Throughout the month of February, we are talking all about loving your gut! Keep reading to learn a basic overview of why gut health is important, how you can tell if your gut is unhealthy, and lastly, how bone broth can help.
Why is gut health important?
Gut health is important for your overall health. With a healthy gut you have a more robust immune system as well as a positive mental state.
Your gut is actually referred to by scientists as your "second brain", as well as the enteric nervous system (ENS). The ENS consists of two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to rectum.
Every time you ingest something, your body has to work to break it down. More specifically your gut has to work to break down all food into a simpler form so that it can enter your bloodstream and be delivered as nutrients throughout our bodies. This can only be completed if our digestive system is operating properly.
Within a healthy gut, you will find healthy bacteria and immune cells that fight off harmful substances like bacteria, fungi and viruses. Having a healthy gut is also vitally important for healthy cognitive function. You gut and brain communication with one another across the gut-brain axis. With a healthy gut, it can communicate with your brain through nerves and hormones across the axis easily.
How can you tell if you have an unhealthy gut?
Gut permeability, also known as leaky gut, is a tell-tale sign of an unhealthy gut. You may be experiencing symptoms such as brain fog, inflammation, acne, gas, eczema, fatigue, bloating, unintentional weight changes, skin issues, etc.
Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet is only exasperating leaky gut and poor gut health issues.
When your gut is "leaky", things are passing easily through the gut lining. This is an issue because there is no regulation as to what is safe and what is not safe to pass through.
You want your gut lining to be selective of what passes through.
This is where the epithelial cells come into play.
They are little finger-like cells that line your digestive tract. They produce mucous which helps to protect your gut from infections as well as keep the bacteria levels in check.
The epithelial cells help maintain homeostasis within your digestive tract when they are functioning properly. Healthy, strong epithelial cells support a healthy, strong, robust immune system!
How can bone broth help a healthy, strong gut lining?
Bone broth is FULL of valuable amino acids, collagen, gelatin, and trace minerals your body craves. These are all fantastic things for healing intestinal permeability and for keeping your digestive tract in tip top shape.
Bone broth is easily digested and soothing to the digestive system, unlike many other foods that can be difficult to fully break down. By regularly drinking bone broth or using it in recipes, you can help promote healthy gut integrity while reducing permeability and inflammation.
Bone broth is full of many elements that make it incredibly beneficial for you like collagen, gelatin, and more.
First off there is collagen in bone broth, which helps to nourish the intestinal lining and reduces inflammation. Plus, it’s easy for a damaged gut to digest and reap the benefits of its protein and minerals.
Secondly, bone broth contains gelatin, which is essential for connective tissue function – it literally acts to heal and seal the gut, making bone broth essential for those suffering chronic inflammation or leaky gut syndrome. Gelatin also absorbs water and helps maintain the layer of mucus that keeps gut microbes away from the intestinal barrier.
Next is glycine, an important amino acid as it helps your body to make proteins. It also helps to specifically reduce inflammation and protect against ulcers within your gut.
Finally there is glutamine, a power-house, energy food for your epithelial cells. These cells love consuming glutamine for cellular energy! It also helps to maintain the integrity of the gut lining.
To sum up everything above, it is clear to see that bone broth can have powerful, positive affects for the health of your gut. If you suffer with one or more of the many conditions associated with leaky gut, bone broth is a must-have in your health and wellness regimen.
https://health.ucdavis.edu/health-news/newsroom/what-is-gut-health-and-why-is-it-important/2019/07#:~:text=A healthy gut contains healthy,general health and well-being.