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LET’S GET REAL – Gut Health!

I must say I really hate the word ‘gut’ but it is such an important topic to talk about. If you are someone who finds it hard to lose weight, maybe you are overweight, highly stressed, have sleep issues or maybe you get sick all the time then this blog is for you!

Why is Gut health important?

A healthy gut means you have a good balance of bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. The ‘good’ bacteria help your body:

  • Obtain energy from the food you eat – absorb nutrients so you can thrive
  • Get rid of toxins
  • Fight harmful viruses and bacteria – 60% of your immune system is in your gut
  • Produce vital hormones for good mental health, mood stability

Your gut microbiome consists of good and bad bacteria, viruses and fungi, when in balance through leading a healthy lifestyle, you will be walking around feeling fabulous and healthy! If the amount of good and bad bacteria become unbalanced in your gut this will cause inflammation. This inflammation in your gut can cause illness and disease, the place where most illness and disease start. With 60% of your immune system living in your gut, I think especially in today’s crazy world, we all need to pay attention and understand how to strive for optimal health.

In saying that, Inflammation isn’t all bad, it can work for you and also against you. If you have ‘acute’ inflammation such as a sprained ankle, inflammation occurs because of the increased fluid in the tissue, this happens to protect your ankle and is the start of the healing process and the inflammation will quickly disappear over a few days.

However, ‘chronic’ inflammation is long-lasting, commonly caused through poor diet or stress. Chronic inflammation can last months or years.

Let’s look at some conditions which are linked to chronic inflammation:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

When your body doesn’t have enough good bacteria, bad bacteria can thrive. This can happen through a poor diet, if you lead a stressful day to day life, too much alcohol consumption or even taking a course of antibiotics which kill off both good and bad bacteria in your gut.

The following can be signs of a bacterial imbalance in your gut:

  • Autoimmune problems, such as thyroid issues, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes
  • Digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, heartburn or bloating
  • Sleep issues
  • Skin rashes and allergies
  • Sugar cravings
  • Unexplained fatigue or sluggishness
  • Unexplained mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss

As we know an imbalance of bacteria in the gut can cause inflammation, this can lead to issues in absorbing the nutrients your body needs to function properly. However, when you consume good quality foods, these are broken down and produce hormones that make us feel alive, give us an abundance of energy and they also put us in a great mood. Go figure, eating well makes you feel AWESOME!!

The first vital hormone that is produced through eating well is Dopamine, our feel-good hormone that is also responsible for transferring messages around the body and the second important hormone is Serotonin which stabilizes your mood and controls your wellbeing and happiness.

They say you are what you eat, it is so true!!

So, what happens when you choose to eat poorly or drink too much alcohol or dive into the sweets on a regular basis?

Your body starts producing more of the bad bacteria which is associated with these foods, if this behaviour is consistent you will end up with an imbalance of bacteria in your gut which can lead to inflammation, over time leading to chronic disease.

Creating a healthy microbiome in your gut comes down to:

  • Eating well
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Consciously taking the time to relax regularly

Foods that fight inflammation for optimal health:

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Nuts – almonds / walnuts
  • Fatty Fish – Salmon, tuna, sardines
  • Fruit – berries / oranges / apples
  • Fermented foods such as kimchi

Foods that can cause inflammation, consume in moderation:

  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Fried Foods
  • Soft Drinks
  • Red Meat
  • Overcooked meats – carcinogenic
  • Processed meat
  • Margarine

Top 6 ways to reduce long-term inflammation:

  • Quit smoking
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Manage stress
  • Get regular physical activity
  • Consult your healthcare professional if you feel supplementation will be of benefit to you e.g. probiotic etc

This topic is one that no one talks about, a lot of people will just put up with the symptoms they are experiencing instead of being proactive. It is easier to stay the same – it takes strength, courage and a clear mindset to proactively change your ‘normal’. The best way is to slowly make small changes over time and to stay consistent. Map out your non-negotiables when it comes to diet, alcohol, stress and bedtime. I hope this ‘Let’s get Real’ blog inspires you to thrive and aspire to creating positive long-term health.

Kim x

If you are ready to start your own weight loss or health and fitness journey you can choose between my 8 week programs or my Kim Beach Life program view via our app. Let us give you access to everything you need whilst experiencing my one of a kind support community which is truly amazing! 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT KIM BEACH LIFE

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