How to Improve Your Gut Health by Nutritionist Christine Bailey
It is now widely recognised that gut health is critical to our overall wellbeing and that many major health concerns can be linked to an irritated or unhealthy gut. Put simply: if you want to feel happy and vibrant, you have to get your gut working properly!
In her new book The Gut Health Diet, award-winning nutritionist and chef Christine Bailey shares a 30 day programme to tackle the causes of poor gut health at their root, alongside a selection of delicious, nourishing recipes focused on improving your digestive health for good. In this article, Christine takes us through her 'five step process' - steps to support healing your gut, and ultimately your whole body.
"In order to restore digestive function I recommend taking the '5 R' approach. By addressing each of these you can quickly improve your overall gut health.
STEP 1: Remove gut irritants and toxins, and relieve your symptoms
If you have been struggling with symptoms you need to remove any factors that are causing the underlying problems. These might be particular foods, toxic organisms (bacteria, yeasts, parasites), medications, or additives and preservatives present in your food and drink. It can be useful to keep a record of your symptoms and eating patterns to identify triggers. In some cases, laboratory testing (stool testing, hydrogen breath testing, immunological blood tests, coeliac screens, and so on) might be useful. If your main symptom is bloating, you may wish to up your intake of low FODMAP foods. Gluten can be a common trigger, which is why all the recipes in the book are gluten free and paleo friendly. If you suspect you may have a bacterial or yeast overgrowth, or a parasitic infection, professional lab tests may be needed.
There are various natural antimicrobial agents which you may find it helpful to increase your intake of, including cloves, oregano, liquorice, turmeric, olive oil, garlic oil and coconut oil. For other people supporting detoxification is important. Supergreen powders are a great addition to your daily diet - try adding Aduna's Moringa Superleaf Powder to your meals.
STEP 2: Replace, and kick-start your digestive system
Once you've reduced or removed the triggers, focus on replenishing your gut with valuable nutrients to achieve optimum digestion. This includes supporting the production of digestive enzymes and secretions to assist the breakdown of the food you eat. Certain foods like apple cider vinegar, bitter greens and lemon juice can stimulate digestion.
STEP 3: Repopulate, let the good guys in
Studies have shown that the gut bacteria of people with coeliac disease and other digestive symptoms differ from those who have a healthy digestion. By improving the balance of beneficial bacteria you can support digestive health long term. Including fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir and kimchi into your daily diet can help to improve gut health.
STEP 4: Repair your gut lining
Many people will benefit from supporting the gut with nutrients that are known to repair the delicate mucous membrane of the gut lining. Healing the gut can take time but with the right nutrients it can make a dramatic difference to your health. Including broths, foods rich in vitamin D, A, probiotics, quercetin, omega 3 fats, polyphenols and collagen can all be helpful for this healing process.
STEP 5: Rebalance your mind and body
Most of us are well aware that our emotions can have a profound effect on our digestive system – and this is because there is a physical connection. The lining of our gut is embedded with its own nervous system, known as the enteric nervous system. There is a direct connection between our gut and our brain, which is referred to as the gut–brain axis. Stress, in particular, affects our gut health and function so taking steps to address stress levels is equally important".
Christine's book is packed with gluten-free, paleo recipes that make transforming your gut health easy and delicious. One of our favourites is this delicious Pumpkin, Cacao & Cinnamon Paleo Granola.
We are giving away copies of Christine Bailey's book The Gut Health Diet to 3 lucky Aduna Feel Good Tribers.
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