Gut health means having the right balance of microorganisms living in the digestive tract. There are millions of bacteria that live in the body, with most of them living in the gut.
Collectively, these microorganisms are known as the gut microbiome. They are beneficial to our health, and others are even essential. In this article, we discuss some common scientifically proven ways to improve your gut health.
- Eat different varieties of foods.
There are several bacteria species available in your digestion track. Each has a special role in your health and needs specific nutrients for growth and development. Generally, a diverse microbiome is considered healthy as the species you possess, the more bacterial benefits you get.
A healthy diet full of a diverse range of foods can help promote the growth of these species in your body.
Because a lot of urban foods have a lack of diversity in their foods, and most of them are rich in sugar and fats compared to the rural ones, studies show that food diversity is found in rural areas in South America and Africa.
- Eat probiotic-baked and fiber-rich foods.
Fiber is a nutrient found in plants that reduces the risk of developing metabolic diseases by fostering the growth and development of good bacteria in the mouth. Spinach, sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots are rich in gut-boosting fibers.
Apart from vegetables and fruits, whole grains are also a great source of fibers. Thanks to the availability of probiotics, foods such as yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi are also tipped as excellent gut-enhancers.
Specifically, yogurt can help cool off gastrointestinal complications like constipation, diarrhea, and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Reduce alcohol intake.
Too much alcohol consumption can also have negative effects on your microbiome balance. Consistent alcohol intake is linked to gastritis, an inflammation of the digestive tract, where it becomes inflamed.
This gut inflammation can result in severe discomfort, heartburn, ulcers, and other serious bacterial infections.
Excessive alcohol drinking is also linked to intestinal inflammation. This is among the major symptoms of an unhealthy gut. Studies suggest that this type of inflammation can throw microbiome composition off balance and even alter how it works.
- Eat less sugars and artificial sweeteners.
Eating too many natural sweeteners and sugars can lead to gut dysbiosis, a condition of microbiome imbalance in the gut system. According to a study involving animals, it was found that western foods, which mainly contain more sugars and fats, caused gut microbiome imbalance.
This is also said to affect the brain and general human behaviors and encourage the growth of gut bacteria causing metabolic problems.
- Reduce stress.
Stress is not only a mental problem. Health professionals in gut health usually talk of the “gut-brain” connection and refer to the gut as “the second brain.” While we cannot substantiate this observation, there is a common knowledge that the brain is connected to the gut in a way.
Different researches have shown that psychological stressors can cause disruption in the intestinal microorganisms, even if the stress is short-lived.
Managing stress can make you develop good gut bacteria through a conducive environment fostered by stable brain functioning.
Why your gut health is important.
The gut, also known as the gastrointestinal system, helps in food digestion, nutrient absorption, and the usage of these nutrients for basic functions of the body.
Besides food digestion and mineral absorption, the gut communicates regularly with the brain to influence different factors like fluid secretion, digestive tract contractions, and immune activities.
Additionally, it is also a great contributor to our body’s immune system. The gut has over 70% of immune cells.
The gut bacteria is significantly important for your general body health. Several studies have now confirmed that an imbalanced microbiome can lead to a lot of chronic complications.
The best way to achieve a healthy gut is by eating lots of vegetables, fruits, fibers, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol intake. Also, remember to manage your stress and exercise regularly.