Ireland's first dedicated functional gut health clinic is due to open on Dublin's Grafton Street this month. The Vitality Centre, established by nurse trained nutritionist, skin therapist and gut health practitioner, Frances Flannery, will provide treatments for stressed digestive systems.

Frances Flannery

Below, Frances shares her ten commandments for good gut health.

1. Clear
Optimal gut health is achieved by a combination of lifestyle habits. According to medical physician and internationally acclaimed author Dr. David Perlmutter, everyone has an imbalanced gut flora. Colonic hydrotherapy may help achieve gut symbiosis. Other ways to clear your gut include naturally detoxing by drinking plenty of water and decaffeinated tea, exercising regularly and eating whole plant foods.

2. Cleanse
Toxins such as Alpha-Synuclein can be found within the gut and can be linked to a number of health issues. Also if you suffer from constipation, your gut has become a breathing ground for unhealthy gut flora and toxins.

There are a number of ways to get your gut back on track such as professionally administered colon cleansing. Avoiding foods containing fructose and high saturated fat is another way to cleanse the gut as they interfere with the body’s natural ability to detoxify.

Clear your gut naturally by drinking plenty of water

3. Plant
According to gut health expert and author Frances Flannery, your gut is a microscopic garden. Just like a real garden, it should be cared for in a similar way. 

If you decide to undergo a colonic or cleansing treatment, fill up on good gut flora in the form of oral probiotics, probiotic enemas which are the most direct way to ensure gut flora gets to the bowel and repopulates. Probiotics can be found naturally in many foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi which you can make at home.

4. Feed
Good gut flora like lactobacillus and bifidus feed on wholefoods. But those with IBS know that some wholefoods contain sugars that irritate the gut and bowel. Therefore it's best to consider a food intolerance test to establish the right foods that will calm and heal your gut. 

5. Fertilise
Prebiotic foods in the form of fermented kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut are excellent sources of food for your good gut flora. 

6. Organic Cultures
Not all fermented foods are the same. Pickles in vinegar contain high levels of salt which is not the same as cultured fermented foods made organically with gut health in mind. 

7. Avoid sugar
Candida and unhealthy fungal gut flora feed on sugar. Cut it out of your diet to promote an alkaline body and healthy bowel. Cultured foods which are fermented produce some lactobacillus and also the process of fermenting reduces sugar content. 

Cut down in sugar in 2019

8. Increase hydration
By increasing hydration of your liver, you can boost metabolistic function by up to 3% which means that weight loss is boosted. When you drink water your brain, the master organ, takes priority. Having colonic irrigation may boost hydration to the liver and gut which is one reason why weight loss of up to 3LBS normally follows. 

9. Breath
Make every day sacred with some form of activity that honours your body and mind. If you like to lift weights or run, focus so that your exercise becomes meditative. The shift in brain waves resulting from a meditative state reduces stress and anxiety. 

10. Be Nice To You
Be nice to yourself. Listen to the inner monologue of your own mind. What words are you saying about yourself and to yourself.  Would you talk to your best friend in this way? Are you saying unhealthy things to yourself. Stop now and replace them with positive words because your subconscious mind is listening at all times to the words you use to talk to yourself. 

The Ultimate Guide To Functional Gut Health by Frances Flannery is available on Amazon for Kindle.