Your gut is a unique and sensitive part of your body, and if mistreated, it can cause serious discomfort. ONE Fitness Health Lifestyle's Justin Smith shares the steps he successfully took to find his way to a happier gut and lifestyle.
DOWN IN THE GUTS with Justin.
I know I’m not the only one who struggles with a temperamental gut, with bloating and random pains. I primarily tie my gut issues back to the rounds of strong acne antibiotics I was taking when I was taking as a pimply teenager. For those of you who aren't aware, antibiotics essentially destroy your gut flora. Today, it’s very common for doctors to recommend taking probiotics after a course of antibiotics.
After years of trying everything to fix my gut issues, I've come up with some tips to fight it. A healthy gut also means improved immunity, digestive health, skin, weight management, energy levels and more, so read on for some steps to get started.
Tip 1. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar improves the production of stomach acid which means your gut more effectively breaks down foods, absorb them or eliminate them. I just put a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a warm (or room temperature) glass of water first thing each morning before I eat anything.
What do I use? Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar which is available at most supermarkets. I prefer organic where possible and its unfiltered so you get all the benefits of the fermentation process.
Tip 2. Magnesium
Magnesium is a muscle relaxant, which includes the muscles in your intestines and helps counteract some of the effects of stress (and anxiety if you suffer from that as well).
I will usually mix my magnesium powder in the same glass of water as my apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning. Not only does it kill two bird with one stone, but I buy flavoured magensium powder - either orange or strawberry - and that masks the taste of apple cider vinegar.
What do I use? I use the bioceutical brand of magnesium, called Musceleze. It comes in a range of tasty flavours to make your morning routine a little more bearable.
Tip 3. Probiotics
Get yourself a good probiotic to top up the good bacteria in your gut and to offset the effects of bad food and alcohol (yeah we all do it, even us fitness freaks) - and of course, some medications including antibiotics which we may need to take from time to time.
There are plenty of probiotics out there, but I would always recommend a probiotic that is alive, which usually means they are being kept in a fridge at the store and then need to be stored in your own fridge at home.
What do I use? Head to Natures Harvest in Cottesloe or Manna Wholefoods in Fremantle, as they have the best range of live probiotics I have been able to source.
Tip 4. Kombucha (kom-boo-cha)
Have you heard of kombucha? It’s actually been around for thousands of years and is great for your gut. Kombucha is fermented and effervescent tea that is full of living bacteria and yeast. This probiotic beverage tastes pretty good with hints of hibiscus and ginger.
I wouldn't drink kombucha every day, but when I feel like a sweet bubbly drink which doesn't involve alcohol, I will usually grab a kombucha as I know it will hit the spot, but also have the added benefit of gut health. Win win!
Tip 5. Tumeric
Turmeric is one of the most powerful medicinal spices around and is widely known for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Those benefits be used to help heal a number of conditions, but most commonly it has been used to help chronic gut issues as it can also help with reducing excess stomach acid as well as reflux and ulcers. It's also a great help for people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and leaky gut syndrome.
These days, I generally incorporate tumeric into my diet via a turmeric latte. I usually mix my turmeric latte with coconut milk and a little touch of honey - it's so delicious that I sometimes think it can't be good for me!
I love the turmeric latte mix from Nature's Harvest in Cottesloe as they have managed to incorporate some chilli and pepper (amongst other healthy bits and bobs) into a very tasty mix which helps keep everything moving regularly down there on top of the health benefits of the turmeric alone.
Tip 6. Detox
Detox shouldn't be such a dirty word. I did a detox in conjunction with my Naturopath that was specifically related to a flare up of gut issues which I needed to get on top of immediately - but the health benefits were much broader.
I did the detox fairly strictly for three weeks and the results were astounding. My gut health improved significantly, I lost weight, gained muscle, had more energy and the list goes on. Basically all of my body composition readings which I have been tracking over years spiked in a very positive way.
If you are going to do a detox and do it properly, I recommend you speak to Diane at Subiaco Wellness - she is an award winning naturopath with a wealth of knowledge in relation to gut health!