The Secret to Flourishing Gut Health
We contain trillions of microorganisms that are essential to the normal functioning of our bodies. Studies have revealed that beneficial bacteria in the gut have a major influence on our health, improving digestion and immunity, helping us to maintain a normal weight and affecting our emotional well being. Psychobiotics is a brand new science that explores the link between these ‘good’ bacteria in our gut and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
When the balance of beneficial bacteria is disturbed, we can experience digestive symptoms such as IBS, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea. In addition to these physical discomforts, we are also vulnerable to colds and infections, as well as emotional unease, typically anxiety and depression.
So how does this imbalance in gut flora come about? There are many causes, from stress and poor diet to the frequent use of antibiotics and other medications.
The good news is that we can improve our gut health relatively quickly with a good diet and some help from probiotics, fermented foods like yoghurt (preferably natural, with no sugar), sauerkraut, and foods that nourish the gut – think sweet potato, beans, asparagus, potatoes.
A regular yoga practice can also help you manage stress. Studies show that mindful movement and breath awareness can actually bring about positive changes in the gut flora. Yoga also increases body awareness which leads you to make healthier food and lifestyle choices. Regular yogis report an increase in stress resilience, fewer ‘sick’ days and a more positive outlook.
Check out some of my favourite ‘gut-friendly’ foods. Red cabbage sauerkraut, packed with beneficial bacteria, is made in Cork and available in most health shops. And the coconut milk buttons, chocolate drops of deliciousness containing probiotics!
Our Naturopath Siobhán Carroll can work with clients with digestive complaints, hormonal imbalances, chronic illnesses, and much more. The gentle and safe naturopathic treatments are also safe for pregnant women and children of all ages. Regardless of the condition of your health, naturopathy can be an excellent step toward wellness. Check out our Naturopathy page or contact us about a consultation with Siobhán.