Physical Wellness Challenge 05: Gut Health

Following the cleanse challenge in the previous month, it seemed only natural to focus on gut health next.

My 18-month journey to better physical health continued with another challenge in November. I’m working on monthly challenges to create healthy habits that will lead to a healthy lifestyle.

I think it’s common knowledge that the gut plays a very important role in our overall health. I won’t get into why because I am not a health professional or particularly knowledgeable in that area. I had many digestive problems in my twenties because I knew next to nothing about nutrition. The doctors I saw prescribed medicine to treat the symptoms which wasn’t satisfactory. This led me to do my own research and became convinced to add probiotics to my diet.

I don’t tolerate fermented foods, like yogurt, for example, so I’ve been taking a probiotic supplement for many years. However, it just recently occurred to me that I should also be filling up on prebiotics – fibre which feeds the bacteria in our gut and helps them to thrive. My goal this month was to find good sources of that and include them in my diet on a regular basis.

Physical Wellness Challenge Gut Health to do list

One of the foods, I learned from my research, that is an excellent source of prebiotics is Asparagus. That was not in season, so I located a supplement called The Gut Lab: Her which contains Shatavari, another plant in that same family. I used it occasionally; adding about half a teaspoon to my smoothies, whenever I had a smoothie.

And the results…

After documenting this month, I realized that I wasn’t taking my probiotic supplement daily! I kept forgetting to take it. I used to take it at breakfast routinely but would sometimes get a stomachache, so I resolved to take it at lunch but that new habit never took hold. From what I’ve read, bacteria taken by supplement will die off within four days if supplementation is stopped. So, at the very least, I should be taking this supplement twice a week.

As for the prebiotic supplement, I used it only a few times in smoothies. And therein lies the problem – I rarely drink smoothies, especially in Winter, because they’re cold. However, in looking through my food log, I noticed that I am eating plenty of fibre as it is through vegetables, oats and legumes. I should eat more, though, and plan to gradually increase my intake.

Physical Wellness Challenge Gut Health

Overall, I didn’t notice a major change in my health from this challenge. But, I did learn a few helpful things I can act upon going forward. Hey, it’s a journey.

Joy & Peace, Sister!

For more on this Physical Wellness journey and other challenges, click here.

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