You only have to type the word “gut” into a search engine to realise awareness of our gut health is increasing. Along with being a top search term, it is plastered on the front covers of health magazines and so it should be! More than just the latest health fad, the world is beginning to realise how vital our gut is to the overall function of our body and our wellbeing. Bacteria make up 90% of the cells in our bodies and bacteria in our gut are known as the microbiome. Keeping it healthy can be challenging but make the effort and you’ll reap the rewards. When healthy, they help to protect us from harmful infections; they support our body to digest food, synthesise vitamins and even send nerve messages to and from the brain. Want to improve your gut health? Join the discussion.
THE SECOND BRAIN
Simply put, the gut is our stomach or belly which processes the food we eat. However, as you know, it’s a little more complex than that. The gut (gastrointestinal tract) is a long tube which begins at the mouth and ends at the anus; it’s made up of the oesophagus, the stomach, the small intestine, the large intestine and the colon. Food travels down the oesophagus, into the stomach and then into the small intestine where it is digested before being passed out as faeces. Recent research even indicates the gut is no longer just responsible for digestion but for metabolism, immunity and behaviour. Factors such as our environment, lifestyle, diet and stress levels can have a major impact on its performance.