How’s the gut?
The gut, also known as the large intestine or the colon, hosts an unbelievably complex ecosystem of microbes (intestinal flora).
An estimated one hundred billion bacteria process foodstuffs and produce essential nutrients. The large intestine is our most important detoxifying organ: it works to balance acids and bases and produces important hormones (like the happiness hormone, serotonin). With about two-thirds of our immune cells, the large intestine is also our most important organ for immune defense against allergies and infections.
Millions of nerve cells in the large intestine produce our good—or bad—moods. Not only butterflies, but also sorrow and anxiety, can be found in the belly.
The large intestine regulates our sense of well-being, and that’s why experts talk about the “gut brain,” placing it at the same level as the “head brain.” We should grant the gut the attention that it deserves—it’s clever.
Then what should we do, when our gut rebels? When it twinges, swells up, hurts, and cramps? When we can’t tolerate food? When our digestion isn’t right? When our weight goes up and up? When our backs always hurt? When our breathing gets shallower and shallower? When allergies and colds get the better of us? When our skin loses its health, our sleep is unsettled, our energy and concentration dwindle, our metabolism and hormones run amok?
When a person is sick, then his or her large intestine is out of balance. There’s only one solution: the large intestine needs to regenerate and be protected from too fast, too much, too often, too late, and too heavily.
Grant your gut a vacation with a new way of eating.
New question: How do I know, when my large intestine is doing well? Easy answer: I know it because I don’t notice a thing. That’s when one’s gut isn’t stressed.
Some signs of good intestinal function are: digestion is noiseless, unobtrusive, and symptomless. There’s no bubbling, rumbling, or twinges; the belly doesn’t feel tense or puffed up.
A person with a healthy large intestine has one bowel movement daily, and the stool has the right consistency (soft and formed). Add sleeping well to a healthy gut, and acid reflux, bleeding gums, and hemorrhoids become hearsay; and if you have no weight problems, either, then all is well and you don’t need to read any further.