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Hippocrates once said “All disease begins in the gut.”
Known as the “Father of Modern Medicine,” Hippocrates was a Greek physician who lived between 460 – 370 BC. He was the first man to argue that disease is the result of environmental factors, diet, and living habits. And he was the one who stated, all disease begins in the gut. (source)
We have a lot of common knowledge today which was made possible by much of his discovery, all those years ago. He was certainly on to something, and ahead of his time, especially concerning gut health, which is something that’s still a new concept to our society.
But what do you really know about gut health, and what exactly is it?
As a natural mama, this is one of the basic facets of our take on caring for our families’ whole mind, body, and wellness.
Because everything can be traced back to the gut, this is where we must begin.
Gut health refers to the health of your gastrointestinal system and digestive tract. Your gut uses beneficial bacteria – probiotics – to process the food you eat into energy.
Our gastrointestinal system contains 10x more health determining bacteria than the rest of our body. There are colonies of beneficial bacteria within each of us, called probiotics. Of this, there are an estimated 400 known strains of live probiotics in our bodies. These produce antibiotic chemicals to naturally fight infection – very much health determining bacteria.
In fact, many consider taking probiotics more important than taking a multivitamin, for they even produce a large number of vitamins, including Vitamin K, A, and B-vitamins. And there are more than 100 known benefits to taking probiotics, as well as eating fermented food and drinks which are naturally rich in probiotics. (source)
So it’s basically perhaps the most important area of your health to keep track of. It is one of the basic building blocks of wellness.
Gut health begins at birth. A vaginal birth is a babies first dose of probiotics, and a mother’s colostrum (predecessor to breastmilk) is our second – which has up to 40% probiotic content. (source, source)
Your gut health matters, and it begins on your first day of life, until the last. No matter your age, this is something you should know and care about and nurture in your own daily diet and wellness.
There are many ways to care for your gut health… but before we get into more of that, let’s explore more of why it’s so important.
There’s research which shows that many mental health issues can be traced in part to gut health. This is because your gut and brain actually “talk” to each other by something called the gut-brain axis.
The gut-brain axis is a communication network between your central nervous system and your gut microbes.
Little molecules created by your gut microbes send messages to your brain which influence both your emotions and mental health. Then, your brain sends messages back, which translates to how our mental state can influence our gut health.
Knowing this makes it clear how what we eat directly influences our gut health which directly influences our mental health and overall wellbeing.
Your gut health matters, mama.
And you can support this by what you eat.
Your gut health matters because it influences every other bodily function. And you nurture your gut health by eating good, clean food. Commonly suggested include egg yolks, clean meats and fish, and lots of fresh veggies.
If you care about your gut health and see why it matters, build your body up and take care of it. And be sure to stay away from what inflames the gut: the standard American diet. Eating sugars and processed foods increase the likelihood of leaky gut and inflames the gut. And because of what we know about the gut-brain axis, as cited above, this can influence to mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and more.
While there are many facets to mental health and health in general, we know that we can control the food we eat which impacts how well our body functions. We also know that specific vitamins, such as Vitamin C and B-vitamins, are very beneficial for improving your mood and outlook. So feed yourself and your children life-giving, nourishing, whole foods.
Your gut health matters because it translates into every facet of your health and well-being. So take care of your gut health, take care of you, mama, and take care of your family.
~Katherine Newsom writes at Simple Natural Mama
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