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Why is gut health so important?

Did you know that the typical Western diet is changing our gut bacteria and putting us at a higher risk for illness and disease? An imbalance of bacteria in the gut is known to affect the immune, hormonal and central nervous systems, contributing to the development, progression and treatment of many diseases.

These are the 5 worst culprits for disrupting our gut health and the communities of good bacteria: 1. Refined carbohydrates and sugars A high intake of sugar can promote the growth of bad bacteria and reduce numbers of good bacteria. This imbalance can lead to disease, inflammation and adverse food reactions.

2. High animal protein High consumption of animal-based proteins can also lead to an overpopulation of harmful bacteria, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). 3. Saturated fats A high intake of saturated fatty acids reduces the richness and diversity of gut bacteria. This can contribute to an imbalance of gut bacteria, gut inflammation and intestinal barrier alterations. 4. High salt High intake of salt could stimulate the growth of pathogenic bacteria to the detriment of beneficial bacteria, leading to potential alterations of the intestinal barrier. 5. Food additives The use of food additives such as non-nutritive sweeteners and emulsifiers in processed foods can modify the composition, movement and function of the gut microbiota, causing inflammation, glucose intolerance, allergies and metabolic disease. 4 foods that are great for your gut 1. Prebiotic foods Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that have a beneficial effect on gut health and symptoms, stimulating the growth and activity of bacteria and reducing gastrointestinal disorders, including infectious irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and allergic food intolerance. 2. Dietary fibres Dietary fibres are resistant to digestion in the small intestine, so in the large intestine help form short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) or help to remove waste. 3. Polyphenols Plant polyphenols are found in plant foods and help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and other health issues. Polyphenols are typically found in coloured fruit and vegetables and can influence gut microbiota composition. 4. Healthy fats Monounsaturated fats of the Mediterranean diet and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) help restore a healthy gut bacteria composition and increase the production of anti-inflammatory compounds. What is the best diet for gut health? THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET The Mediterranean diet is high in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, with a greater consumption of plant proteins than animal proteins. Research shows that adherence to a Mediterranean diet supports disease prevention, promotes better gut health with microbiome diversity and exerts anti-inflammatory activity. Natural ingredients for restoring gut health A combination of natural ingredients has been shown to promote and maintain a healthy gut and improve symptoms. A formula containing partially hydrolysed guar gum (PHGG), glutamine, zinc, aloe vera, turmeric and slippery elm provides targeted support for balanced microbiota composition and healthy gut function. This formula is available for those who think they need professional support from your naturopath

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