Gut health & constipation have a significant impact on both your health & wellbeing and core & pelvic floor.
The gut and the brain are intrinsically linked and more and more research is being published into this gut brain axis, our microbiome and things like leaky gut syndrome (a theory which suggests that a leaky bowel is the direct cause of many significant and widespread health issues).
Whilst scientists haven’t sussed out all of the specifics yet, it has become clear that having a happy, healthy gut is absolutely fundamental to both our physical and mental health and wellbeing. 70% of our immune system activity takes place in and around the gut and the bacteria and micro organisms that live in the gut and perform useful functions for us outnumber human cells by almost a hundred to one, but we’re typically living lifestyles that kill those bacteria rather than help them to thrive and support us.
Current research suggests that we should be:
- eating more foods that support the gut – think plant based fibre like broccoli, asparagus stem, flax and chicory. Fermented foods and drinks like kimchi, sauerkraut & kombucha can also bring benefits – just beware of the excessive amounts of added sugar in many of these products.
- eating more polyphenol rich foods like cacao, dark green leafy vegetables, beetroot and spices like turmeric which improve the quality of the gut lining.
- considering taking pre- and probiotics to support gut health – the definition of a probiotic is “live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” And prebiotics are “plant compounds or fibres that support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut”. Do your research when shopping though, as these products are not all created equal and some don’t even meet these definitions. You need enough of the right strains of bacteria to survive the journey to your gut and evidence to show that they actually confer a benefit in humans.
#ad I personally use the Daily Synbiotic from Seed after completing their free Seed University course and being impressed by the science behind it. Their formulation combines a probiotic and a prebiotic, is vegan and gluten free, and includes 24 clinically-studied, naturally occurring strains, not found in yoghurt or fermented foods & beverages, and it lives up to the highest standards for human and planetary health. Should you decide to do the same you can get 15% off your first month’s subscription using the code KERRY15 and this link, which is an affiliate link.
Gut health isn’t just about bacteria though. Constipation is a major cause of issues in many women…bowel movements are one of the body’s major detoxification pathways so not going for a poo daily (yes daily, it should be that often ideally) can be toxic to your body, detrimental to healing any diastasis / abdominal separation and detrimental to any prolapse or pelvic floor weakness.
(And if you had a c-section recently, beware that the anti-biotics you’ll have been given will have wiped out the good bacteria in your gut.)
Here’s the link to another article I wrote on constipation. Do check it out if you’re struggling. Anything which inflames, aggravates or stops your gut from doing what it needs to is generally something we need to change.