The term gut health has gained popularity in recent years and I am sure you have heard it being thrown around, if you have not, you are surely living under a rock. But never the less I am here for you. First things first the term gut refers to your gastrointestinal tract that is, the passageway of the digestive system that leads from the mouth to the anus.
So what is gut health exactly?
If you are still wondering what we refer to when we talk about gut health, a healthy gut is just one that digests your food effectively. Did you know you have microorganisms living in your intestines? yes, you heard me, microorganisms also referred to as the gut microbiome. Each person has over 200 different species of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in their digestive tract at any one time. Some microorganisms are harmful to our health, but many are incredibly beneficial and even necessary for a healthy body. Everyone’s gut microbiome is unique, which explains why foods that help one person to thrive may cause irritation in others. Therefore good gut health occurs when you have a balance between the good (helpful) and bad (potentially harmful) bacteria and yeast in your gut.
Alright now that I know what gut health is, why is it important?
Good question! Our gut breaks down the food we eat into a functional form that can enter the bloodstream and go where it is required in the body. Unfortunately, things can go wrong at several stages in this process, from serious digestive diseases to food intolerances causing problems with how our body extracts nutrients from food.
The gut is very important for immune function with the gut wall providing a barrier that, when functioning properly, prevents viruses, fungi, and ‘bad’ bacteria from entering the bloodstream. Your gut is the foundation of everything remember, it aids in the digestion of the foods you eat, absorbs nutrients, and uses it to fuel and maintain your body to thrive. Aside from its role in immune function, your gut is also where your body gets rid of metabolic waste and toxins. An unhealthy gut will put a strain on your body to get rid itself of those toxins. If this occurs, it can cause many issues, including chronic fatigue, chronic illnesses, and inflammation throughout the body. This explains why people experience symptoms such as brain fog, diarrhea, constipation, gas, joint pain, to mention but a few.
What are the signs of reduced gut health then?
The symptoms you may experience that could be an indicator include but notwithstanding
- Stomach upset including bloating, diarrhea, heartburn, constipation
- Unintentional weight fluctuations
- Constant fatigue or sleep disturbances
- Food intolerances
- Autoimmune conditions
- Skin irritations
- Low immunity
- Bad breath
Are you wondering about some of the things you can do for your gut health?
I will list some of the things you may need to do to support your gut health.
- Hydrate as much as possible, remember water makes up almost 60% of our body composition. It has also been linked to increased bacteria in the gut
- Clock in enough hours of sleep
- Check your diet. Eat for your gut health.
- Listen to your body for any food intolerances
- Lower your stress levels as much as you want
Support your gut to support your health, and find yourself a professional to support you on this journey if you have no idea.
See you next Wednesday