Gut Health 101

Health & Lifestyle

Presented by Rhiannon Lytle, RHN with Organika (source: Full Webinar)

Photo by Needpix

Gut Microbiome

  • Gut: everything from the mouth to rectum 
  • Microbiome: bacteria, viruses that live on and in the body
    • Everything has a microbiome (even the skin)
  • Gut microbiome is like a “little rainforest” in your body that is made up of cells and organisms
    • Everything works in conjunction (you need good and bad; problems can arise when off balance)
    • Medication or illness can disrupt microbiome and cause an imbalance 

Dysbiosis

  • An imbalance of too much bad or not enough good organisms composed in the gut
    • Candida (yeast overgrowth) 
    • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Disease (IBS/IBD)
  • Indicators: uncontrollable sugar cravings, bloating after meals, constipation 

Leaky Gut

  • Formally known as Intestinal Permeability 
  • Our intestinal wall has small gaps (called tight junctions) to let water and nutrients that our body needs daily to pass through 
  • Due to inflammatory factors (e.g., foods, medication, illness), small gaps can grow larger in the lining of our gut, allowing toxins and undigested food particles through 

Gut Disruptors

  • Refined sugar intake
    • Processed foods, white sugar; can lead to candida (yeast overgrowth)
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Advil
  • Excessive alcohol
    • Depletes good bacteria 
  • Nutrient deficiencies
    • Vitamin A, E, Zinc
  • Inflammation
    • Leaky gut causing irritation/dysbiosis
  • Stress
    • Causes hormone imbalances
  • Antibiotics
    • Pulls out good gut bacteria
    • Taking probiotics after or alongside antibiotics helps create good bacteria
  • Certain medication

Gut-Brain Connection 

Photo by Pixabay
  • There are 500 million neurons in our gut that connect to our brain
  • The gut (also referred to as our “second brain”) communicates with our actual brain through our nervous system, hormones and immune system
  • Is also known as our “gut-brain axis”
  • The vagus nerve is a major nerve connecting our gut and brain
    • Critical for digestion, heart rate, blood, sleep
    • Important to rest and digestion; slowing down breathing supports digestion and nutrient absorption (engages stomach acid preparing us to eat)
  • Our gut is a hub for neurotransmitter production of:
    • Serotonin: the happy hormone
      • Impacts our mood and how we digest food
    • Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA): controls fear and anxiety
  • How we feel impacts gut; gut can impact how we feel

Gut-Immunity Connection 

  • Gut consists of  70% of the cells that make up our immune system
  • Intestinal lining is our first line of defense in our immune health
    • If our lining isn’t working optimally, our immune system may jump in to support
  • Poor gut health can lead to increased inflammation 

Foods to Consume 👍

close up shot of delicious kimchi on white ceramic plate
Photo of kimchi by makafood
  • Foods to reduce inflammation:
    • Fatty fish
    • Leafy greens
    • Nuts
  • Foods high in probiotics:
    • Sauerkraut 
    • Kimchi
    • Kombucha
    • Kefir
    • Tempeh
  • Foods high in fibre:
    • Fruits & vegetables 
    • Oats
    • Quinoa
    • Beans
  • Foods that increase neurotransmitters:
    • Tryptophan (an amino acid that is important for the production of serotonin)-rich foods like poultry, eggs, spinach, seeds
    • GABA-increasing foods like bone broth, whole grains, fermented foods, oolong tea

Foods to (consider) Avoiding 🙅

  • Refined sugars
  • Alcohol 
  • Dairy
  • Gluten 
  • Caffeine

Organika Recipes


More from Organika
More from Rhiannon Lytle, RHN

WEBSITE DISCLAIMER

This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

2 thoughts on “Gut Health 101

  1. Thanks very much Sam for sending this to me..I suffer from a few of these ailments and it’s always good to read such valuable information.

    Hope you are your family are well.

    Take care!

    1. Hi Jan,
      Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’ve suffered with gut issues myself, so I’m glad to read that you were able to take away some useful information from it. I too hope all is well with you and family!
      Samantha

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