The gut is getting its 15 minutes of fame! The rise in gut-related problems and auto-immune diseases has sparked new learning and more questions about the role the gut plays in our overall health. Conditions like gluten-sensitivity, food allergies and irritable bowel syndrome are all on the rise. Whether you experience gut problems or not, we’re gradually learning that the health of our gut has implications for all of us.It is estimated that some 100 trillion bacteria inhabit your digestive system at any given time! The type and quality of those bacteria is what matters. It’s a fine balance between good and bad. And your health depends on this balance.
While all this talk about bacteria may sound a little gross (!), good bacteria help us digest nutrients, synthesize vitamins, and boost our immune system. We’re learning that a healthy gut may improve our mood, protect us against some cancers, help us maintain a healthy body weight, and stave off the development of auto-immune disorders.
Many factors influence the quality of bacteria in your gut, including diet, medicines, and environmental factors. Want some simple strategies to improve gut health?
- Eat more fruit and vegetables – aim for 7-10 per day!
- Try including fermented foods in your diet, like yogurt, buttermilk, sauerkraut, kimchi, or kefir.
- Limit sugary, refined, and packaged foods.
The easiest way to achieve these goals is to eat real food and cook homemade food more often. Fresh ingredients, balanced meals, and whole foods do your gut good. Starved for time? SupperWorks meals are a great solution!
Prepared for SupperWorks, www.supperworks.com, by Karine Barlow, RD www.glutenfreeboutique.ca