Stomach aches, gas, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, oh my! If you’ve ever experienced any of these symptoms, you know how uncomfortable (and embarrassing) digestive issues can be.
I hope that your acquaintance with these symptoms has been temporary. For many people, they occur on a more or less daily basis and are symptoms of a chronic digestive condition.
Digestive disorders are becoming increasingly common. Sixty to 70 million people are affected by diagnosable digestive problems in the US alone. These include Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, leaky gut, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and other types of non-specific gut-based inflammation.
Digestive cancers are also on the rise. Colon, stomach, and liver cancer combined contribute to over 2.4 million annual cancer deaths worldwide. Colorectal cancer is now one of the most common types of cancer for both men and women.
Causes of Poor Gut Health
With what’s essentially an epidemic of poor digestive health, you have to wonder: What’s the cause? What’s going on that has triggered an explosion in poor digestion and cancers of the digestive system?
Well, it’s complicated. And personal.
Poor gut health can be attributed to a number of causes like:
- Lack of fiber
- Excessive antibiotic use
- Pain relievers
- Excessive alcohol
- Food allergies/intolerances
- Food additives
- Processed meats and other unhealthy foods
- Contaminated food
- GMOs, pesticides (including glyphosate), and other chemicals
We can clearly see that diet and lifestyle have a lot to do with the health of your gut. What you eat, and what you do, can either feed your gut and keep it healthy, or starve it of essential nutrients, damage your digestive system, and contribute to chronic disease.
The Importance of the Microbiome
You see, your gut is home to trillions of bacteria, which are part of what’s called the microbiome. You may have heard of it. It’s become a buzzword of sorts as new research has come out about it, signaling its importance in overall health.
Your microbiome controls your digestive system. But it also impacts your immune system, mood, heart, weight, and many other health markers — some of which probably haven’t been discovered yet.
And the types of bacteria in your gut can either keep you healthy or make you sick. But even if you currently have poor gut health, it’s not too late to turn it around.
7 Essential Gut Health Resources
Research on gut health and the microbiome is relatively new. And it might be the most mysterious and potent new frontier in health science. But even as the study of the microbiome is in its infancy, we still know a lot about how to feed the trillions of “good” bacteria that keep us well. And we know how to starve out the “bad” bacteria that can make us sluggish, uncomfortable, and sick.
In these seven gut health resources, you’ll find out why gut health is so important, and simple ways to start healing your gut now.
Fermented foods straddle the benefits of both raw and cooked foods, providing unique nutrients and chemical compounds in their preparation. In this article, you’ll find out the science-backed facts on why fermented foods are so beneficial to promoting health and well-being. Plus, you’ll discover some of the best, fermented foods for gut health.
In this comprehensive article, you’ll learn all about probiotics and prebiotics and their far-reaching health benefits. Discover the differences between probiotics and prebiotics, why you need both for a healthy gut, the best foods to get them from, and how to combine them. And find out when it’s beneficial to take a supplement instead of just getting probiotics from food, and how to choose the best one.
Spices have been used for thousands of years in various cultures around the world. Whether used purely medicinally or in food, there are specific spices that can improve your digestion and keep your gut healthy. Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo tells us about 10 spices, in particular, you’ll want to add to a gut-healthy diet.
In this adapted excerpt from 31-Day Food Revolution, Food Revolution Network CEO, Ocean Robbins discusses the incredible diversity of the human microbiome and the importance of feeding the right bacteria in your gut. Discover strategies to improve your gut health. And read a real-life story of a woman who turned her digestive issues around with gut-nourishing foods.
What do factory farms have to do with gut health? A lot more than you might think. Discover the truth about how antibiotic usage is destroying the human microbiome. Plus why factory farms are a huge contributor to antibiotic-resistant superbugs and food recalls — and what you can do about it.
Good gut health starts with what’s on your plate. Even if you’ve eaten poorly for most of your life, eating gut-healthy foods can get you back on track. Find out about the top gut health-promoting foods, including which fermented foods, prebiotics, and probiotics, and fiber sources are best for your tummy.
7. Listen to Your Gut: The Foundation of Human Health – Action Hour with Dr. Zach Bush
In this special Action Hour event, Ocean Robbins and Zach Bush, MD engage in an eye-opening discussion on digestive health. You’ll discover simple steps you can take to nourish your microbiome. Find out the scoop on prebiotics and probiotics — and what the best (and worst) foods are for your gut. And you’ll discover how household, lifestyle, and environmental influences affect your digestion.
Try These 2 Delicious Recipes for a Healthy Gut
Give these recipes a try to improve digestion and feed your gut with both probiotic and prebiotic foods.
Kimchi Marinated Tempeh Wraps from My Quiet Kitchen
These incredibly nutritious Kimchi Marinated Tempeh Wraps from My Quiet Kitchen are designed to fill you up and support a healthy and diverse microbiome.
Instead of tortillas, these wraps use beautiful green collard leaves. (No gut-damaging preservatives, dough conditioners, and refined oils here!)
Make your belly happy, and whip these up for a Korean-inspired lunch or dinner feast.
Creamy Asparagus and Red Lentil Soup from The Simple Veganista
Legumes are among the healthiest foods you can consume for digestive health. They’re full of both soluble and insoluble fiber, along with prebiotic fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
In addition to the lentils, the leeks and asparagus in this Creamy Asparagus and Red Lentil Soup recipe from The Simple Veganista also works to enhance your immune system and normalize blood sugar levels. And the lemon and tarragon both work to detoxify your body and provide anti-inflammatory properties that can help to make digestion a breeze. Enjoy this soup hot or as a cold gazpacho on a sunny day.
And If you want even more support in implementing fabulous health-promoting choices for your WHOLE Life…
Tell us in the comments:
- How do you take care of your gut health?
- Did you find these resources helpful?
- What gut-healthy foods do you already eat (and which do you intend to try)?
Featured Image: iStock.com/LightFieldStudios