May04The Gut: A Key Component to Better Health

There is an often forgotten component of health that most people aren’t aware of, and that is gut health.

Taking care of your gut health is one of the most important components for success in any health and fitness regimen. Your gut health impacts every body system, which means in a lot of ways it is the center of your well-being and physiology. A healthy gut does more for you than save on toilet paper, too: from accelerating your metabolism, to improving digestion, increasing your immunity and improving your overall health and longevity of life, it seems gut health is one of the more important aspects of health.

 

Gut Bacteria

While bacteria often gets a bad rap, there are actually billions of microorganisms living inside you at this very moment, and many of them are crucial to health. These critters take residence in your stomach and intestine, and they help process food that we eat, boost immunity, reduce infections, and leave you stronger overall. The totality of these microorganisms is called the gut microbiome. Not only is your unique microbiome key to the health of your body, but your mind as well. Research supports that the gut-to-brain connection plays a critical role in the state of emotions. If our gut is out of wack, it can cause lethargy, brain fog, and concentration problems.

For many people, their internal ecosystem could use some work. Many environmental factors can wreak havoc on your gut, but the good news is that most of the damage is avoidable and repairable.

 

What Hurts My Gut?

The thing is, many of us have a weakened microbiome because of numerous things in our environment that killĀ  or weaken the good bacteria. While there are many good things about our modern lifestyle, certain things harm our gut health.

 

  • Poor Diet. A diet lacking in rich nutrients makes harmful bacteria and yeast grow in our gut leading to an unhealthy ecosystem.
  • Prescription Overuse. Medications especially Anti-Inflammatories, Antibiotics , Acid Blockers and Steroids damage our gut resulting in the blocking of our normal digestive function.
  • Lack of Digestive Enzymes. High stress, nutrient and mineral deficiencies such as Zinc can affect the breakdown of foods.
  • Stress. Chronic exposure to stress alters your the nervous system of your gut, thus changing the normal healthy bacteria that should live in your digestive system.

 

What Can I Do To Start Healing My Gut?

Fortunately, there are ways to heal and rebuild gut health.

 

  • Be wary of medication overuse. Antibiotics are a boon when it comes to destroying bad bacteria, and medications like penicillin have done wonders for modern medicine. sometimes though, certain medicines do more harm than good; consult with your doctor about only using medication when it’s truly needed, and not over-prescribing.
  • Supplement. Getting certain supplements like prebiotics, probiotics, and fiber can help boost gut health.
  • Eat probiotic-rich foods. Certain foods are packed with helpful bacteria, like: yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir. While some of these foods might not taste the greatest (we’re looking at you, kefir), they are great at restoring gut health to it’s peak.

 

Fix Your Gut, Enhance Your Life

At the end of the day, working towards a better gut will benefit your life. It’ll boost your immune function, alleviate mood, help digestion, and just make you stronger overall. So go give your gut some much needed attention!