How healthy is your gut?
The general state of your gut health says a lot about your overall health.
So this may be a very personal question, but it has to be asked..."How well do you poop?"
When it comes to getting and staying healthy, having a healthy gut is key.
I could talk about poop and digestion for hours, and unfortunately most people don't realize that without a healthy gut the rest of your body is out of balance.
Did you know that approximately 80% of your immune system is related to your digestive tract? They go hand in hand.
I spent years as a teenager and young adult battling bouts of diarrhea, constipation and even multiple parasite attacks. I had test after test done and even had a colonoscopy in my 20's...eek! All to figure out that I had "IBS" probably related to stress and unhealthy eating habits. I wasn't ready at that time to make the changes needed, but in my 30's when I was ready, man did it make a HUGE difference! As an RN I also figured out that IBS is a general term that doctors use to describe any bowel issue that doesn't fit into any other category, like Crohns or Colitis.
Once I began to understand the power of nutrition and how it plays such an important role in our overall healthy I began to make the changes. By eating better and the way I was suppose to for my body, and without focusing solely on my digestive problems I began to heal and feel better than I had in years. I not only pooped better, but I lost weight, decreased bloating and gas, and have had a stronger immune system than I have ever had my entire life.
So back to that ever important question, how much do you poop?
Before I truly understood what a healthy gut was, I used to tell my patients if you're pooping once a day, things are good. I was wrong! Think about it...we eat 3 meals a day and maybe 1-2 snacks, that is a lot of food going in, and while we obviously digest and use some of the food, there is quite a bit of left over waste that needs to be released. If it doesn't come out, where does it go???
The truth is that it stays in and collects in you gut, it ferments (and not like a fine wine), it causes bloating and gas and a slew of health problems. This sludge doesn't allow your digestive system to do its job properly. We have lots of good flora that help keep our tract healthy and happy, and when it is overpowered by waste and bad flora problems occur.
So this means...
A Healthy gut = 3 meals in = 3 poops out
Makes sense right?
Here are the changes I began to implement in my life that allowed me poop better than ever:
♥ 1. Do a cleanse as needed - When beginning to think about gaining and maintaining a health gut, you may want to start with a cleanse depending on where you're starting. Give your gut a chance to rest and heal. There are many types out there, so do your research and find what works for you. Contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know my personal cleanse routine.
♥ 2. Eat prebiotic/probiotic foods - Equip your gut with the right tools, "good" flora that can fight off the "bad" gut flora that comes at us every day in the form of toxins, medication, food. I recommend trying to get these from fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and yogurt, but if you want additional help a good clean supplement can be the way to go. Click the links above to find out what other foods will help.
7 Benefits of Fermented Food
♥ 3. Eat your healthy fibre everyday - Whole foods like apples, spinach, beans, quinoa will be sure to keep things moving in a healthy and natural way.
♥4. Add Chia to your daily routine - I make sure to take in chia every single day in my smoothie, salads, sauces or soup. It has so many health benefits that I identify in my blog above, beyond the fibre aspects and I believe it should be a staple for everyone.
♥5. Move every day - Studies show that having a daily exercise routine will allow your gut to stay healthy by making sure that the food is flowing.
♥6. Find a way to destress everyday - Stress can lead to increased weight gain, specifically in the abdominal area, as well as gas, bloating, and increase in cortisol which can lead to leaky gut and a whole slew of other diseases and ill health.
♥7. Stay hydrated - By taking in the right amount of fluids everyday, you will literally keep things moving swimmingly.
♥8. Listen to your gut - The gut is often referred to as the "second brain". If something doesn't feel right, in your eating habits, your exercise routine or your life, your gut is usually the first thing that sends up a warning flag. Listen to it and adjust accordingly.
Implementing these 8 steps into your daily routine will help you improve your digestion, your happiness and your overall health. So happy pooping my friends :)