Gut Health

The digestive Tract

Also known as the digestive tract or gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the gut covers the parts of the body involved with food intake and output from top to bottom. This includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, colon and rectum. But when we talk about gut health, we’re really talking about the bacteria in the microbiome which happens in your large intestine.

The microbiome is the environment inside the large intestine and the trillions of bacteria that live there. The bacteria help with digestion.

Typically we think of bacteria as bad, but there are both good and bad bacteria in your gut that do different jobs in your stomach. So even though some bacteria may be bad if there becomes too much of it, all bacteria is needed in a symbiotic relationship in order for good digestion.

Digestive System = Enteric Nervous System

Irritation in the gastrointestinal system sends signals to the brain via the central nervous system (CNS) that trigger mood changes, while mood signals from the brain to the gut. 

  • AKA the “Second Brain”
  • Talks to the brain through hormones and the immune system
  • Affects other parts of your body and life beyond digestion

Gut and Sleep

  • Large melatonin production in gut
  • Sleep deprivation affects gut health
  • Lack of sleep affects dietary choices
  • Hormones become unbalance = increase cortisol (stress hormone)

Gut and Stress

  • Stress negatively affects digestion
  • Can lead to “Leaky Gut”
  • Long-term stress can affect metabolism and ability to heal

Gut and Mood

  • 90% of Serotonin Receptors (happiness hormone)
  • Mood, Sleep, Digestion, Wound Healing, Bone Health
  • Increase Serotonin = Lower Depression & Anxiety

Signs OF An Unhealthy Gut

  • Upset stomach
  • Migraines
  • Sudden weight loss/gain
  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Sugar craving
  • Skin inflammation and irritation

What Should You Eat?

  • Eat Fiber, Whole Grains, & Beans
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Decrease artificial sweeteners
  • Fiber
  • Fermented foods
  • Ginger 
  • Prunes

High Fiber Foods You Should Eat

Food with high amounts of fiber, such as:

  • Fruits (examples: Berries, Bananas)
  • Vegetables (examples: Asparagus, Leeks)
  • Beans and Legumes
  • Whole grains

What Should You Do?

  • Drink more water
  • Eat slower
  • Manage stress
  • Relax before bed
  • Light yoga
  • Don’t eat before bed