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What is gut health and why is it important?

Gut health refers to your digestive system and also home to your microbiome. Your microbiome hosts a diverse group of bacteria. The bacteria not only help to digest food but also plays a big role in our physical and mental health. Bacterias make up about 70 percent of our immune system in our gut. What we put into our bodies can affect the support of our gut health.

Signs of an Unbalanced Gut

  • Digestive Issues

A balanced gut should process food and eliminate waste without any issues. If you constantly have issues with gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn it can be a sign of an unbalanced gut.

  • Trouble Sleeping and Mood Changes

Serotonin is the hormone that affects sleep and mood, and the majority is produced in the digestive system. You might have poor sleep or insomnia which can lead you to be in a cycle of fatigue. It also helps keep the balance of your mood, stress, and anxiety. If your levels of serotonin are low it can disrupt your mood leading you to feel higher levels of depression, stress, or anxiety.

  • Sudden Sensitivity to Certain Foods

When your gut is unbalanced the permeability of your intestines may be compromised. It is also known as having a “leaky gut”. Our intestinal lining control what gets absorbed into the bloodstream and prevent particles from slipping through. When having a leaky gut, you may have a few holes or cracks and certain food particles may slip through leading to an immune response that can be painful. This cycle can happen when you eat certain foods.

  • Sugar Cravings

The bacteria in your gut depending on whether they are good or bad all want to survive. When you are someone who eats a lot of processed food and sugar you crave it because the bacteria that need this type of food want to be fed. The more of these bacteria you have the stronger the craving will be.

How can you promote a healthy gut?

  • Hydration

Water is one of our key fuels. It is a great start to keeping balance in your gut.

  • Changing your diet

Just because you are craving certain foods does not mean you actually need them. Listen to your body. If you are constantly craving sweets and fried foods, it may be because you have a higher presence of that bacteria. Look for ways you can promote the good bacteria in your daily diet!

  • Sleep

Lack of sleep is harmful to your gut and adds stress to your body. If you can, try to get 7+ hours of sleep. If this is a constant struggle talk to your doctor.

  • Incorporate Probiotics

Adding probiotics to your diet to promote healthy bacteria is a great idea. Always refer to a physician to receive the most accurate information about current probiotic supplements.

Essentially, your gut thrives when it reaches equilibrium. When good bacteria are promoted, it helps maintain a healthy cycle in your body. When bad bacteria thrive, it can lead to not only upset stomachs but a problematic cycle in other areas of your health as well. If you experience any of these symptoms just know reversing the cycle will not happen in a few days. Talk to a medical professional about what steps you can do to understand your body and get on the right track to a healthier gut. Remember, to always listen to your gut!


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