When it comes to our overall health and well-being, most of us tend to focus on exercise, nutrition, and mental health. However, there is an often-overlooked aspect that plays a crucial role in our overall well-being – gut health. The phrase, “You are what you eat,” is out and we can focus on, “You are what you digest.” No matter what you’re eating, if your body is not properly digesting, absorbing and assimilating your food, then your body is likely not getting the all nutrients it needs. This leaves us feeling undernourished, craving more food, and often with digestive issues. So, what is gut health and how can you support your body to achieve optimal wellness.
Our gut microbiome is the foundation of our health. Our digestive system is home to yeast and trillions of bacteria, both “good” (beneficial & helpful) and “bad” (potentially harmful). These bacteria play a vital role in digestion, nutrient absorption, serotonin production and even our immune system. In fact, over 70% of our immune system resides in the gut. What we eat, our lifestyle and environment dictate the delicate balance of our gut microbiome. Essentially, when our gut health is poor and out of balance, other systems of our body won’t be functioning optimally, like our immune system and hormones.
Since our gut is the foundation of our health, it has a major impact on the rest of our bodies. In the gut microbiome, the “good” bacteria help to keep the “bad” bacteria in check. Equilibrium is when there is a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. Our gut health and immune system are closely linked. A healthy digestive system allows for proper absorption of nutrients that are essential for supporting our immune system.
When our gut is compromised and out of balance, it can lead to inflammation, a weakened immune response, and complications in other systems of the body. Furthermore, our gut bacteria also play a crucial role in producing immune cells and regulating inflammation. When there is an imbalance in our gut bacteria, it can impact the functioning of these cells, leaving us more susceptible to illnesses.
Our gut is also responsible for removing metabolic waste and toxins. If you have an unhealthy gut, your body will struggle to rid itself of these toxins, further burdening the body and causing issues in other areas of the body, including inflammation, chronic illnesses, and chronic fatigue. This is why so many people experience symptoms such as constipation, bloating, diarrhea, gas, joint pain, and brain fog. Many of the “normal” symptoms people have don’t have to be a normal part of life, in fact, these symptoms are your body’s way of signaling to you that something is not right. And the most incredible part of it all is that you can improve your gut health and reclaim your overall health!
So how do we ensure our gut health is optimal for overall well-being? The key is to focus on a holistic approach that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management. This takes time, dedication and consistency, but isn’t your health worth it?
A balanced and varied diet is essential for maintaining good gut health. Incorporating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut can help increase the number of beneficial bacteria in our gut. Additionally, including a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provides our gut with the necessary fiber to support a healthy digestive system. Avoid or minimize consuming highly processed foods, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, and unhealth fats.
Regular physical activity not only benefits our physical health but also supports good gut health. Studies have shown that exercise can increase the diversity of bacteria in our gut, promoting a healthier balance. It can be as simple as going for a ten-minute walk three times a day.
Chronic stress can take a toll on our gut health. It can disrupt the balance of bacteria in our gut and even lead to digestive issues. Take inventory of all the stressors in your life. Of course, it’s not reasonable for many of us to simply get rid of everything causing us stress in our life. In fact, some stressors are good for you, however, the majority of people are living in a constant state of stress that is causing havoc in our bodies. Identify tools that can help you manage your stress, which is different for everyone. You can begin by incorporating stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature can help support a healthy gut.
Remember, our bodies are interconnected, and a healthy gut is essential for overall health. By focusing on supporting a healthy gut through diet, exercise, and stress management, we can strengthen our immune system and promote holistic health and wellbeing. Overall well-being is not just about looking good on the outside but also feeling good from the inside out. And that starts with a healthy gut. So, make sure to prioritize your gut health for a happier, healthier you! Healthy habits lead to a healthy life, so start making small changes today for long-term benefits. Remember, a healthy gut equals a healthy body and mind. Let’s work towards achieving holistic health by giving our gut the attention it deserves. Your body will thank you!
Disclaimer: The content and information in this article has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before starting any new supplement or herbal remedy, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications. For educational purposes only.