Why should we focus on a healthy gut?
An upset stomach or cramps can ruin a race or a run. In order to avoid stomach bloating, acidity or vomiting while running, we need to learn more about what causes stomach issues aside from foods. Gut health is the key to a healthy immune system, to have inflammation or irritation in the digestive system will not only cause intestinal issues, but it will also affect our immune system. One important factor in our diet that affects our gut health is the consumption of processed vegetable oils (soy, canola), which generates toxins, promotes oxidative stress and inflammation. If we pay attention to the ingredients in a lot of foods we buy, there is always some kind of processed vegetable oil, that’s why we have to try and avoid eating processed foods. Replacing foods with processed and refined oils with natural healthy fats, fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sprouted foods like bread, grains, beans and high fibre will increase the level of healthy gut bacteria.
Another factor that affects our gut health is the link between our brain and gut. Our digestive system has its own “brain” called the mesenteric nervous system. It communicates to our brain via the vagus nerve. So there’s a direct connection between our gut and brain. Any stress on the digestive system will affect our mental health and trigger illnesses and vice versa. If we are dealing with a lot of stress, it will have direct effects on our gut health. Stress also reduces blood flow to the stomach, causing irritation, inflammation, ulcers and gastritis. We also have to make sure we look after our colon, with today’s lifestyle and busy schedule, we need to make sure to take time and keep a balanced and regular bowel schedule. Also, getting enough sleep will balance and stabilise hormones and gut bacteria.
Why should we take probiotics?
Taking daily probiotic supplements will increase our levels of healthy gut bacteria.
Benefits of probiotics:
Healthier immune system
Less colds and flu
Reduces depression and anxiety
Helps with fat loss and weight control
Reduces gas and bloating
Eat Well, Sleep Well, Exercise, Avoid Stress & Feel Great!