Gut health – it’s not just about your gut
It’s not just for letting you know when something doesn’t feel right. Gut health, in particular, the health of your gut microbiome, has an impact on many aspects of bodily function, from inflammatory responses to mental health.
What’s a Microbiome?
Your body has multiple microbiomes – in your gut, eyes, and skin for example. The one in your gut contains trillions of bacteria that support many facets of health.
According to Gut Microbiota For Health our gut contains tens of trillions of microorganisms, which include around 1000 species of bacteria working in synergy and can weigh up to 4.4lbs/2kgs! Another cool thing to note is that while some of the bacteria are common to everyone, about two-thirds of it are specific to each individual.
Why is it important?
The gut microbiome helps with digestion, the production of certain vitamins, maintaining the mucus of the intestine, and plays a big role in immunity.
Research has also shown that an imbalance of the good and bad bacteria can lead to disorders such as diabetes and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Imbalance in gut bacteria can also play a part in having high cholesterol and in weight gain.
Our genetics also play a role in whether our gut microbiome becomes imbalanced. Some of us may have a predisposition to an imbalance that could lead to the onset of or worsening of conditions such as depression.
Bottom line – our gut microbiome is really important and it’s up to us to take care of it and keep it balanced.
How to improve your gut microbiome
One of the best ways to improve your gut microbiome is to eat a wide variety of foods in your diet, especially fruits and vegetables. They are one of the best sources of nutrition for the good bacteria, and can even prevent the growth of bad bacteria that can cause disease.
Another is to add a good probiotic to your daily routine. Probiotics help populate the gut with beneficial bacteria. Our favorite rainbow caps contain a probiotic – you can check them out here.
Prebiotics are also important for gut health. They are not digestible in the gut but do help feed the beneficial bacteria. Some easy-to-add prebiotics include garlic, onion, asparagus, and artichoke. Make sure you’re also getting your whole grains and lots of fiber, as these will help feed the good guys too.
Try adding fermented foods like kimchi to your diet. They also help populate the gut with good bacteria.
And for lots of reasons, get rid of the processed and sugary foods. They are digested quickly, which doesn’t leave much in the way of goodness for the bacteria down the digestive line.
There are lots of good bacteria working in synergy in your gastrointestinal tract to help you enjoy your best life. Don’t you owe it to them to give them their best shot at it? Start making small changes to improve your gut health today and you will see a difference in your overall health too.