As a child, I used to believe that my gut was basically my tummy or stomach. Perhaps this was a direct result of dangers like “I’m going to punch you in the gut”! The gut is a term that is regularly utilized by the clinical calling to portray the intestinal plot, which resides within the digestive system or gastrointestinal tract (GI). The intestinal tract is comprised of the small intestine, which follows the stomach in the digestive system, then the large intestine, which is also called the colon. What happens in the intestines is very important because the rest of your health depends upon the state of your gut health.
If we try and equate the state of our modern gut health to that of our ancient ancestors it would be a very different tale. Many of our common diseases were practically unknown to them. This is because instead of getting food from a neighbor or farmer’s bushel baskets, we get it from store shelves where they have been processed to last and stay fresh over long periods of time.
Necessary Nutrients for Gut Health
Necessary nutrients such as bran and germ from whole grains were processed out, making bread and cereals and many other foods nutritionally inferior to what they were. Many of us ingest too much sodium, bleached white flour, and hydrogenated fats so it’s not surprising our gut health is poor. Our digestive systems have become impaired by being sluggish and clogged with junk.
Fortunately today in 2011 there are more people becoming aware and we are starting to see that even food companies are catering to this general public awareness. No sugar products are appearing more, and additives such as pro and prebiotics are seen instead of MSG and other chemical additives, this is a good sign… but is it enough?
Too many gut health problems and disease are linked directly to a low-fiber diet. Many still don’t address this and so keep getting treatment in the form of pharmaceutical prescription drugs from their doctors. These drugs cause other problems even if they are successful in treating their supposed symptoms.
More Natural Foods are Needed
One of the nutrition buzz-words today is “prebiotics”. Prebiotics are found in natural foods such as certain fruits and vegetables and whole grains, the ones that haven’t had the bran and germ processed out of them that is!
To start getting your gut health back into some form of order, arguably, the single most important thing you can do is add more fiber to your diet, if nothing else. The key popping about prebiotics is actually the type of dietary fiber call soluble fiber. It does not get digested by your digestive system, rather goes directly to the last stop which is the colon. Here is where it does all the good you expect it to do.
Soluble fiber will ferment once in the colon and this fermentation is what feeds our good bacteria there so it can multiply and improve all functions of the intestinal tract and digestive system, in turn, improving our overall health. It can be that simple. Fiber, more specifically, prebiotics will improve your gut health.