Gut health explained and what you can do to improve it
You might not think about it too often but your gut is talking to you. You know the signs: that ‘off’ feeling you experience, manifesting with a myriad of stomach disturbances such as: gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps. Optimal gut health is essential and it’s about time we get to know our gut better!
The bacteria found in your gut (also known as the ‘gut microbiome’) help you digest foods, but they also work all over your body with studies showing links between gut health and mental health, mood, the immune system, sleep, skin conditions and even cancer.
The journey towards a healthier gut isn’t straightforward – stress, bad diets, sleep issues, gut-disrupting medicines, vitamin deficiencies and infections can all contribute to a reduction in healthy gut microbiota and, as a result, poor gut health.
Aguulp was founded to offer an effective alternative to traditional pills or vitamins. Did you know most traditional pill-form vitamins only offer up to 20% nutritional absorption? Our little shots offer up to 98%! We know that liquid supplements offer good absorption and a solution for good health that’s easy and accessible for everyone.
The most important thing is that we know having a healthy body and looking after your physical wellbeing leads to improved mental wellbeing, more energy, better decisions and a happier life.
The Gut-Brain Axis
The gut-brain axis is a communication system between your gut and your brain. The microbiota in your gut speaks to the neurons in your brain by way of the vagus nerve, one of the largest nerves connecting the gut and brain. The chemical signals are transmitted within milliseconds. The 500 million neurons in your gut are in direct contact with the billion neurons in your brain. That’s why they’re known as the ‘brain in your gut’.
The gut and brain are connected through neurotransmitters. These chemicals are produced in the brain and control feelings and emotions. One of the most important neurotransmitters is serotonin, also known as the ‘happy hormone’. A shocking 95% of serotonin is produced in the gut, not the other way around as most people would believe.
Another neurotransmitter produced by your gut microbes is gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which controls feelings of fear and anxiety. Studies show that increased GABA can lower anxiety and depression-related behaviours.
Gut Health and Immunity
Research suggests that having a poorly functioning gut increases the probability of catching colds, flus and viruses by attacking the digestive tract and having few healthy microbes to fight them off. Our in-house Nutritionist explains;
“A significant factor as to how well our immune system works is the health and status of our digestive system, since it is a major part of our immune system. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 70% of our immunity is found in the gut and therefore it is vital to ensure the digestive system is functioning optimally in order to see benefits to our immune health.”
Feel like you are always victim to the common cold or flu, whilst wanting to improve your gut health at the same time? We’ve got a Dual-Pack for that! Shop our Aguulp for Gut and Aguulp for Immunity Dual-Pack here!
Ways to Help Improve Our Gut Health
Sugar, artifical sweeteners, saturated fats and processed foods can all negatively affect your gut microbiome. Lowering your intake will help improve your gut health.
Diversifying your diet also contributes to a flourishing gut flora. Fruits and vegetables are full of fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Eating a wide variety of plant-based foods has numerous health benefits, with nutrients and antioxidants working to protect the body from harmful free radicals, alongside improving gut health by helping increase the diversity of your gut microbiota. Certain fibre-rich foods can have a prebiotic effect on the gut, which means they work to feed beneficial gut microbiota. Here are some examples of some prebiotic foods that work to feed the intestinal microbiota that you can introduce into your diet: onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, green bananas, apples and even cold potatoes!
Aguulp for Gut is also a prebiotic. It contains a number of essential nutrients that help to support a healthy gut. It contains Inulin which is a soluble fibre that increases the frequency of your bowel movements while also slowing digestion – enabling your body to better absorb nutrients from the food you eat.
Incorporating probiotic foods is also great to improve gut health. These tend to be fermented foods and when consumed, put large amounts of healthy, live bacteria into the gut helping it to thrive. Examples include raw apple cider vinegar, kombucha, kefir, bio/live yoghurts, sourdough, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, soya sauce and tempeh. For more information on fermented foods, check out one of our blog posts https://www.aguulp.com/lets-talk-fermented-foods/?v=79cba1185463
Heavy alcohol consumption can stimulate the overgrowth of harmful bacteria while reducing the population of helpful bacteria. This can lead to inflammation as well as a number of other health-related issues. Lowering your alcohol intake can help improve your gut health.
Exercise’s role with our mental wellbeing is very well-documented, as are the links between your gut and mental health, including the reduction in stress hormones (affecting the microbes in your gut) and encouraging healthy bowel movements (a digestive walk is a real thing and can even help control blood sugar!). Exercising for just six weeks could have an impact on your gut microbiome.
Remember to hydrate too! 70% of your body is made up of water, therefore it’s unsurprising to hear that it plays a fundamental role in our health and wellbeing, and a big part of this stems from its role within our gut. Water ensures that everything we eat passes through the body, helps keep the bacteria in our gut well-balanced and encourages the growth of probiotics.
Why not try out Aguulp for Recovery? This energising blend of electrolytes and nutrients helps to revive and replenish what you’ve lost after exercise, ensuring peak performance all day and every day.
Bad sleep can lead to an unhappy gut, with late-night hunger pangs and cravings for fatty and sugary foods due to sleep deprivation lowering levels of leptin (leptin inhibits your hunger) and increasing levels of ghrelin (ghrelin is often called the ‘hunger hormone’) while ramping up production of cortisol (aka the ‘stress hormone’, which increases appetite and motivation – motivation to eat). Science lesson over. It’ll come as little surprise that gut health and sleep are intrinsically linked. When you don’t get enough sleep it affects your gut and the same vice versa. For more information on this, read our Sleep blog here:
We also have an Aguulp for that. Check out our Aguulp for Sleep to help you drift off into a better sleep.
Stress plays an important role in our lives. Despite its more commonly understood negative impacts, low levels of stress actually help to improve cognitive function, increase productivity and boost our immune system. Stress becomes a problem when we experience high levels of it and over sustained periods, causing us to experience anything from fatigue and tiredness to mental and physical burnout. It can also wreak havoc with our gut and digestion. Exercise is a great remedy to combat stress. Likewise, deep breathing techniques and meditation can also help to reduce stress, lower inflammation and relieve an overstressed digestive system.
The whole Aguulp range includes our Aguulp Gut Test, Aguulp for Gut, Aguulp for Brain, Aguulp for Immunity, Aguulp for Recovery and Aguulp for Sleep. We also have our very-own 12-week Gut Programme; “Gut It All” for anyone looking to improve their gut health whilst learning how to improve their lifestyle to support this.
The effects of our simple formulas are cumulative; as well as providing instant benefits, they are also an investment into your future health and wellbeing, ensuring you’re supplementing your diet with an optimal level of nutrients – encouraging your body and mind to not just function, but thrive.