“It’s in my gut, I have a gut feeling, can feel it from the pit of my stomach” all more or less imply the same meaning but have you ever wondered where this originated from? More than it just being a statement that relates to one’s instinct, this was born from a much more profound and scientific place, which can be traced back thousands of years ago.
Our gut or digestive tract is one of the most important and incredible pathways to a healthy body and mind (yes also mind) and here’s why:
- It is where our food is digested and hence engaged in the essential job of absorbing nutrients. If we ingest all the nutrients possible but have a sluggish digestive system, then we ain’t getting any of that good stuff.
- Believe it or not but 80% of our immunity lies in our gut wall and therefore most depreciated immune systems probably have something to do with our digestion.
- Ayurveda also stresses on the importance of digestion and refers to it as “Agni”, the fire that drives all digestion and metabolism.
- When I said mind, I wasn’t kidding, stress is first processed in our gut before the brain, leading to constipation.
What’s the problem?
A slow, sluggish, overactive or uncomfortable digestion doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but this is not the case. The crux of all diseases is due to low immunity and if majority of it lies within our gut then we better get serious. Not only is this the place where nutrients are absorbed but also where toxins are stored if digestion is poor, this leads to many ailments, one of which is colon cancer. Today people are suffering from years of constipation or diarrhea, which has now become their way of living. I hear stories of how one can only do their dues in the morning after smoking a cigarette or having a coffee. This should not be taken lightly because everything is a build up of something good or bad. If you have a poor digestion for many years, you’re not going to be happy about what is to come.
So now we have a bad gut feeling, what do we do?
The flora in our gut wall (aka good bacteria) is essential to maintain a healthy digestion. We disrupt the flora by excessive sugar, processed foods, alcohol, overly acidic diet and antibiotics. Especially for women, you might find that you are more prone to yeast infections when you are on antibiotics, this is because the medication destroys the good and bad bacteria (hence anti-biotic). Similar to chemotherapy destroying the good and bad cells. It essential to get some source of probiotics in our daily diet and I don’t mean Yakult because it is loaded with sugar. Instead we commonly find probiotics (pro good bacteria) in fermented foods such as yogurt, kombucha teas, kefir, sauerkraut or kimchi (pickled cabbage), miso and so on. Moreover even with the current debate on supplements I would personally vouch for a probiotic supplement from a good brand like Mega Flora because we can all do with some extra.
And then of course fibrous foods that give your tract a good clean, ridding it from toxins, as well as a glass of warm water with lemon and honey to start your day. I have now started drinking a litre of water upon waking due to the fact that our bodies are dehydrated in the morning and it is also a great way of flushing the system out, clearing the way to absorb nutrients (ritual followed by the Japanese and said to treat many diseases). You can start with half a litre and make your up. This beats any cigarette or coffee I assure you!
It is important for me to state that how much ever we shy away from the number TWO (clearly not myself), it is a great indicator of how our body is functioning. You need to be aware of what your gut is telling you. It is our instinct and it is the most accurate instinct that we have. Everything happens in this very place, the way we feel physically, mentally and spiritually.
Put it to use!