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Ultimate Guide To Improve Gut Health With Functional Medicine

Gut health is an important aspect of health. It is not overstated that your gut health can influence almost every aspect of your life —even how you look, feel, and think. Any disruption in gut function can negatively impact your health and, over time, can lead to more severe health problems, including anxiety, asthma, obesity, heart problems, and many others.

Let’s dig deep into the factors that affect your gut conditions and how functional medicine can help improve your gut health with the help of diet and lifestyle changes.

What Determines Your Gut Health?

Functional medicine experts believe that there can be multiple causes of a single problem, and one root cause can lead to many problems.


Your diet is the single most critical factor affecting your gut health, and the good thing is that you have absolute control over the foods to include in your daily diet. Foods can either fuel health or fuel diseases. A poor diet can severe the integrity of the gut lining, cause inflammation, and alter the gut flora.


The gut microbiome —trillions of bacteria living in your gut— is another factor that strongly influences your gut health. There are ten times more bacterial cells than the total number of cells in your whole body. An intricate balance between good and bad bacteria is the secret to your gut health.


Stress affects the gut-brain axis leading to increased intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome. Deranged levels of thyroid hormones and cortisol can slow the healing of gut damage. Similarly, autoimmune disease can be caused due to leaky gut, which causes undigested food and toxins to leak into the body and cause inflammation

Health Problems Caused By Poor Gut Health

Poor gut conditions can affect your health in many ways. Some common health problems influenced by your gut include the following.

Weight Gain and Obesity

The imbalance between good and bad gut bacteria is linked with obesity and difficulty losing weight. In human studies, the higher proportions of lactobacilli—the beneficial gut bacteria — promote weight loss and fat reduction in women. Healthy gut flora is a crucial factor for people seeking to lose weight.

Constipation or Diarrhea

A 2014 study published in Physiological Genomics found that constipated patients had significantly lower amounts of Prevotella (bacteria) and increased proportions of Firmicutes(bacteria). Imbalance in the gut microbiome may also affect the digestion of certain foods, causing bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.

Poor Immunity

As 70% of your immune cells reside within your gut, it is no surprise that poor gut health will automatically weaken your immunity, increasing your risk for infections and can cause inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

Diabetes Type 2

Recent scientific studies have linked type 2 diabetes with a damaged gut microbiome. In a 2020 study, the researchers transplanted the gut bacteria of diabetic mice into healthy mice. The healthy mice also developed diabetes soon.

Cancer

A fascinating study suggests that increased proportions of pathogenic bacteria in the gut microbiome increase the risk of colorectal cancer in people. Gut damage and inflammation were the root cause of increased pathogenic strains in gut bacteria.

Improve Gut Health With Functional Medicine

Functional medicine experts believe that your body has all capabilities to heal and regulate itself. It is only a matter of providing the right circumstances for your body to carry out its functions. We focus on manipulating the foods you eat and how you eat them to recover your gut health.

Here are some powerful ways to improve your gut health with functional medicine.

Remove food sensitivities

You may be eating foods that irritate your gut lining and microbiome, disturbing your gut health. Knowing the foods to avoid is more important than knowing the foods to eat for a healthy gut and body.


Just stop eating all the potential irritants (gluten, dairy, poultry, processed foods with artificial sweeteners, colors, flavor enhancers, additives, and preservatives) for 3 weeks.. Now reintroduce each food one at a time and monitor your body’s reaction. It will help you determine the food your body loves and hates.

Do a Gut microbiome test

Order a gut microbiome test with NutraNourish and learn more about your gut health. This will help make a personalized gut healing protocol for you for the best results. the foods to eat for a healthy gut and body.

Eat A Rainbow

Variety is the spice of life. Try eating vegetables and fruits of different colors on different days of the week. This will give your body a wide variety of nutrients. When you avoid having any one type of food too often, you help heal your gut and immune system. For example, you can eat yellow foods (potatoes, banana, pumpkin, and winter squash) and, green foods and so on.

Eat More Cooked Foods

Although raw foods are jam-packed with nutrition, they can be difficult to digest. Eating cooked foods cuts the work your gut has to do for digesting the foods you ate. Pureed foods such as smoothies and soups are even easier to digest. Going easier with raw foods reduces bloating and gives your body a chance to heal itself.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting makes you go extended periods without food, giving your gut a much-needed break. There are many ways of intermittent fasting, such as 12 hours fast every day, or 24 hours fast once or twice a week.

Eat More Fiber

Fiber is crucial for digestive health. It feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut and promotes their growth. The fiber-rich foods also stimulate regular and solid bowel movements for faecal evacuation. Vegetables (green peas, artichokes, collard greens, kale, and broccoli) and fruits (apples, bananas, oranges, etc.) are rich in fiber.

Take Probiotics & other Supplements

Nobody wants to gulp a fistful of vitamins every day, but there are a handful of natural gut-healing supplements that help with digestive distress. Consuming good probiotics, colostrum, licorice, and marshmallow roots every now and then can speed gut healing and make a big difference in gut symptoms.

Manage Your Stress

No healthy food in the world can heal your gut if you are under some stress every day. Consistent stress can suppress your immune system, damage your gut lining, and decrease the blood flow to your digestive tract, culminating in disturbed gut health.

 

Making some time to de-stress yourself with activities like Tai chi, meditation, or yoga can make a great difference in your stress level and, consequently, your gut health. 

Conclusion

A healthy gut is a secret to a healthy life. Functional medicine experts recommend eating cooked foods of different colors rich in fibers. Eliminating irritant foods, taking probiotics, and managing stress can also help you walk on the road to a healthy gut.

Making some time to de-stress yourself with activities like Tai chi, meditation, or yoga can make a great difference in your stress level and, consequently, your gut health. 

Improve your gut health with our 2-minute quiz!

Dr Menka Gupta

IFMCP, MSc, MBBS

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