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Nourishing Gut Health

As Woodside’s hub of Wellness, The Kitchen has introduced a nutritional health program for members that provides opportunities to eat, drink and learn about relevant topics in an engaging, social atmosphere.

Our second Food for Thought event is all about balancing your gut health. Woodside Executive Chef will discuss culinary trends like fermenting and pickling and their health benefits, while other speakers will discuss diverse practices like breathing exercises and the benefits of probiotic ingestion.

Our main speaker is Lisa Markley, Wellness Dietitian from Nourish Yourself KC, who will discuss why gut health is important to overall health, what factors may compromise gut health and what foods can help nourish and restore gut health. Read on for details from Lisa Markley and other sources.

Lisa Markley, image by Kenny Johnson

What is gut health and why is it important for overall health?

Our digestive system does much more than just help us to digest and eliminate food. Our gut, is home to our microbiome, a unique collection of 100 trillion microorganisms (aka gut flora) that inhabits our intestines.  Our microbiome can have a powerful influence over many factors important for good health such as our immune system, mental health, the ability to remove harmful substances from our body, and the ability to achieve proper hormonal balance.

The lining of our gut provides a major protective barrier between the foods we eat and microorganisms to which we are exposed, and our immune system, which influences our reactions to foods, and whether we develop food sensitivities, inflammatory conditions, hair loss and chronic diseases.

When we encounter imbalances in our gut health, this can trigger low-grade inflammatory reactions in the body that may be underlying root causes for depression/anxiety, autoimmune diseases, allergies and food intolerances, weight gain, and more.

What factors in our diet/lifestyle compromise gut health?

The leading causes of impaired gut health are poor diet, overuse of antibiotics and elevated stress. Inadequate intake of plant-based whole foods and probiotic-rich cultured or fermented foods can hinder gut health while frequent antibiotic use can wipe out good bacteria, enabling bad bacteria to proliferate and take over. Furthermore, certain foods can create inflammation in the gut, which may make some people more prone to developing food allergies and sensitivities. The good news is that there are specific diet and lifestyle strategies that can you can adopt to help heal the gut and restore balance.

Follow our events page for future Food for Thought educational forums and events, and to learn more from speakers like Lisa.

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