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Nurturing Our Health And Planet

In the fast-paced modern world, health often takes a back seat because we are so consumed by our daily routines that we usually forget to prioritize the one thing that truly matters: our well-being. Have you ever considered the intricate connection between your gut health and overall well-being? Inflammation often underestimated, plays a crucial role in numerous chronic diseases, including cancer, digestive disorders, heart conditions, and even dementia. The gut, often called the “second brain,” is fundamental to our overall health, affecting several biological functions. Ignoring this can deteriorate well-being and lead to severe health issues.

What we can do to improve our health is to incorporate gut-healing foods into our diet. In the e-book, “29 Gut-Healing Foods for Inflammation,” by Nathan Crane, you will explore a variety of foods well-known for their gut-nourishing properties. One of the most important things about these foods is their accessibility to everyone; you won’t need to seek exotic or hard-to-find ingredients; most of them will be at your local grocery store or found already stocked in your kitchen. Additionally, the e-book features tasty recipes created from these gut-healing foods. These recipes are simple to prepare, and you will love them, making the journey to a healthier gut enjoyable for you and your loved ones.

When your gut is feeling great, you never think about it—but when it isn’t, it’s hard to think about anything else. The group of microorganisms that live in and make up your gastrointestinal tract plays a role in almost every aspect of your health, from preventing chronic illnesses and supporting brain health to keeping your immune system humming. So it’s no wonder you feel lousy when it’s out of whack. It’s best to speak with your doctor if you’re having serious discomfort, but we chatted with experts to determine how to improve your gut health when you need a little extra support. Here’s everything you need to know.

The human gut is far more complex than even experts used to realize—it encompasses a vast array of internal organs involved in digestion to absorb nutrients from food and expel waste. In addition to absorbing and transporting nutrients to all tissues in the body, the gut is vital for maintaining fluid and salt status and removing waste. Many important nutrients and vitamins, such as B12 and iron, have specialized transporters that also exist in the gut. Iron, for example, needs stomach acid to be absorbed effectively, and B12 requires certain stomach and intestine receptors to be interested. It’s hard to get these nutrients in other ways, and they are essential for normal physiological functioning.

The gut is also one of the body’s primary disease-fighting systems. “The acid in the stomach kills the bacteria and virus that can be accidentally consumed by the food we eat, and the digestive tract is an important way to introduce antigens to mount immune function and protection in the body,” says Christine Lee, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinic. “The digestive tract also digests the foods consumed and extracts the important nutrients to be taken into the body for essential use.”

Emerging research has even uncovered a link between poor gut health and several neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism, and depression. One such study by the Université de Genève found that individuals with Alzheimer’s have different types of bacteria growing in their gut than those who do not have the disease.

How to Improve Your Gut Health

The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to support your gut health. Here are some of the strategies doctors recommend.

Eat a wide range of healthy foods.

A diet of several different food types can lead to a more diverse microbiome that is made up of more species, according to a review published in the journal Molecular Metabolism. This, Dr. Lee explains, strengthens our microbiome, and enhances its resiliency.

The best foods for gut health are fruits, vegetables, legumes (like lentils), nuts, seeds, and whole grains, especially those highest in fiber, which help your digestive tract work properly. Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day and men should aim for 38 grams per day, per the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

And cut back on unhealthy foods. “The more grease, fat, and salt you eat, the worse your gut health will be,” says Scott David Lippe, M.D., chief of gastroenterology at Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus, NJ, and assistant clinical professor of medicine at Rutgers Medical School. This is something to remember, especially when you’re out to dinner, as restaurants tend to load up on salt, grease, and fat because they taste good.

Pay attention to how food makes you feel.

As important as it is to eat a wide variety of foods, there are times when it’s smart to avoid certain foods. That includes if a food makes you feel extra bloated, causes discomfort, or doesn’t make you feel good overall. Food journaling is a great way to pinpoint what those foods are, and it can help you identify allergies, discover the causes of underlying issues, and uncover eating habits that may be causing GI distress.

As a proud member of the Green School Green Future team, I’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible work they do. They rely on the support of individuals like you. If you want to support their cause, please consider donating at https://greenschoolsgreenfuture.org/donate/. By supporting these initiatives, we are investing in a greener future for our children; this will help to fund programs that teach students about the environment, food, security, and the importance of living a sustainable lifestyle.

Prioritize your wellness by embracing these healthful foods and recipes. Let’s pave the way for a healthier tomorrow by putting our gut health first.

References

Crane , N. (2024) ‘What to eat to stop inflammation and improve gut health’, Nathan Crane, 18 February. Available at: https://nathancrane.com/

SINRICH, J. and SONPAL, N. (2022) ‘How to Improve Your Gut Health, According to Experts’, Preventation, 23 September. Available at: https://www.prevention.com/health/a37612428/gut-health-guide/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=arb_ga_pre_md_pmx_hybd_mix_ca_20981607599&gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQiA5-uuBhDzARIsAAa21T_u7MjRA7LHc1YicF1p_dEtj8-qk5zJp1gUzMMI7jCK-wVLmCWHs1caAodoEALw_wcB. 

Nurturing Our Health And Planet Written By Diana Chuquen

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