Probiotic Foods for Gut Health, Kombucha

Navigating Gut Health: Your Comprehensive Guide to a Happier, Healthier You

Categories: Diet Gut Health

Your gut health is a fundamental component of your overall well-being, influencing various aspects of your body’s functionality, from your immune system to your mood and hormones. At its core, gut health reflects the state of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, encompassing the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum. Within this complex system resides an intricate world of trillions of bacteria, both beneficial and harmful, collectively known as the gut microbiome. These microorganisms are pivotal in regulating digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune system function.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the realm of gut health, exploring its significance, the symptoms of poor gut health, its potential causes, methods of testing, and most importantly, how you can improve and maintain a healthy gut. We’ll also discuss the foods that nurture your gut and those that can wreak havoc on it, as well as supplements and natural remedies that can assist you on your journey to optimal gut health.


Gut Health


What is gut health, and why is it important?

Gut health is the overall health of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum. It is important because it affects the entire body, including the immune system, brain, and heart. The gut is home to trillions of good and bad bacteria, collectively known as the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome regulates digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune system function.

When your gut is unhealthy, you will be unhealthy. This was even acknowledged 2500 years ago when Hippocrates said…

“All disease begins in the gut”.



Poor gut health can manifest in various ways, and the symptoms can vary from person to person. Some common signs and symptoms of poor gut health include digestive issues: constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and nausea.

Some less common symptoms include brain fog, fatigue, sugar cravings, food intolerances, skin rashes, acne or hives.


Woman holding her stomach in agony


Common Causes

Poor gut health can be caused by various factors, ranging from dietary choices to lifestyle habits to underlying medical conditions. Dietary choices can have a major impact on gut health. Eating a diet high in processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats can lead to an imbalance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, leading to digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhoea, and bloating.

Other factors include food poisoning, antibiotic or medication use, chronic conditions like endometriosis, thyroid health, stress and restrictive diets.


Available Tests

Testing for gut health can be a complex process, as many factors can affect the health of your gut. The most common way to test for gut health is to get a stool test through your doctor. This can check for parasites, viruses, pathogenic bacteria and some overgrowths, but it can only look for particular things and is not very in-depth.

For a comprehensive check of our patients’ gut health, we get them to do a microbiome mapping test, which looks at the following:

  • Your digestive capacity: are you making enough digestive enzymes to break down foods?
  • Your gut immune system and intestinal barrier: do you have weak gut immunity and a ‘Leaky gut’ causing ongoing problems?
  • Some food intolerances: see how well your body responds to gluten
  • Do you have pathogenic bacteria, viruses, worms, Helicobacter pylori, Candida, yeast or parasites?
  • Do you have enough beneficial bacteria to protect you against gut pathogens and unfriendly gut bacteria?
  • Functionality of your gut microbiome species: what types of metabolites can your gut bacteria make, and how could this impact your health?


How can I improve my gut health?

Improving your gut health is key to supporting every aspect of your well-being. Many factors can impact the balance of your microbiome, but there are also many things you can do immediately to have a positive impact.

Here are some tips to help you improve your gut health:

  1. Self-Assessment: Reflect on your gut health and note any concerns or symptoms. Are your foods causing symptoms, what time of day do they occur, and what are your bowel habits like?
  2. Dietary Choices: Include fibre-rich foods, probiotics, and prebiotics while reducing processed and unhealthy options. These are things like yoghurt, kefir, fruit, veg and wholegrains.
  3. Consider Supplements: Even though we know we should have a diverse microbiome with many different species, a probiotic supplement containing many different strains is not necessarily better. Probiotics don’t stick around after you finish taking a supplement. Still, particular strains are better at boosting your native beneficial species, so consult your practitioner before adding these into your routine.
  4. Natural Remedies: Explore natural options like fermented foods such as pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
  5. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration supports gut health.
  6. Regular Exercise: Physical activity aids gut health and can reduce stress, which is negatively correlated with digestive issues.
  7. Consult a Professional: Seek help from a health professional for persistent gut issues or concerning symptoms so you aren’t taking a stab in the dark.


Colourful fruits and vegetables


Best Foods to Choose

The best foods for gut health are fibre, probiotics, and prebiotics. Fibre helps keep your digestive system running smoothly by providing bulk to your stool and helping it move through your intestines. It can also help to reduce constipation and bloating. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help to balance the bacteria in your gut, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve digestion.


Foods to Avoid

The worst foods for gut health are those high in fat, sugar, and processed ingredients. These include fried foods, processed meats, sugary drinks, and refined grains. These foods can contribute to inflammation in the gut, which can lead to various digestive issues. Fried foods are high in fat and difficult to digest, leading to bloating and discomfort.

For people with coeliac disease, gluten can damage their gut while they continue to eat it. For those with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, it might cause inflammation that can worsen symptoms.

In other cases, gut dysbiosis, intestinal permeability or microbiome overgrowth can lead to food intolerances.



Several supplements can help improve gut health. Probiotics are one of the most popular and widely used supplements for gut health. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. They can help reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and support the immune system.

Prebiotics are another type of supplement that can help improve gut health. Typically in the form of fibre, gels and powders, prebiotics fuel our microbiome species and can feed our beneficial gut microbes.


Fruits and bottles of Kombucha


Natural Remedies

Gut health is an important factor in overall health and well-being, and many natural remedies can help promote a healthy gut. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help maintain the balance of good bacteria in the gut. They can be found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha.

A whole food and plant-rich diet is the next best way to improve your gut health. Making sure to eat a variety of plant-based foods will nourish and grow your beneficial bacteria species.

Lastly, naturopaths have herbal and nutritional medicine to correct microbiome imbalances and help reduce gut symptoms. Our favourites are glutamine or slippery elm powder to soothe an inflamed gut.


When should I see a doctor?

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, then it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan:

  1. Abdominal pain: This can include cramping, bloating, or a feeling of fullness.
  2. Diarrhea: This can include watery stools or loose stools that occur more than three times a day.
  3. Loss of appetite:  If you are experiencing a loss of appetite, it’s important to investigate
  4. Sudden weight loss: This could be a symptom of something more serious.
  5. Bloody stools: if you notice blood in your stools frequently that isn’t from haemorrhoids, this needs to be checked at the Doctor ASAP

However, if you have any of the above symptoms and you have already been assessed by a doctor and told that they couldn’t find anything wrong with you, then this is the time to see someone who looks at these issues from a different perspective to a doctor.


The team at Healthy Remedies


Unlocking a Healthier You through Gut Wellness

Remember, gut health is a dynamic and vital aspect of your well-being. You’re investing in a healthier and happier future by taking proactive steps to nurture your gut. Start your journey to optimal gut health today and enjoy the benefits of improved digestion, enhanced immunity, and an overall sense of well-being. Your gut is the foundation of your health, so let’s make it strong and resilient.

We have the experience and expertise to help you improve gut health and overall well-being. Contact us today to book an initial consultation with one of our gut health specialist naturopaths to get the expert advice and assistance you need to feel great again.

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