We are sure that by now you have come across the word GUT and you're wondering "Why is this three-letter word so important all of a sudden?" Well...so did we! So, we did some investigation and took the time to better our knowledge of this important organ.
The gut (gastrointestinal tract) is the long tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the back passage (anus). The gut processes all the food and drink we consume and is the main contributor to the digestive system.
This very important part of the body is makes up the majority of our immune system. It also, has its own brain and can control and influence many bodily functions plus communicates directly with our head brain.
It can be so critical to so many aspects of wellbeing and we believe the beauty of this, is that we can influence its health by what we consume every day. What we eat and drink has a direct influence and roll on effect throughout our whole body so it's great that so many of us, really care about what we put in.
To learn a bit more, we chatted with the lovely and extremely talented, Dr. Amanda Waaldyk....
- Hey! What's your name and where do you come from (work place/profession)?
- What exactly are we referring to when we say “Gut"?
In Chinese Medicine and Naturopathic terms, the gut is the root of all health. It is a main contributor to our immune system, is closely linked with our nervous system, and influences virtually all other systems in the body.
- Why is this organ getting so much attention of late?
There is (luckily) a growing realisation even in mainstream medicine just how much importance the gut and gut bacteria have in overall health and wellbeing, and it is a complex field that scientists are only beginning to understand. Gut health has been linked to many acute and chronic conditions including skin conditions, anxiety and depression, sleep disturbances, arthritis, food intolerances, IBS, trouble conceiving, chronic fatigue, chronic colds and flus, and much more. Treating the gut and restoring a healthy balance of gut bacteria usually results in the resolution of many other complaints and ailments.
- Tell me more about the gut and my health/immune system…
The gut influences the immune system in many ways. I will try to keep this to layman terms!
Firstly, ample digestive enzymes and a healthy gut lining are important in nutrient absorption and assimilation, and these nutrients, as we know, are important in maintaining a strong immune system and overall longterm health.
Further, gut bacteria are involved in protection against pathogens, they neutralise toxins and metabolise nutrients, and communicate with the immune system in very complex ways. They are involved in inflammatory processes, regulation of the acid/alkaline balance, and more.
- Are there any signs that I may be suffering from poor gut health?
Gut health is complex. Imbalances can manifest in many different ways, and an inflamed or leaky gut, or an imbalance of gut bacteria can sometimes be hard to pinpoint. Common signs and symptoms may include bloating, cramps, gas, stomach pain, reflux, hives and rashes, but may also include fatigue, migraines, anxiety, joint pain or other.
- What's a super quick, easy to understand way to help aid my gut and make it as healthy as possible?
The best way to aid your gut is to think about what you are putting in. Does your diet consist of junk food, beige foods, lots of meat, coffee, alcohol and sugar (i.e. highly acidic and pro-inflammatory foods)? Or does it contain a variety of natural whole foods and colour rich vegetables, fruit, fermented foods and bone broth (i.e. healing, soothing and alkaline foods). We all know which foods are ‘healthy’ and which are not, however we often don’t think about food in the way of ‘does it nourish me, or may it potentially be causing damage?’
- Any parting notes?
Look after your gut, and your whole body will thank you
- If I have a treat it could be things like….
Minimally processed, natural treats such as dates, fruit, raw treats with cacao and nuts, delicious creamy chia puddings, homemade smoothies etc.
- What's your personal fav treat that keeps the guy happy?
Homemade bliss balls with cacao and dates. Coconut milk turmeric latte. And the occasional piece of dark choccie!
- What's your fav GG product?
The traditional Turmeric blend. With coconut milk :)