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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Trust that Gut Instinct

Jun 29, 2020 03:29PM ● By J Garnett
Most people have had gut instincts, or a gut feeling. It’s a knowing that something is about to happen or that something is right or wrong. Some people call the gut an epicenter for intuition. An employer has a gut feeling that this person should be hired or not, a hiker has a gut feeling that the adventure should be cancelled for the day, or we may be thinking of a friend when the phone rings and it’s that same person. The gut is talking all the time, and sometimes it’s not just intuition that comes into play.
When the gut talks, the body and mind usually hear it, but are they listening to what it’s saying? If something from the previous evening’s meal didn’t sit just right, the gut might be asking, “What was in that quiche Lorraine?” The body has a wonderful way of giving signals when it’s out of sorts. A grumbling belly lets people know that it’s time to eat. A rolling, thunderous gut could be telling the body to get to the bathroom in a hurry. The gut sends out signals and messages on a regular basis. But are we listening to them?
The gut is an interesting thing. The word itself has multiple meanings, both figuratively and literally. It certainly isn’t the most eloquent of words, but gut has been used since the fifth century. The first usage of the word was similar to the definition that is still used today. Guts are usually referring to organs within the body. The intestines, stomach, liver, pancreas, liver, colon, gallbladder, rectum and mouth are all organs that help with the digestion of food. The guts are commonly known as the digestive tract, but through research it has been shown to be far more than just the system that processes food.
The guts of a person are integral for overall health and defense against illness and disease. The gut is continuously sending messages and talking to the brain. According to Dr. Lisa Ganiju, a professor at NYU Medical Center, the guts of the human body are intricately connected to the brain and central nervous system.
Although used figuratively when speaking of intuition, literally, the guts are giving updates on overall body health and alerting people that something might be out of balance. The best way to remain in good health is to have a healthy gut.
There are many natural ways to maintain an optimally functioning gut. Diet is the most effective way. Everything that is eaten must be processed through the gut, so it’s obvious that the better the food, the better the gut health. A gut detox is beneficial because clearing away build-up allows the body to heal from subpar eating habits. An unhealthy diet causes inflammation in the body, which brings on stress and anxiety, causing emotional lows, imbalances and fatigue. Increased mood can be achieved by fighting off inflammation, and a gut detox is a natural way to do just that.
Microorganisms are prevalent throughout the gut. Unfortunately, some of the organisms can bring about illness and disease. The gut is closely related to the body’s immune system. A gut detox will sweep away the bad organisms and allow the good ones to flourish. This strengthens and regulates the way the body fights off sickness.
One of the most noticeable benefits of a gut cleanse is the increase in energy levels. A clean and optimally functioning gut increases metabolism. People who undergo a gut detox might be so energized that the afternoon coffee isn’t needed anymore. Having a clean gut can help the body absorb more of the beneficial nutrients from the food that’s eaten. When the gut is weighed down with unhealthy substances, it is difficult for the colon to absorb all of the vitamins and minerals that food has to offer.
Plant medicines can come to the rescue, yet again, by adding them to a daily meal plan. To begin the journey of gut detox and an overall improvement of health, simply start adding certain foods to meals or changing snack items. Healing the gut can be as simple as eating berries each day. They’re easy on the stomach, rich in vitamins and minerals and have high water content. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries are all packed with powerful antioxidants—which not only promote healthy microorganisms in the gut, but also help rid the body of free radicals, which wreak havoc on the immune system. Apples, bananas, avocados, tomatoes and watermelon are also foods that can lead to a healthy balanced gut. If fruit is not a favorite, then green vegetables, garlic, artichokes and Brussels sprouts can be eaten instead.
For the last several months, many people have been home with family. People have been cooking and preparing meals more than ever because of the restrictions in the restaurant industry. Making one, two or three meals a day for a hungry family is challenging. It’s understandable that some shortcuts are taken when preparing food, but unfortunately it can lead to serving a not-so-healthy meal for the sake of saving some time. By preparing fruits and vegetables ahead of time, not only are some ingredients ready to go for a great meal, but they can be substituted for unhealthy snacking items.
Have a gut feeling? Listen to it. What is it saying? If the gut says stay home today, do it. If it says bring on plant medicine, do it—because Mother Nature’s pantry never disappoints.

J. Garnet, M.Ed. is a writer, teacher, speaker and healer. Garnet’s passion is helping the public see that nature is medicine. Connect at 520-437-8855 or [email protected].