If you’ve been around here for awhile you may have seen this quote once or twice—it’s a good one that still rings true today.
“All disease begins in the gut” —Hippocrates
Our gut is home to approximately 100 trillion bacteria, both good and bad. Collectively these little inhabitants are known as our gut microflora.
But First, Let's Get Clear on What the Gut Actually Is
The gut (gastrointestinal tract) is the long tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the back passage (anus). So literally spans throughout our entire body!
The gut is essentially the barrier between what we eat, the absorption of nutrients into the body and what is expelled, as you can imagine this is an incredibly important job.
The lining of our small intestine, this is what is typically being referred to when we say ‘the gut’ and is where a lot of the action happens. Nutrients are absorbed directly from here into the bloodstream and this lining must distinguish foreign objects (pathogens and invaders) from the body’s own tissues. When it encounters these it raises the alarm and the immune system kicks in with an immune response. In fact, 70% of your immune system is located in your gut because for most things, this is the entry point to the body.
And what is a 'leaky' gut?
Leaky gut is experienced when the epithelial cell junctions (the thin layer of the gut barrier) in the gut become loose, or in other words, there are gaps in the gut lining that create ‘leaking’ of proteins and food particles that should be in the gut, into the bloodstream. This can lead to concerns such as excema, inflammation, joint pain, skin issues, and pain.
So, How to Keep Your Gut Healthy and Happy
As long as our small intestine lining stays strong and healthy we don’t run into many issues. However, for many people in the modern world, this is not the case. Diets high in inflammatory foods, refined sugar, refined carbohydrates, gluten, dairy and stimulatory substances like coffee and alcohol, can damage the gut lining and can cause ‘cracks’ to form in it—this is known as leaky gut.
The Collagen Connection
The connective tissue in your gut lining is made, almost entirely, of collagen. When we drink a warm bowl of bone broth or add a scoop of BePure Collagen+ to our morning smoothie our body breaks this down into amino acids. We like to visualise these as building blocks and they are essential to repairing and restoring the integrity of your intestinal lining.
Leaky gut is one of the main reasons we experience all sorts of health concerns:
- Bloating and digestive discomfort
- Brain fog
- Energy slumps
- Low mood
- Contributes to autoimmunity
- Skin issues (eczema and psoriasis)
3 Ways to Support Better Gut Health
If you run into any of these concerns, adding collagen into your daily diet is going to be a key way to support and nourish the health of your gut.
Drink bone broth. Drink it straight or use as a 'stock' in soups, stews and even homemade gravy. Check out our BePure Bone Broth Recipe.
Adopting a head-to-tail approach when consuming meat. In the western world we typically opt for muscle meat (e.g. chicken breast or beef check) but (like in humans) collagen is found in the skin, joints, gristle and tendons. Check out our 'magic mince' trick here.
- Adding a collagen supplement. For many people this is a more manageable approach. If you are looking at different collagen supplements, check out our blog on 3 Things To Look For In A Collagen Supplement—we recommend BePure Collagen+ which is type 1 marine collagen and the most bioavailable collagen in the NZ market.