The digestive tract is an amazing system within our body. Actually, believe it or not, our GI tract is actually OUTSIDE of our body. Why? Well our GI tract starts at the mouth (an open orifice), and ends at the rectum (another open orifice for those interested). There’s a lot of research going on within the space of the gut and the wide-ranging effects it can have on our health.
I like to explain the gut as an irrigation system. The GI tract acts as the “pipes” that carry the good (and bad) stuff to the farm. The body is the “farm” that receives all that stuff from the pipes. Put simply, we need good pipes to have optimal immune and metabolic function.
A major issue that can go unnoticed for years is this concept of leaky gut. You’ve likely heard of this before at this point. It’s essentially when our pipes go bad, thus allowing harmful toxins and substances to wreak havoc inside our body. The good news is that, with a little diligence, we can clean our pipes up again. Check out the list below:
Polyphenols: These are special nutrients from plants that help to feed the beneficial microorganisms within our gut. This allows those friendly bugs to repair our pipes. Polyphenols can be found in foods like red cabbage, wild blueberries, green tea, cranberries, turmeric, dark chocolate, etc. I like Pure Encapsulations Poly-Prebiotic Powder.
Butyrate: Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) that is wildly important to maintain the integrity of our digestive tract, in addition to being the predominant fuel source for our colon cells. Your beneficial gut bugs can actually break down things like fiber and polyphenols to produce butyrate. You can also supplement butyrate as well. Pure Encapsulations Sun-Butyrate is fantastic. Pipes that have plenty of butyrate and other SCFA’s around are happy pipes.
PRObiotics: You’ve likely heard of probiotics. They are beneficial gut bugs that help maintain our gut lining. Dr. Mark Hyman has described probiotics like tourists. They come over for a little bit, maybe boost the economy with spending, and then they leave again. Probiotics are similar. They usually don’t stick around in the gut long, but they can certainly have beneficial downstream effects. They have shown benefit with reducing IBS, autoimmunity (which is rampid), preventing or reducing infection, improving anxiety and sleep, as well as regulating metabolism and fatigue.
PREbiotics: Basically, think of prebiotics as a type of fiber that our gut bugs love. I like acacia fiber, pectin from apple skins, cranberry seed, orange and lemon peel. Luckily, there are plenty of prebiotic fibers out there. I like Pure Encapsulations EpiIntegrity Powder.
R & R: Rest and recovery. You ever go to the gym and expect your muscles to grow before your eyes as you witness your fitness in that obnoxiously large mirror? I hope not. The benefits come during the recovery and post-workout stage! I often view eating as a workout for the gut and immune system. This is why I’m a proponent of whatever form of fasting or time restricted eating (TRE) you can stick to. Most find a 12-16 hour fast from dinner the night before to the first bite of food the next day to be doable. This doesn’t have to be daily. But a lot of good things happen when we feel a little hunger every now and then.
Hope you enjoyed this. Our gut health is so vital. Do everything you can to tend to it. If you put crap in, you will undoubtedly get some crap out...Pun completely intended. You can shop the products mentioned in this article through our online store HERE.