As spring sprung, it felt natural for us to detox our bodies of all the heavy foods we consumed during the cold winters. As we researched different way to cleanse our bodies, we came across a lot of different articles and talks around our gut health. By the end of our research, we had a bunch of questions. So we reached out to Sarah Greenfield, a registered dietitian and the Director of Education at HUM Nutrition and asked her some questions about our gut.
Hero: What exactly is our 'gut', where is located, and why is it so important to have a healthy gut?
Sarah: Gut is a term used to refer to the microbiome within our digestive tract. Our digestive tract goes from our mouth to our rectum. Within the digestive tract, we have billions of bacteria, or our gut microbiome. They work together to keep our bodies healthy, regulate our immune system, and create the hormones, neurotransmitters, and vitamins that impact our health. When the gut is out of balance, we can experience an increase in bloating, brain fog, constipation, diarrhea, skin issues and other symptoms.
Hero: What does it mean to have an unhealthy gut? I've heard the word "dysbiosis" thrown around. What is it?
Sarah: Dysbiosis refers to an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut microbiome. An imbalanced gut is an unhealthy gut.
Hero: Would you say the gut is related to our skin health? Can we break out or experience other symptoms if we have an unhappy gut?
Sarah: Our skin is essentially an extension of our gut, so an imbalance in our gut can show up on our skin.
Hero: Do toxins reside in the gut? If so, how do we get rid of them? And how long does it take for our body to remove toxins?
Sarah: Toxins are filtered out by our liver and then dumped into our gut. If we do not have a healthy functioning digestive tract, these toxins can get reabsorbed in the body or cause damage to our gut lining. Taking a supplement like Daily Cleanse helps bind toxins in our body and support digestive health to ensure they are removed.
Hero: What are your thoughts on the trending celery cleanse?
Sarah: As long as you’re not using celery juice as a meal replacement, I think it’s a healthy habit to include in your daily routine. I don’t think it is going to be a cure-all, but it can never hurt to get some additional veggie-based nutrients into your diet.
Hero: What are some of your clients’ bad habits? And what advice do you give them to help break the habit?
Sarah: Not taking time to care for their health. I think a lot of people are looking for an easy fix to their health, but health is a habit and a daily investment you need to make. Instead of trying to find a quick fix, look for ways to enjoy healthy habits and things that make you feel good and support your health. If you enjoy the process, it makes creating a habit much easier.
Hero: What kinds of foods and supplements should we be eating to maintain a healthy gut?
Sarah: The more diverse your diet the more diverse your gut. Eating a broad variety of whole foods can help increase and feed different healthy strains of bacteria in your gut. Specifically including fermented foods like miso, sauerkraut. kimchi, natto, kefir and kombucha is a great way to support the health of your gut. Resistant starches are great fuel or food for the bacteria in your gut and include foods like cooled white rice, cooled white potatoes and greenish bananas to name a few. As far as supplements, I would suggest taking a probiotic that also contains a pre-biotic. Skin Heroes by HUM Nutrition is a great option. I also really like glutamine, as it helps nourish the lining of the gut.
To learn more about different vitamins or foods you should be consuming for a healthy gut, check out HUM nutrition! Fill out their 3 minute survey and take to a nutritionist.