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 Our gut health is overlooked by many of us in our overall outlook on wellness and general health. If you have IBS(Irritable bowel syndrome)and/or regular bouts of gas and acid reflux,your first line of action should be sorting your gut health. When you have inflammation in the intestine you are probably not absorbing much of the nutrients you are consuming. So even if you are taking a bunch of supplements and vitamins etc, they are basically being flushed down the toilet. Just like the money you spent on them. To sort gut health you need to clean up your diet by cutting back on processed foods,animal protein,and simple sugars. Consume more fiber from fruits and veggies. Stop taking unnecessary meds such as aspirin,ibuprofen,and laxatives as well as broad spectrum antibiotics. Most antibiotics wipe out good bacteria as well as the bad. Anyone on them should take probiotics for twice as long as the the antibiotic prescription. Adding certain foods to your diet can have a profound effect on your gut health. Add fermented foods and good bacteria rich foods like Greek yogurt,sauerkraut,kombucha,kimchi,etc.
   Another side of a healthy gut that people don't think about is what our mood and what general stress levels do to our health via the stomach. Research shows that the gut lining houses an independent network of hundreds of millions of neurons. That's more than our spinal cord has. Its's called the enteric nervous system. Called by many "the second brain." It's a very complex network that is in charge of the digestive process. Anyone that has had that butterfly feeling in your stomach can understand why our thoughts and mood play such an integral role in gut health. Being that your gut lining is the core and strength of our bodies immune system we would be wise to make it a priority for general health and wellness.

So to recap.
1. Clean up your diet with good quality fibrous fruits and vegetables.
2. Add a probiotic if you have intestinal inflammation.
3. Add a fermented food to diet.
4. Of coarse since I'm Greek i have to plug Greek yogurt(my favorite is Fage).
5. Cut out unnecessary meds.
6. Drink lots of water for general health and to help flush your system. I shoot for an ounce for every pound you weigh a day.
7. Aloe vera juice is also a favorite of mine for general digestion health as well as a number of other health benefits.
8. Realize that your thoughts and mood weigh very much on your general health. From your GUT to your endocrine system. So relax and realize how important your thoughts are.

Ares Nikolopoulos

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