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Let’s talk about Gut Health


Today is World Digestive Health Day and it marks the start of a twelve-month long campaign from World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), focusing on raising public and professional awareness of digestive disease or disorder. This year’s focus is “Your Digestive Health: Make It A Priority”.

To mark the day our Nourished Life nutritionist, Evie Tanner explained more.

What is gut health?

The term gut health is increasingly used - it refers to the health of your entire digestive tract – all 9 metres of it! Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms, known as your gut microbiota. These bacteria don’t just process the food we eat, but help our body maintain balance and stay healthy and well.

Everything we eat and drink influences our gut ecosystem. However, other factors including how we experience and react to stress, our physical activity levels and any medications we take may also impact our gut microbiome.

Why is gut health so important?

Well, there is growing evidence that the health of our gut can have a huge impact on our overall health. In fact, our gut communicates with our brain via hormones and nerves. This is why the gut is often referred to as our ‘second brain’. This so-called ‘gut brain’ axis, helps maintain our general health and wellbeing. Looking after our gut heath is important for:

  • Supporting our brain and heart
  • Supporting our skin health
  • Supporting our mental health
  • Helping to reduce our risk of heart disease, diabetes and other autoimmune diseases
  • Healthy weight maintenance
  • Supporting our immune system – 70% of our immune cells lay along our digestive tract

What can we do to look after our gut and promote optimal gut health?

There are some areas we can look at to ensure we are promoting optimal gut health:

  • Thinking about what foods we can incorporate into our diet can be a great place to start. Increasing the amount of plant foods (fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds) in our diet. Plant foods are naturally high in fibre, which the good bacteria in our gut feed and thrive on.
  • Finding a form of exercise or movement we enjoy – exercise can make the contractions in our gut (known as peristalsis), more effective.
  • Staying hydrated – hydration is essential for optimal digestion. Our body relies on water to break down and absorb the nutrients from the foods we eat and to help move them more efficiently through the digestive tract.
  • Sleep – getting adequate sleep and maintaining a consistent sleep routine can help to promote the beneficial (or ‘gut good’ bacteria in our gut).

For more information on health visit our Nourished Life website - Nourished Life

The Nourished Life team and Bio & Me at Compass House, Chertsey