Nutrition / Food

Why Is Your Gut So Important? Plus, Tips for Digestive Health

A doctor breaks down exactly how to keep your gut running smoothly.

In partnership with Parsley Health

Why is our gut health important?

Everyone knows that the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is responsible for food digestion. However, most people are surprised to learn that over two-thirds of the immune system resides there. Having a highly functional immune system is dependent upon having a healthy gut, so any impairment in our digestive health means that our immune system is not as strong as it otherwise could be. Moreover, few people realize that more than 90% of our body’s serotonin – an important neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood, sleep, memory, temperature regulation, appetite, sex drive, and more – is produced in our gut. As our GI tract plays such an integral role in maintaining the health of our bodies, how do we keep it healthy?

A Few Signs Your Gut Isn’t As Healthy As You Think

Heal Your Gut

Healing the gut is a multi-step process that takes time, but the results are well worth the effort. In order to optimize gut health, we have to eliminate the factors that have contributed to the GI tract becoming unhealthy (e.g. subpar diets, excessive stress, toxin exposure). We need to provide the nutritional support necessary to heal the gut lining and re-introduce healthy bacteria in order to crowd out opportunistic pathogens and balance the microbiome. We adjust the diet to one that is supportive of a healthy gut rather than one that creates inflammation, pathogenic overgrowth, and intestinal permeability.

To achieve this, we use a 4-step process: remove, replace, reinoculate, repair.

  1. Remove
    Remove infections (fungal, parasitic, and/or bacterial), inflammatory foods and foods you are allergic or sensitive to, environmental pollutants, and excessive stress. This step is the most important – if you embark upon a gut healing protocol without also removing things that irritate the gut lining, you will never allow your body to heal!
  2. Replace
    Replace all the necessary ingredients for proper digestion and absorption that your body is lacking.
  3. Reinoculate
    Reinoculate with the beneficial bacteria that your gut needs to thrive. This entails introducing healthy probiotics in addition to prebiotics (the food that feeds the healthy bacteria and keeps them nice and healthy).
  4. Repair
    Repair the gut lining by providing nutrients and herbs that support its ability to regenerate and heal.

Dietary Guidelines

Lifestyle Recommendations:

Supplement Recommendations:

Supplements can be an incredible tool in helping you heal your gut. However, now all supplements are created equal, and dosage varies depending on your specific goals. This is where working with an expert physician who is trained in functional medicine comes in. They can assess your health and specify exactly what supplements and what dosage will be most effective for you.

Final Thoughts

Feeling bloated, gassy, or having any kind of digestive discomfort is not something you simply have to deal with. These signs are your body’s way of telling you there’s something deeper going on. It’s important to address them at the root as soon as possible. With the right mix of testing, supplements, and dietary and lifestyle changes, you can ensure your gut is happy and healthy.

Parsley Health combines nutrition prevention and wellness with cutting-edge medicine and testing from top doctors who help you live a healthier life. To learn more about working with us, visit our website or schedule a free consult call.

Food Nutrition

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