it. Don’t be shy. What do you think?”
HALI TO, SIS!
Gut health is one of the most important topics in wellness these days and you just gave yourself a simple test. Is your gut healthy, or do you need some help? You see, the importance of your gut health should never be underestimated. The gut is the king and queen of the body systems and needs to be nurtured by living probiotics and nourishing foods to keep it functioning optimal.
In addition to processing and digesting the nutrients from our food, and being responsible for effective elimination, the gut is integral to other vital body functions. It’s home to around 80 per cent of the immune system and is also where many hormones and neurons are made and metabolized. Enzymes and nutrients that are important for vitality are also made and housed in the gut. Pathogens such as bad bacteria and viruses can be overcome with a strong gut, which in turn should lead to fewer illnesses.
Increasing evidence shows that an imbalance of gut bacteria can be implicated in a whole host of diseases and conditions such as asthma, allergies, arthritis and obesity. Having a robust gut means that nutrients from food are better absorbed and utilized by the body. This gives you radiant skin, stronger hair and nails, and increased energy. Probiotics contribute to good gut health, which leads to good digestion, good immunity and good emotional wellbeing. The bottom line: if you want excellent overall health, focus on probiotics, good nutrition, the integrity of your gut and moderate daily exercise, and the rest should follow.
4 SYLABLES: MICROBIOTA Trillions of bacteria live in and on our bodies. Biologists call this complex and vast group of bacteria the microbiota. Almost all microbiota live in our gastrointestinal tract. Supposedly, you could compare our microbiota to fingerprints: every person has his or her own unique microbiota and there are countless strains of bacteria within our microbiota.
DIGESTION Good health begins in the gut. You could eat the most nourishing food possible, but if your gut is weak and can’t properly digest and absorb nutrients, it won’t do you much good. Healthy digestion is one of the keys to having great overall health, and why improving the function of your digestive system may improve your entire system.
If you think about it, digestion actually begins in the mind and your relationship with food. Think about it: what happens when you smell you favorite dish? Your mouth waters right? Then when you eat the food, your saliva, combined with chewing, begin breaks down then food and begins the process of physical and chemical absorption. This process continues through our long and winding gut. If it was stretched out end to end, our digestive system would be around 30 feet long. We need probiotics to help move our food along.
Prebiotics are important because they feed the probiotics. Whether we realize it or not, we damage our digestive system daily, through medications, environmental toxins, food choices and lifestyle. Consuming probiotic drinks is a delicious way to help repair and strengthen the digestive system.
BRAINY GUT Also, your gut is in charge of about 80 to 90 per cent of the production of serotonin, the amazing feel-good hormone that we all love. This is why the gut is sometimes called you “second brain’. When the ‘good’ gut bacteria are beaten by ‘bad’ bacteria, serotonin production and other chemical reactions in your body are blocked. Even if you are usually healthy, taking live probiotics is an important for maintaining your gut and boosting your immunity.
PROBIOTICS AND PREBIOTICS Probiotic means ‘for life’ (‘pro’ means ‘for’ and ‘biotic’ means ‘relating to life’). Probiotics are the good bacteria that are one of the keys to overall wellness. They add ‘good’ bacteria to your gut to outweigh the ‘bad’ bacteria. Probiotics have such an important role in the digestive system and are able to assist with protecting you from toxins and keep your gut moving. To add to that, prebiotics are indigestible fibers probiotics eat, allowing them to thrive. You can find prebiotics in Elxrco Balance and in VGNAF’s new product, “Fix My Gut”.
FORM A RESISTANCE Our guts house around 80 per cent of your immune cells, so it’s a good idea to first work on our gut health to improve our resistance to disease. Think of the immune cells as security guards checking visitors to see whether they are good or bad, and calling in reinforcements if any bad apples need to be kicked to the curb.
There is also an intestinal mucus layer that lines the gut, forming another barrier to keep the nasties out of our bodies. Probiotics and prebiotics, with a diverse range of gut flora, help stimulate the production of this mucus layer which also helps defend against trespassers, like Hali Tosis.
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