Much like a high-performance racing car, our body needs specific fuels to keep it running efficiently. These fuels are delivered via our digestive tract – which starts at our mouth, and ends, well, at the other end. The health and integrity of our digestive tract, colloquially known as our gut, is paramount for our ongoing wellbeing.
Our gut is an extraordinary machine, with innate intelligence, regulatory mechanisms and a unique microbiome. Microbiome is the collective term for the trillions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa that make up the balance of good and bad organisms that naturally reside in our digestive tract. They act as an interface between our body and what it comes in contact with while also synthesising some of our B vitamins, vitamin k, important short chain fatty acids (SCFA’s), helping our immune system develop and enabling us to convert food into energy. Formed in the first years of life, our microbiome can change in response to different influences including diet, medications, and environmental exposures.
Maintaining a robust digestive environment can protect us from problems ranging not only from mild indigestion, bloating and flatulence, but also more serious issues including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, impaired cognitive processes and depression. So how can we support our digestive processes today to ensure we have many happy and healthy tomorrows?
Firstly, come on in to The Raglan Herbal Dispensary and speak to our naturopaths about which of our nutritional and herbal products would be best for you. We can offer you the following diverse array of foods and supplements.
Fermented foods – to populate your gut with the beneficial bacteria.
Sauerkraut and kimchi – fermented cabbage and other veges and spices
Kombucha – fermented tea
Miso – fermented soy, barley or rice
Tempeh – fermented soy beans
Kefir – a fermented drink using water, coconut water or cow, goat or sheep milk
Apple cider vinegar – use in dressings, as a drink diluted with some water, or as a hot drink with lemon juice and honey if desired
Fibre – for the production of SCFA’s Including leeks, onions, garlic, kumara, lentils, chickpeas and other legumes, apples, peaches, bananas, artichokes, asparagus, leafy greens – spinach, parsley, kale; sprouted wheat. Try to eat seasonally available foods. SCFA’s assist overall gut wellbeing, motility (moving food through your gut in a timely manner). They improve your immune system and help with brain-fog by facilitating communication between your gut and your brain (another whole article in itself – fascinating!)
Supplements – because our microbiome is as unique to each of us as our fingerprints are, there is no “one size fits all” regime for gut health. Key nutrients for a healthy inside include probiotics, prebiotics, glutamine, zinc, B complex, omega-3 fats, amino acids, collagen, immunoglobulins, medicinal mushrooms, digestive enzymes and vitamin D.
The Herbal Dispensary also has a delicious range of single and blended herb teas to assist digestive wellness, including Organic Digest Best, Organic Meadowsweet, Organic Dandelion root and Organic Ginger.