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Maintaining a Healthy Gut: 4 Ways to Improve Your Gut Health



The gut, also known as the alimentary canal, goes from the mouth to the anus, and it has the function of digesting nutrients and making it available for the body to use. It is simply the digestive system. The whole digestive system affects how we absorb nutrition. 

A brief rundown of what the anatomy and physiology of a healthy gut looks like: the gut goes from the mouth to the anus. So from the mouth (including the teeth, gums, having enough saliva secretion which helps to start the process of digestion), it goes down your esophagus which is the tube between your mouth and your stomach.

From the stomach, which is a large muscular structure that has the primary role of digesting food into smaller mechanical pieces, it goes into the small intestine, which has three parts: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. The small intestine is a very important part of the gut because this is where you have the digestion of the mechanical smaller particles of food into sub nutrients. For example, proteins are broken down into amino acids, carbohydrates broken are down into sugars, and fats broken down into fatty acids. 

The walls of the small intestine absorb water and the digested nutrients into your bloodstream and waste products from the digestive process move into the large intestine.

So in a nutshell, a healthy gut helps you absorb the nutrition in your food. There are many different parts of it that help with how you absorb the nutrition and if any of those things are affected, then you might have an issue with your gut. The gut is central in the body and is connected to all of our different organs and systems such as the nervous system, the lymphatic system, the endocrine system, etc, so a fault in the gut connects in some way to every other system in the body.


Seeing how important the role the gut plays in one’s overall health and wellness, it is important that actionable steps are taken to improve and maintain gut health.



Routine Health Checks 

Carrying out routine health checks is one of the best proactive methods to keep your gut health in check. Routine health checks provide insights into various markers and indicators that can affect digestive well-being. These checks often include tests such as stool analysis, blood tests, and genetic testing, all of  which can detect issues like inflammation, infections, or imbalances in the gut. We explore these different pathways via our healthy gut program, here at Libre Aesthetics and Wellness, and by identifying these underlying problems early on, proactive measures can be taken to address them, thus preventing more severe gut-related conditions from developing.



Diet - The best foods for healthy gut

What we eat plays a huge role in every aspect of our lives, and that includes the health of the gut. 

The good bacteria in your gut are fuelled by the food you eat. The bacteria and other microorganisms found in your gut are known as your gut microbiome. These bacteria help to break down food, turning it into nutrients your body can use. Eating a variety of fresh, wholefoods, majorly from plant based sources such as fruits, vegetables, legume, nuts and wholegrains, serve as fuel for the good bacteria in your gut and this way, they are supercharged to work on repairing and balancing your microbiome.

Foods rich in fiber such as cereals, vegetables, nuts, are also beneficial for gut health, as they nourish the gut microbiome, aid nutrient absorption and bowel movement and also prevent digestive discomfort.

Adequate hydration is an essential part of the diet that should not be overlooked. Water helps break down food, absorb nutrients, and facilitate the elimination of waste products from the body. Inadequate water consumption can lead to constipation and hinder the proper functioning of the digestive system. Taking at least 2.5 to 3 liters of water per day while incorporating hydrating foods such as cucumbers, watermelon, and soups into your diet will help in maintaining optimal digestive function.



Stress Management

As it has been previously stated, the gut is central to all parts of the body, and that includes the brain. Due to the intricate connection between the gut and the brain (the gut-brain axis), stress management is important in improving the health of the gut. When the body is stressed, it releases major stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. The release of these hormones can lead to digestive disruptions and cause an imbalance of bacteria in the gut, leading to inflammation. Chronic stress can also weaken the immune system, compromise the gut lining and make it more susceptible to harmful bacteria and pathogens.

Implementing stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, exercise, and adequate sleep can help mitigate the impact of stress on gut health. Stress Management is so impactful, it forms part of the six pillars of Lifestyle Medicine, a service we offer at Libre Aesthetics and Wellness, using prescriptive evidence-based lifestyle changes to treat and reverse chronic medical conditions such as diabetes type 2, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. 

Indulging in these stress reduction practices promote relaxation and reduce the production of stress hormones, thereby creating a more favorable environment for beneficial gut bacteria to thrive. Additionally, stress management techniques enhance overall resilience, improving the body's ability to handle stressful situations without triggering a cascade of negative effects on the gut.



Supplements and Infusions - Are Gut Health Supplements Worth It?

In situations where the gut health has been compromised in some way, supplements can be introduced to support and improve the gut microbiome.

For example with glutamine, which is an amino acid, it strengthens the intestinal walls, mitigating gut damage hence increasing gut health. With licorice root which is now most recently promoted as a dietary supplement helps control H pylori, which is a carcinogenic bacteria that can lead to gut cancer, cause ulcers and inflammation. Prebiotic supplements are also known to be great for the good bacteria in the gut.

IV Infusions are another means to improve the health of the gut, in an especially quick way. This is because these infusions go directly into your bloodstream so it bypasses the regular digestion process, and so you get a better amount absorbed into your body. 

It is often advised to see a certified physician before supplements and IV infusions are introduced into one’s health regimen. 


 

LIBRE AESTHETICS AND WELLNESS HEALTHY GUT PROGRAM

The Healthy Gut Program at Libre Aesthetics and Wellness implements these steps in helping you improve and maintain your gut health. With the support of certified physicians that care about your health, and make it their mission to have you feeling your absolute best, you can trust that you’ll be on your way to your healthiest version in no time!

Contact us or schedule a consultation to get started today!


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