The little-discussed factor in gut health.
The Liver and Digestive Health
When it comes to looking after your gut, I’m sure you’ve heard about probiotics and fibre, right? But did you know that looking after your liver can be key to ensuring your gut is working the way that its meant to?
St Mary’s Thistle print by AgaFarrell
Your liver, the one responsible for detoxifying the body’s metabolites and the toxins you ingest, creates a digestive secretion called bile. Bile is the medium through which these detoxified products are released via the bowel, shifting them out of your system. It is created from bile salts that are transported from the liver to the gall bladder. Concentrated, stored and excreted by the gall bladder in response to the presence of a meal, bile enables us to absorb fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and some minerals. It also helps to maintain the optimum pH in the gut for our gut flora to grow and contains immunoglobulins that support the integrity and structure of the gut wall.
When should you start to worry about your liver and its effect on the gut?
The idea of going vegan for two weeks, to me, was incredibly daunting. I’ve had times in my life in the past where I’d mostly eaten vegetarian (for budgetary reasons, mostly) and even though I thought I was eating well, over time, my mental health declined, and I became more prone to anxiety and felt overall, pretty miserable.
Eating an animal source of protein usually improved my mood fairly quickly (within a day), so I associated good mental health with getting an animal source of protein in my diet most days of the week. The idea of eating vegan (for more than a meal here and there) scared the shit out of me – the last thing I wanted was to put myself at a higher risk of an anxiety attack, but all the while, I had found myself craving vegetarian meals since winter last year, and I always want to reduce my environmental impact on the world. It was a very confusing position to be in. Continue reading
Have you tried everything to help your gut? Special diets, fibre supplements, probiotics, cleanses – I’ve heard it all when it comes to gut issues, but the more supplements you throw at the problem without any specific purpose, the more money you’re literally flushing down the toilet.
This past weekend, Blake and I finally set off on what was my first ever real (read: not at a caravan park or music festival) camping trip. To give you a bit of history, part of me is a country kid, with half of my childhood living in a small town in North East Victoria. My Mum has a fireplace that I always volunteer to light, and I’ve been to many a bonfire each winter as a teen. I’ve camped at several festivals, and camping as a kid was always at a caravan park, so I have been itching to go ‘proper’ camping for years. Continue reading
aka. My guide to the best brown rice of your life, and the tastiest porridge.
I’ve never liked the idea of treating a food group as the enemy, and my goodness, have grains had a rough trot over the years. Yes, they can be hard to digest for some, but they’re also full of beautiful vitamins, minerals and fibre, as well as lovely slow-release source of carbohydrates – essential for brain function.
Believe it or not, there is a way to cook grains so that they don’t upset your gut (although, I have found that the boyfriend is just plain allergic to a couple of things, no matter how I long I sour them – more for me then, hahaha!). Its actually really easy, it just takes a little patience, and a nice big bowl. Continue reading
I’m happy to admit, when I make a recipe I love, I always want to brag about it. Case in point, not only is this smoothie recipe delicious, if you can’t be bothered making it yourself, you can head down to Sun & Earth Organics, New Farm (my work), and I can make it for you, because I made such a big deal about it that we put it on the menu.
This recipe is great because the only thing sweetening it is the fruit and the tiniest bit of stevia in the protein powder, and the jaffa flavour comes from fresh orange zest, orange juice, and beautiful, raw cacao powder.
I have proudly converted choc-orange non-believers to this smoothie and surprised many a sweet-tooth by how yummy this is, with absolutely no additional sugar.
Best of all, you get to watch me make the recipe instead of reading it – it’s super easy, I promise!
So here it is, in all it’s jaffa glory;
Miri’s Chocolate Orange