Have you ever felt “butterflies” in your stomach or used the expression “I just have a gut feeling”….then, all of a sudden, you feel a sudden urge to make a 50-yard dash to the bathroom?
I have often referred to the gut as our roadmap to wellness. Its long hollow hose can be a passage for essential nutrients supporting our mind, body, and vitality. But, on the other hand, it could be a passage for pollution providing distress creating digestive dysfunction leading to multiple root causes of inflammation, leaky gut, or infection throughout our bodies.
For example, let’s take our Enteric Nervous System (ENS) or otherwise known as “the second brain” within this system are millions of neurological branches or trees (I sometimes describe them) that relay messages throughout various systems within our body. Within the ENS these branches are in the walls of our gastrointestinal tract, starting in the esophagus, stomach, small intestines, large intestines, pancreas, gallbladder, and bile ducts. Some of the primary functions of this system are control of motility allowing our food intake to be appropriately mixed, exposing digestive enzymes for more easy absorption into our digestive tracks. Regulation of our fluid intake and electrolyte balance through the small and large intestines. In addition to regulation of gastric and pancreatic secretion to regulate hormones and various nerve fibers of our endocrine system cells to name a few. Most of us recognize that gut health is vital for our overall digestive health, but we also need to be aware of how nervous and neurological symptoms can have their place in an unhealthy gut as well.
Therefore, in my opinion, one of the main effects on our overall well-being is OUR nutrition.
So how can we fill our guts in a way that provides good food for enhanced overall well-being?
Look at what you can do rather than what you can’t and include these simple three tips for enhancing your overall gut WELL-BEING:
-FIBER found in plants helps bulk and move along all the things inside our gut
-PROBIOTICS foods are created from the fermentation process and come in the form of a variety of foods. Some examples are yogurt, kefir, or kimchi
PREBIOTICS fibers found in our plant-based foods that you cannot digest are necessary for healthy bacteria to flourish. Helping you to digest. Some examples of these are chicory root, garlic, and dandelion greens.