"Love Your Gut"
Why a healthy gut is so important
Gut health has become the new “hot topic” of discussion across social media. We have all been learning about why gut health is so important. But do you really understand the hype?
Most of the time we just ingest food without even thinking about it. While we may think it is not affecting us, our body is thinking otherwise. It’s time to start listening to your body. Digestion, mood, health and even the way people think is being linked to their “second brain,” also known as their gut, more and more every day.
So, is your gut really the gateway to good health? How can we achieve an overall healthy gut?
Why is a healthy gut important?
Did you know that your gut is largely responsible for the critical functions of your body? A healthy gut means a healthy overall well-being.
Let’s start with the concept of bacteria.
Our gut is home to more than 100 trillion bacteria. Yep! You read that right! But wait, this isn’t a bad thing. The bacteria play a vital role in our metabolism and health. The bacteria feed on dietary fiber while they perform a variety of duties, including helping to make vitamins B and K, and breaking down dietary fiber. This breakdown results in a release of beneficial, anti-inflammatory fatty acids that are vital energy sources for our bodies. Now, not all bacteria is good bacteria. You need to get rid of some of the harmful bacteria, and replace it with beneficial bacteria. Probiotics can help with this! Note that an imbalance of bacteria, meaning more harmful bacteria, can lead to limited space for the good guys.
Here’s another question for you. Did you know that 70% of your immune system resides in your gut?
Most of the time when your immune system is weak, it can be traced back to what is happening in your gut. Just knowing that allows you to change what you are putting in your body so you can enhance your immune health. For optimal immunity, detoxification and nourishment, your gut must be in balance. It’s that simple.
Your gut is your second brain.
Our brain and gut are connected by a network of neurons, chemicals and hormones. How does your body knows when it’s hungry? The gut-brain connection means that poor digestive health can even lead to mood disorders.
How can you achieve a healthy gut?
The answer is, there are so many ways! Let’s start simple.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. They are the best sources of nutrients for a healthy body. They are high in fiber, which can be digested by bacteria in your gut and stimulate their growth.
Eating more fermented foods is also a way to improve your gut health. The process of fermenting usually involves bacteria or yeasts converting the sugars in food to organic acids or alcohol.
Probiotics are another thing that can help you achieve a healthy gut. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. Probiotics are known as the “good” bacteria that help keep your gut in top shape. Where are probiotics found? Well, to answer your question, they’re not as hard to find as you think. Actually, the foods listed above are known probiotic-rich foods.
The importance of probiotics has long been known, but what about prebiotics? To put it into simple words, prebiotics act as food for probiotics. They are a type of fiber. You’re probably already eating prebiotic-rich foods and may not even know it. They exist in many foods that you probably consume on a daily basis.
A few of these foods include:
Lastly, it is time to reduce your junk food intake. Your gut bacteria just don’t like it, so why not try and eliminate it from your diet? Remember, we want to love on our gut! And we’re not just talking fast food. This would also include anything that’s highly processed or has a large amount of refined sugar.
Here is a list of some foods you want to avoid to maintain a healthy gut:
- Processed food
- Refined sugar
- Farmed fish and meat
- Artificial sweeteners
So, have you shown your gut some love today?