An excerpt from an article by
Listen to your gut for health advice
The gut, or gastrointestinal tract, impacts all systems, organs and cells in the body. Up to 70 percent of the body’s immune system lives in the gut.
When the gut is out of whack, so goes good health.
“If people come to me fatigued or just not feeling well, the first thing I do is look at the gut. It’s usually the cause,” said Patti Milligan, a Scottsdale-based director of nutrition for Tignum, an international consulting business that engineers programs for executives to gain energy, mental agility and stamina.
The reason: The gut is home to 100 trillion microorganisms and more than 400 species of bacteria, both good and bad. Good bacteria keep the body shipshape. Too much bad bacteria causes inflammation and infection that can lead to constipation, acid reflux, arthritis, depression and autoimmune disease.
According to Milligan, the blame for the spike in unhealthy guts falls squarely on a diet full of processed foods, antibiotics, food dyes and preservatives, acid-blocking drugs and chronic stress. So does sleeping too little and eating erratic meals.
The way to maintain gut health is with the right foods. A healthful diet is essential to allowing healthy bacteria to do their job.
“Eating the wrong food, too much food, or eating at the wrong time can cause discomfort and, more importantly, leads to diminished health and performance,” said Milligan, whose RX for a healthy gut includes a three-pronged regimen of probiotics, high-fiber goods and healing herbs.
A side benefit of a healthy gut is a revved-up metabolism.
“People feel better and lose weight at the same time,” Milligan said. “Both should motivate anyone to eat the foods to make their gut healthy, and stay away from those that kill the good bacteria.”
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