3 Quick Ways To Improve Gut HealthNovember 29, 2021
Our digestive system plays a vital role in our body. In fact, it is impossible to achieve overall health while overlooking our gut health.
For the recent years, the human gut has been increasingly becoming a hot topic of research for the medical community.
Numerous studies have revealed how a healthy gut can benefit our immune system, help clear our skin, improve our cognitive functioning, and even enhance our resilience to stress.
In contrast, poor gut health is linked to a number of health problems such as obesity, sleep disturbances, skin inflammation and mood disorders.
Roughly 70% of our immune system is located within the gut and the number of bacteria within the gut is approximately 10 times that of all of the cells in the human body – a self-explanatory data to show how our gut rules many functions of our body.
So to ensure that your gut is in its best shape, here are 3 quick ways to help you achieve that gut health goal.
1. Consume a diverse range of food.
The more species of bacteria you have, the more benefits they contribute to your body. Simply because different microbes play different roles in our health.
Now that being said, these divergent species also require varying nutrients for growth. Thus, including a myriad of food types in your diet can lead to a more diverse microbiome.
2. Increase your prebiotic and probiotic intake.
Prebiotics are carbs that our body can’t digest. So what do they do? They go into your lower digestive tract and feed the “friendly” bacteria in our gut.
This process allows your microbiomes to generate nutrients for your colon cells, leading to a healthier digestive system.
Here’s a list of prebiotic foods you can add to your grocery list:
Although sometimes confused as prebiotics and vice versa, probiotics benefit our gut in a very distinct manner.
To put it simply, while prebiotics feed the good bacteria, probiotics have live bacteria.
Probiotics are live microorganisms similar to the microorganisms naturally living in our body. They are commonly found in yogurt, kimchi, pickles and other fermented food and drink. But if integrating probiotics in your meals is a bit challenging, dietary supplements are also widely available.
3. Lower your stress level.
How many times have you noticed yourself experiencing indigestion, constipation, or diarrhea during a stressful day?
Well, it was not just a coincidence. The gut-brain connection is a real thing.
Our gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion and stomach problems are one of the most common symptoms of stress.
When we are anxious or overwhelmed, our body releases hormones and chemicals that enter the digestive system. They affect the microorganisms in our gut, increasing the digestive process while slowing down the antibody production. This leads to irritable bowel movement and other gastrointestinal conditions.
On the other way around, researchers have discovered that when infected, our gut produces inflammatory cytokines, a defensive molecule that disrupts brain chemistry, making us more prone to anxiety and depression.
Our gut does more than just help in our digestion and is far more complex than what we were previously taught. With so much still unknown, it’s safe to stick with the basics: follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.
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