Gut health has become a concern in recent years. Why? Because people are realising how important gut health is and how it is intertwined with so many other bodily functions. The gut is not one organ; it is a critical gastrointestinal (GI) system made up of many organs and processes that process food from digestion to excretion. For better gut health and process, it needs good care with "prebiotics" and good bacteria called "probiotics." Your gut is home to trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, collectively known as the gut microbiome. This complex system plays a vital role in our overall health and well-being, impacting everything from our immune system and skin health to our mental health.
Role, function and importance of Gut
To understand the importance of the gut, you need to understand its function and role. When your GI tract digests food, it breaks it down, and the valuable nutrients are absorbed through the wall of the gut to be transported through the bloodstream. To regulate this process, the gut uses nerves, bacteria, and hormones. Bacteria form a mucosal layer that strengthens the gut wall, and good digestive health is the result of a balance between good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria in the gut strengthen the gut wall, which protects the rest of the body from potential pathogens by acting as a layer of cells and chemical barriers. The gut microbiome helps us digest food, produce essential vitamins, and regulate our metabolism. It also acts as a barrier against harmful pathogens and toxins. A healthy gut microbiome is diverse, containing a variety of bacteria that work together to keep us healthy. However, factors such as poor diet, stress, and antibiotics can disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, leading to gut dysbiosis and a host of health problems. Gut health also affects more than just your digestion. It can have tangible effects on your mood, immune system, and more. Here are some of the common symptoms you experience due to bad gut health; 1. Body aches and pain 2. Gut bacteria regulates inflammation 3. Better digestion 4. Your Gut is central to your nervous system 5. Your gut really does have feelings
Gut feelings are totally real. 90 percent of the neurotransmitters that are usually associated with the brain are produced in gut in addition to dopamine and serotonin. Research also suggests that imbalance in the gut can trigger mood changes and people with bowel disorders. An imbalance of various bacteria and/or an overgrowth of fungi – both of which contribute to an unhealthy environment in your gut – are largely affected by diet. Low-fibre, high-sugar, processed food and other options that are nutrient-poor and have high calories are likely to contribute to an influx of the bad bacteria and yeast. To improve gut health, the key is eating whole, unprocessed food with plenty of fibre (think: vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains) and taking probiotics easily available over-the-counter. Healthy sleep, stress reduction and good exercise habits can also help from a behavioural standpoint.
So, how can we improve our gut health and promote a diverse and balanced gut microbiome? Below are seven ways to have a healthy gut.
1. Try diverse diet rich in fibre
Fibre is the preferred food source for gut bacteria, and a diet rich in fibre helps promote a healthy gut microbiome. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes in your diet to ensure you're getting a good mix of soluble and insoluble fibre. A minimum of 30 grams of fibre per day is good to go.
2. Limit processed foods and sugar
Processed foods and high-sugar diets have been linked to gut dysbiosis and an increased risk of diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. The option of whole, nutrient-dense foods is recommended. 3. Eat fermented foods
Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi are rich in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Try to include a serving of fermented foods in your diet each day, e.g., a homemade pickle. 4. Take a probiotic supplement
Probiotic supplements can help restore the balance of good bacteria in the gut. Look for a high-quality supplement that contains a variety of strains, and take it regularly to maintain good gut health. Try WonderPro Super probiotic to get all major good bacteria your gut needs. Its lactose and sugar-free probiotic with awesome banana flavour.
5. Reduce stress
Stress can have a negative impact on the gut microbiome, so it's important to find ways to manage stress in your life. Exercise, mindfulness, and other stress-management techniques can help reduce stress and improve gut health. 6. Avoid antibiotics unless necessary
Antibiotics can kill both good and bad bacteria in the gut, disrupting the delicate balance of the microbiome. Avoid taking antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary, and consider taking a probiotic supplement during and after a course of antibiotics to help restore the gut microbiome. 7. Get enough sleep
Sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being, and it also plays a role in gut health. Lack of sleep has been linked to gut dysbiosis and an increased risk of diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to maintain good gut health. The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in our overall health and well-being, and there are many things we can do to promote a healthy and diverse gut microbiome. From eating a diverse diet rich in fibre to reducing stress and getting enough sleep, there are simple steps we can take to support our gut health and maintain a balanced gut microbiome. So, start making changes today to improve your gut health and enjoy the many benefits that come with it.