Ask the Nutritionist – How can I improve my Gut Health? – The Good, Bad & Best Practices!

me&my health up podcast episode #28- Transcript

Anthony Hartcher 0:00
Welcome to another episode of me&my health up series two ask your nutritionist, I’m Anthony Hatcher, the host, and I’m a clinical nutritionist and lifestyle medicine specialist health up seeks to enhance and inspire and enlighten the well being of others.

Today’s topic has come from a client, and a client has asked how can I improve my gut health. So today we’re going to be discovering gut health and why it’s important, what you can do about it, what you want to be doing more of, less of, and how you can ultimately improve your gut health over time and give you really good health outcomes. \

So what is gut health? It is essentially the bacteria that resides within us, starting from the mouth all the way through to the stomach to the small intestines, large intestines and the anus. So there’s bacteria that lives within us, and lots of it, actually, there’s more bacteria than human cells. And it’s very important that we take care of it, because they have a symbiotic relationship with us. They look after us provider, we look after them. It’s very important we look after them.

Let’s start with why, you know, why should we be doing something about our gut health? We should be doing something about our gut health, because studies are telling us that the populations that have the healthiest outcomes have the most diverse microbiota so that they have the most diverse range of bacteria that reside within them. And so what we’re going to be talking about is how you can increase your diversity, and improve your healthy outcomes ultimately, through following this simple protocol.

So what should we be doing more of so let’s start with the mouth, we certainly want to be chewing better, and spending more time chewing our food, because that really helps with the digestion of our food, and ultimately helps minimise that feeling of bloating, and that, you know that discomfort you can get after eating. Certainly chewing your food really helps choosing the right types of food that go into your mouth. So foods that contain less sugar is really helpful for the microbiome in the mouth. And we want to be not mouth washing, mouth washing wipes out, all bacteria within the mouth and can cause this imbalance of bacteria and could potentially cause tooth decay.

Best to avoid mouthwash and just use good health, teeth hygiene such as flossing, brushing your teeth twice a day, and eating less sugar. Now let’s get down to as we go down the gastrointestinal tract to the stomach, what can we do to improve our stomach? In terms of what resides there, it’s very acidic down there. And we want to keep it at acidity because it protects us. So in terms of how do we maintain this nice acidic balance in the stomach, we need to ensure that we are less, we manage our stress essentially.

So if we are very stressed, our digestive function doesn’t operate well. So we need to make sure that we manage our stress throughout the day. And we’re not remaining highly stressed all the time, because that will really affect our stomach pH and hence that can affect what happens down below the stomach in terms of where the bacteria resides and what bacteria resides where. So we really want to keep a healthy stomach acid. And we do this by certainly eating a nice diverse range of foods, plant based foods rich in colours, and that will make sure we get the minerals and vitamins that we need to produce stomach acid.

And by maintaining low stress, we will produce enough stomach acid to make sure that we don’t get the bugs that shouldn’t be residing in our stomach like H Pylori. We don’t want them flourishing or populating and causing potentially reflux and heartburn symptoms. So what else we want to be thinking about so that you know once we’re looking at our small intestine and large intestine, as I said, it’s important that we chew our food to enhance the process of digestion and enhance the simulation of those nutrients into our body.

In order to do this, we to ensure that we’re helping the motility of this small intestinal tract. So the motility is the moving of the food, what we call the bolus through the intestinal tract. And to maintain healthy motility, we’ve, we do need to manage our stress yet again. And secondly, we need to be consuming foods that really help with stimulating that motion. So we know ginger is one of these foods that really helped with the stimulation of that motion. Exercise really helps as well. And deep breathing really helps. So, you know, the combination of those really helped that motility.

So the, you know, the bolus is moving through the small intestine. And it’s not spending too much time and fermenting in areas that it’s not meant to ferment and causing that bloating feeling. So, we certainly want to be looking after our small intestines by chewing our food, by managing our stress by eating foods like ginger, which are really helpful in terms of stimulating that peristalsis motion, that motility, as well as managing your stress.

Now, in terms of the food, that where most of the bacteria reside is in the large intestine, and the food that they really flourish on is fibre. And so this is why we want to be not too concerned about low carbohydrate diets, because carbohydrates is the foods that contain the fibre and we need them for good gut health, good gut function and ultimately good health outcomes. So we want to be eating fibrous foods and that’s Whole Foods.

As I said before, we want to have a rich diversity of these bacteria to get that rich diversity we need to be eating a diversity of foods. And so that’s not my no typing and just eating one type of vegetable or one type of fruit or you know, the day a couple of vegetables and a couple of fruits. It’s by you really want to be chasing lots of variety, challenge yourself when you go to the supermarket, get a fruit that you normally don’t buy, get some vegetables that you normally don’t buy, and enjoy it. Find ways to utilise that different fruit, different vegetables in your cuisines.

Look them up or Google them and to help you find this diversity. Chase colour so really look for colour. So you know your lunch, salads, your vegetables at night, you want to have a diverse range of colour, the colour of the rainbow. So this diversity of colour will give you these phytochemicals, polyphenols that really support positive gut function in terms of were really nourishing looking after our gut bacteria so that they can look after us they produce vitamins for us.

They provide food for the intera sites, which is the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. And we want to keep that with good integrity to keep out the enemies that the bacteria that we don’t want in our in our system. So we really need to look after our bacteria because they look after us. So go for those lots of colour, colours of the rainbow.

Different types of fibres, different grains, different nuts, different seeds, different legumes, so really mixing it up in terms of the legumes, the beans, you have, you know can have Aloni beans, red kidney beans, that you know there’s green beans, there’s soy beans, there’s so many lentils, there’s lots of beans out there, we want to have lots of diversity in seeds, so chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseed flax seed, we want to be having lots of diversity, nice seeds, lots of diversity in that macadamia and, you know, and there’s there’s pistachios, there’s cashews, walnuts, there’s so many nuts so really, you know, with the grain seeds and nuts, again, chasing diversity, mixing it up, not you know, having the same thing every time really, really mixing it up, because that will really help make sure that you have a healthy ecosystem of bacteria good balance, good diverse range, and will ultimately result in really healthy digestion, healthy outcomes, and ultimately, longevity.

So it’s really quite simple the things in terms of what you want to do less of is you. You don’t want to be having tap water tap water containers. chlorine, chlorine kills bacteria. You know, you have filter water, drink filtered water, you want to manage your stress. As I mentioned before, you want to ensure you have good sleep, you want to make sure that your exercise is critical. It really enhances the bugs, the bugs love you exercising.

So, you know, getting the blood circulating, helping peristalsis that motility of the small intestinal tract, helping move the bolus through the small intestines, helping good bowel motions. So we need to exercise we need to hydrate, we need to hydrate on filter water, we need to manage our stress, we need to breathe deeply, we need to sleep well.

You really need a holistic approach in order to get really good healthy gut function. Antibiotics, yes, they will kill off excessive amounts of bugs that we certainly don’t want in our small intestines, or large intestines. However, they also kill off all the good things that we do want. Making sure that you return to good gut health after your dose of antibiotics is important. So that’s lots of prebiotic food and that’s everything I mentioned around grains, seeds, nuts, and lots of fruit and vegetables.

You also want to minimise alcohol one drink per night is plenty, going beyond that you really affect your bacteria and it’s not going to help us, they don’t like it. Um so if you got any further questions, please leave them in the chat function reach out to me connect with me I would love to answer them on asked your nutritionist series too.

I hope you’re enjoying it. If you have any further questions that I can answer on a podcast please let me know because I’d love to answer them. Take care and all the best look after those bacteria because they will love you if you love them. Take care bye bye

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