Kate Callaghan shares her findings on the importance of gut health, the connection it has to your overall wellbeing, and what you can do to support your digestive health.
Our gut and brain work together to process food, emotions, experiences and feelings that enter our body.
Often our guts and brains are overwhelmed.
The state of your digestion is a significant window into your overall health.
There are hundreds and thousands of bacteria living in our gut, charged with the important job of sending chemical messages to the brain to stimulate immune responses. The better we nurture these bacteria with healthy food the better we'll repair, grow and heal ourselves.
When your gut bacteria is out of balance, you will feel bad and your body will send out signals in the form of symptoms such as irritability, poor sleep, fatigue, eczema, acne, rosacea, allergies, asthma, gestational diabetes, obesity, the list goes on!
When your gut health is good you will feel good
A gut friendly diet will be made up of:
Plenty of unprocessed whole foods produced in healthy soil and free of antibiotics, chemicals and hormones.
Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, yoghurt, kimchi
Prebiotics - non-digestible, but fermentable, foods that stimulate the growth & activity of good bacteria in the colon. You can find them in unripe bananas, cold potato/rice, acacia fiber, potato starch, asparagus, garlic, artichokes, onions, carrots, tomatoes, leeks and radish
Reduced alcohol, caffeine, omega 6 fatty acids - the bad vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners and cigarettes.
You can also take probiotic supplements to help strengthen your gut health.
Stress is your gut's biggest enemy - when you are stressed your body is unable to rest or digest properly, food left undigested will turn your inflamed, acidic gut into the perfect breeding ground for nasty bacteria to wreak havoc on your system.
Given that 95% of our happy chemicals are produced in our gut, and stress can negatively affect our health, try taking the time to relax and recharge. This means that it is a good idea to get into some yoga, splurge on a massage or book that trip to Fiji, because these things will help you and your good bacteria to flourish and improve your overall wellbeing.
Kate Callaghan was Nurture Change 2015 & 2016’s wellness expert.
Kate has been doing some amazing things since she last spoke in tropical Fiji including launching her book Holistic Nutrition: Eat well, train smart and be kind to your body.
With their second baby on the way Kate won't be able to join our panel this year but her husband Aaron will be there representing team Callaghan. Congratulations Kate and Aaron!