By Be Well Health Coach Laura Kraber
Over 2000 years ago, Hippocrates declared that “all disease begins in the gut.” Yet it is only recently that modern medicine has begun to document the crucial role of the microbiome – the billions of microbes that live within us. Comprising over 70% of the immune system, recent research reveals the myriad ways in which intestinal health is aligned with overall health.
The gut is important for a multitude of reasons – nutrient absorption, symptom-free digestion, immune system support, skin conditions and even obesity and diabetes. Furthermore, preventing “leaky gut” guards against food sensitivities and allergies and potentially protects against autoimmune diseases.
As one of the prime innovators of gut health, probiotics help to re-balance gut flora and are an obvious supplement to add to your daily regimen. Here are five more steps you can take to support your gut health.
1. Avoid Gut Irritants
Antibiotics top the list for impairing gut health, but other offenders include NSAIDs, birth control pills, alcohol, coffee, gluten, processed foods and stress. All of these can wreak havoc on our gut, undoing all the good work that a healthy diet and probiotic supplementation provide.
2. Eat Prebiotic Foods
Plant fibers and the fructooligosaccharides found in onions, leeks, celery, artichokes, beans and asparagus, feed the friendly bacteria in the gut and nourish the gut.
3. Drink Bone Broth
Full of gut-healing nutrients collagen and gelatin, bone broth has justifiably been a staple of the human diet for thousands of years. Learn how to make your own bone broth and incorporate it into your diet.
4. Consume Fermented Foods and Beverages
Fermented drinks such as beet kvass and kombucha or foods including unpasteurized sauerkraut or kimchee contain billions of bacteria that nourish the gut and diversify your bacterial flora.
5. Do a Cleanse
A cleanse is a great way to support the gut. A good cleanse should contain plenty of fiber to help “scrub” the colon as well as herbs to help kill off the bad bacteria and support healthy liver function. The Be Well Cleanse contains an antimicrobial herbal blend targeting gut health, which, in conjunction with the dietary program is a great starting place for gut-healing.