Barriers; they are set in place to help prevent entry, and oftentimes they are designed as a layer of protection. Your body was carefully designed with barriers in place for a variety of reasons. While your skin is a barrier and layer of protection from the world and the elements that it brings, your gut barrier, also known as the intestinal barrier, is the first line of defense in the gut. It helps to protect the body from pathogens and antigens. However, its story doesn’t end there.
When you think about protecting your body, what comes to mind? Likely your immune system and protecting your body from getting sick or maybe sunscreen to protect yourself from a burn. Regardless, when it comes to your body and protection, part of the recipe is always nurture and nourishment. If you are like most people, you probably don’t have your gut barrier at the top of the list of things to nurture, but maybe you should.
What exactly makes up the gut barrier?
The gut barrier is a single layer of cells in your GI tract that stretches from food intake to exit. This works directly with the gut microbiome to form a barrier that prevents substances from escaping the intestine and getting into the bloodstream. This ever-important barrier is also selectively sponge-like or permeable as well, making it kind of like a bouncer at a club. It selectively allows certain things like electrolytes, water, and nutrients in and keeps other things like unwanted microbes, toxins, and antigens out.
In theory, this barrier should function optimally at all times which means it is constantly protecting and nourishing us. But, today, that isn’t the case. In fact, thanks to what we could call the standard American lifestyle, many people’s gut barriers are not functioning as they should and their barrier has become more permeable than it should be.
This increase in permeability allows substances to pass through the gut barrier and get into the bloodstream and is commonly referred to as leaky gut. The truth is, we all have leaky gut to an extent. The issues arise when too many and the wrong substances are able to pass through the barrier. After all, when this happens, there are particles in the blood that shouldn’t be there. As you can imagine this could become an underlying issue that results in a host of other health concerns.
With that, it’s important to live in a way that nurtures and nourishes the gut. So, how does one go about doing that? It’s combining several daily habits that add up in the long run. Here are a few you can begin practicing today:
- Focus on food. Limit the fake foods including chips, candy, ice cream and all the other foods that are not health-giving and replace them with whole foods that haven’t been processed or have been minimally processed (legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, meat and so on…). The human body runs at its best on food very close to, or in, its natural state.
- Hydrate with high-quality H20. Shoot for at least half of your body weight in ounces per day, our bodies depend on quality hydration. (So if you weigh 150 lbs, then shoot for 75 ounces of water per day.)
- Exercise. Shoot for a minimum of 30 minutes, 3 times a week. Not quite ready for that commitment? Start where you can and increase as you are able.
- Destress daily. The gut-brain axis is very real—basically, our gut and brain are directly connected and affect one another. With that, it’s important to take time to destress daily. Carve out 3-5 minutes (or more) for meditation.
- Replenish digestive enzymes. Supplement with digestive enzymes daily. Enzymes help us break down and assimilate the foods we eat. In other words, they help convert food into the materials necessary to run the body.
- Rebuild friendly bacteria. Supplement with probiotics daily. These friendly bacteria help keep us healthy in more ways than one. It’s important to build these friendly bacteria daily.
- Boost nutrient intake with superfoods. Have you ever heard of organic Wild Microalgae®? It’s a rare type of blue-green algae that contains an extraordinary nutrient profile. In fact, it’s a near-perfect food filled with all 20 standard amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, phenylethylamine (PEA), and antioxidant pigments phycocyanin and chlorophyll.
Live the #NewEarthLife
Nurturing and nourishing your gut, it’s what we call living the #NewEarthLife. Gut health may be trendy now but it’s not new news. Sure there are new developments and as a society, we are beginning to develop an understanding of its importance, but at New Earth, we have been supporting the gut for decades now. You could call us pioneers.
Interested in some additional support and joining a community of people on a similar journey to better gut health and overall health? Join us in our next 30 Day Gut Reboot.