By: Danny Moon
Want to ramp up your health and happiness? Then it’s important to learn about gut health and what you can do to nourish it.
The gut. It’s one of the epicenters of your body. It has a hand in many critical functions of the body, so it’s imperative to keep it balanced.
The Importance of gut health
The gut plays an essential role in your overall health and well-being. It can help control everything from your weight to your mood to brain health, inflammation, and immune function. Not only that, but 90% of serotonin, the happy feel-good hormone, is produced in the gut.
So if you’re feeling down and out, it could be traced to a gut imbalance. If you want to stay happy and healthy, then you need to make sure you support your gut health.
What is the gut microbiome?
So you’ve got all of these bacteria in your body. Most of these guys are in your large intestine and make up the gut microbiome. Don’t get grossed out just yet.
You want and need good bacteria in your system. The good guys can help with digestion and removing toxins from the body. They keep your immune system strong. In fact, 70% of your immune system is found in the gut.
The problem comes when there are too many bad bacteria running the show. When that happens, you develop an imbalance that can affect your health.
What happens when your gut is off?
For example, let’s say that you’re super stressed at work, so you eat junk food all week, have a lot of drinks, and get poor sleep. All of these actions can negatively impact your gut microbiome. What does that look like?
- Bad moods
- Brain fog
- Food allergies
- Skin problems – itchy, hives, rashes
- Digestive upset – bloating, abdominal pain
- Autoimmune issues
- Constipation or loose stools
- Frequent illness
- Joint pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Weight gain
- Poor sleep
How does your gut get out of balance?
There are many ways that your gut microbiome can become unhealthy. Here are some ways the gut can get out of balance, in addition to some ways to keep these things in check.
- Poor diet – processed, sugar-laden food is not doing any favors for your gut health.
- Excess stress– stress is no friend to your body or your life. A quick stress-reliever can be to take a few long, slow deep breaths in the moment to relax the body. Meditation can also be super helpful to release excess tension.
- Repeated use of antibiotics – while antibiotics can play an important role in fighting off infection, overuse can kill the good bacteria in your system. Taking a good probiotic can help balance your system.
- Overindulging in alcohol – alcohol consumption can negatively impact the gut. If you choose to drink.
- Overuse of NSAIDs and ibuprofen can also damage your intestinal lining so look for ways to address the issues at the root of your pain.
- Not getting enough sleep – being sleep deprived can impact your gut, brain, and diet so make quality sleep a priority.
How to ensure good gut health
I’m assuming you don’t want any of the above items in your life. I know I don’t. So what’s a gut-challenged person supposed to do? Here’s what you can do and eat to ensure good gut health.
- Eat fermented food will start feeding the good bacteria in your gut. Be sure to go slowly and contact your doctor if your gut becomes more aggravated, which could mean a possible yeast overgrowth.
- Drink bone broth. Your gut loves a quality bone broth. You can make your own or buy a quality organic, grass-fed broth like Kettle & Fire’s Bone Broth.
- Load up on fiber– get your leafy greens going to keep your gut healthy.
- Keep inflammation at bay by using healthy oils and avoiding the harmful ones that can bring added toxins into your body.
- Drop the sugar and artificial sweeteners– that’s only going to feed the bad guys. Getting rid of sugar will help keep your body in better balance.
- Mix up your food – give you microbiome somevariety.
- Be aware of your food allergiesand sensitivities and be sure to avoid them. Many people have issues digesting gluten, grains, and dairy, and eating them can lead to inflammation and an imbalanced gut.
- Eat prebiotic rich foodthat feed your good gut bacteria like dandelion greens, artichokes, flax seeds, seaweed, leeks, garlic, onions, and asparagus.
- Add a probiotic. Probiotics can go a long way in helping to restore gut health. Soil-based probioticscan be helpful for those suffering from gut issues. There are many different strains on the market. Work with your healthcare provider to find the one that’s right for you.
- Exercise regularly. Research showed that exercise had a positive effecton the gut microbiome, reducing inflammation and increasing energy.
With so much still unknown about microbiome the most important thing we can do is follow a healthy diet and lifestyle; if it is good for you it is probably good for your gut.
By: Danny Moon