Why A Happy Gut Makes a Healthy, Lean BodyBy Radiant Health
Published: April 14, 2014
Health + Wellness
At the epicentre of your health lies a busy, bustling, mysterious world known as your digestive system. It spirals through your body with all its many intricate nooks and complexities – panning out as the foundation of good health.
We often take for granted that our body systems will chug away day in, day out – and carry us through life on a cloud of optimal health. But the reality is that at the root of many modern day ailments and health concerns lies a struggling digestive tract that is crying out for help. And did you know that taking care of your tummy is likely to have more of an effect on your skin and radiance than even the most cult-followed beauty products?
You see when your digestive tract is flailing, your entire body will suffer. Common symptoms spring up which include inflammation at various sites of the body, skin breakouts, headaches, constipation, bloating, low mood, poor immunity, reproductive challenges, trouble sleeping, fatigue and weight gain – and the list goes on and on.
So let’s look at ways to enhance your digestive system to promote a healthier body, flatter stomach, clearer skin, a sharper mind and heightened defenses…
Your Inner Zoo
In your colon resides a community of bacteria known as gut flora – these living organisms are responsible for producing essential nutrients, keeping your bowel moving, and strengthening your defences against disease, inflammation and ill health.
Ideally our colony of bacteria will fly the flag for their host’s health (that’s you!), but common modern lifestyle and dietary choices do little to promote an ideal environment for friendly strains. This can make way for ‘bad’ bacteria to override the ‘good’ – these ‘unfriendly’ bacteria engulf the good stuff, emit gases and lead to bloating, flatulence, compromised nutrient absorption and common conditions like Thrush and Candida.
An overriding presence of unfriendly bacteria is known as ‘dysbiosis’ which leads to a domino effect of ill health. Antibiotics, frequent alcohol consumption, unfavourable diets and stress are all contributing culprits.
An integral step toward enhanced gut health is to promote your levels of ‘good bacteria’ through probiotic and prebiotic foods. Probiotics are fermented foods which inject a dose of friendly bacteria directly into your colon. Feature plenty of fermented foods in your daily diet. These include Ogi, Kunnu, Iru, Lafun and Ogiri.
Fermented foods are a source of probiotics, these include:
Latest research on probiotic mechanisms published in The World Journal of Public Health Sciences by Moses Nnameka Alo and colleagues, concluded that these fermented foods play an integral role in disease prevention and pathogenic resistance.
Grow Your Own
Sauerkraut is an example of fermentation at its finest – to make it at home simply combine shredded cabbage with salt and submerge in water in a glass airtight jar. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a few weeks, and you’ll be greeted with a crunchy, sour condiment that is swarming with friendly bacteria! Its unique flavour complements a wide array of dishes, and bestows upon the colon a hefty shot of probiotic power.
Recent research by The International Life Sciences Institute indicated that therapeutic and chemo-protective activities of probiotic metabolites may be implicated to the prevention of cancer, specifically in the colon. Dietary interventions such as probiotic administration for cancer prevention are attracting increasing attention from researchers and clinicians alike.
Probiotics help regulate your digestive system, support your immune system, prevent bloating, constipation and diarrhea, keep skin clear and healthy, enhance nutrient absorption, prevent allergies and intolerance and may help to prevent development of various cancers, specifically colon cancer.
You may use probiotic supplements to support your colon by sending therapeutic doses of new recruits daily.
Prebiotics are equally as important as probiotics – these are the foods which send your micro flora fuel to proliferate and grow. Eat slightly under-ripe ‘green-ish’ bananas, onions and oats to send your micro flora their favourite snacks.
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