A Simple Guide to Gut Health

A Simple Guide to Gut Health

Is your skin looking dull or inflamed?
Does your stomach feel upset or bloated?
Are you feeling tired and sluggish? 

It's time to assess your gut health.

The gut is made up of trillions of bacteria, fungi and other microbes and an imbalance of unhealthy and healthy microbes in the intestines may contribute to many health and skin problems and conditions arising. Many studies show how the state of our gut can directly affect our health, our skin, and the way we feel. Because of this, the health of our gut should be an important focus of our health all year round.

Did you know that 70% of your immune system is actually located in your gut? It’s the body’s first line of defence, so making sure our digestive system is well supported can really go a long way in helping to prevent things like the common cold and flu.

There are also several lifestyle factors that can contribute to an imbalance or weakness of our gut health including:

  • High stress levels
  • Consuming too much alcohol or processed sugar
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Lack of exercise
  • Medications and antibiotic use

So, supporting your gut microbiome by implementing lifestyle and diet changes is a great place to start and can help to improve the health of your skin, hair and nails. When looking at food as medicine for the gut, there are a few key elements to consider including prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes. So, let’s explore these a little more.

PREBIOTICS
These are a type of plant fibre that your body can’t digest. These assist your digestive system to work more efficiently because they help to feed the friendly bacteria and create more growth of the good stuff. Prebiotics benefits include helping to regulate bowel movements, improve bone density, improve your immune system function and so much more. You can find prebiotics in wholefoods including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains so aim to include an abundance of prebiotic fibres in your weekly diet. 

PROBIOTICS
These live microorganisms that are found in foods are used to maintain and improve the friendly bacteria in the body. Probiotics have great health benefits including maintaining the digestive tract lining, supporting our immune system, managing inflammation and so much more. 

Probiotics are found in sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, miso and other fermented foods. Each food holds different strains of probiotics, which provides different benefits to the body. So, including a diverse range of probiotic rich foods into the diet is beneficial.  

DIGESTIVE ENZYMES
These are very important for our digestive system and are an essential part for our overall health. They assist the body to break down macronutrients of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats from foods. Naturally our bodies make digestive enzymes, however if you are lacking digestive enzymes then nutrients in foods aren’t being absorbed properly and digestive issues can occur such as malnutrition, bloating, excessive gas, cramping, and changes to our stools.

We can find digestive enzymes in foods such as bananas, ginger, honey, pineapple, papayas, sauerkraut, and avocados. Incorporating a variety of these foods into your diet may help to aid in digestion. The Advanced Skin + Gut Health Collagen Elixir is formulated with a 5-tier digestive enzyme blend. This unique, proprietary blend helps to support optimal digestion in the gut.

Shelley McKenzie 
Naturopath & Nutritionist
BHSC, AdvDip.

RECIPE
GUT LOVING GUMMIES

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup boiling water
3 tbsp gelatin powder
1 sachet of Madagascan Vanilla Collagen Elixir
1 tbsp rice malt syrup
1/2 cup of fruit to flavour

METHOD

  1. Boil the kettle
  2. Add boiled water, the Collagen Elixir sachet, fruit and rice malt syrup into a blender and blend until well combined
  3. Whisk through your gelatin with a fork or whisker
  4. Pour into moulds and freeze for two hours  
  5. Enjoy!