In recent years, “gut health” has become a popular topic in the wellness space. But do you know what is meant by the term “gut health” – or what your gut is actually responsible for in your body?
Keep reading to learn more about why your gut is so important and how you can go about improving your gut microbiome and overall health!
What Is the Gut Microbiome?
The gut microbiome consists of all the microorganisms in your intestine. These microorganisms include bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and each person has hundreds of different species of them in their digestive tract.
The microorganisms in your gut can be both helpful and potentially harmful, which is why it is imperative to maintain good gut health – to boost the growth of good bacteria and crowd out the bad bacteria. Inflammatory bowel diseases, chronic heart diseases, and diabetes are just some of the conditions that are related to gut bacteria.
Research suggests that having more species of bacteria in your gut is extremely beneficial for your health.
What Is the Gut-Brain Connection?
If you have ever had a “gut-wrenching” experience or felt “butterflies in your stomach”, you have your second brain to thank for that! The second brain is a term used to describe the enteric nervous system (ENS), which is a mesh-like system of millions of nerve cells that controls the function of the gastrointestinal tract.
The ENS can cause emotional shifts in individuals who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There is evidence that suggests irritation in the gastrointestinal system may send signals to the central nervous system, ultimately triggering mood changes.
In essence, your gut bacteria is related to your mental health, and it can influence your mood, thoughts, and brain. This is all the more reason why you should prioritize your gut health!
3 Ways to Improve Your Gut Health
Now that you are aware of some of the ways your gut microbiome can affect your physical and mental health, let’s get into how you can improve your gut health!
1. Eat Probiotic and Prebiotic-Rich Foods
One of the best ways to improve your gut health is through your diet, and probiotic-rich foods are particularly beneficial for your gut.
Probiotics are fermented foods that contain live bacteria and yeasts that can aid digestion. They help maintain or improve the “good” bacteria in your gut.
Some examples of probiotic-rich foods include:
Prebiotic-rich foods, which are a form of dietary fiber that feed the good bacteria that probiotics provide, can also help improve gut health!
Some examples of prebiotic-rich foods include:
2. Cut Down on Sugary Foods
The foods you choose not to eat also drastically impact your gut health. Consuming foods that are high in sugar can cause gut dysbiosis, or an imbalance of gut microbiota, so you should try to limit your intake of sugary foods.
A 2015 study on animals found that the standard sugar and fat-filled Western diet can alter the gut microbiome and ultimately influence the brain and behavior.
3. Take Dietary Supplements
You may want to consider taking dietary supplements in order to ensure good gut health. Some supplements that can support the gut and digestion include:
- Probiotic supplements: Probiotics are the first line of defense in the gut, and some research suggests that they may help prevent gut inflammation and other intestinal issues.
- Functional mushrooms: Tremella, miatake, and turkey tail mushrooms all promote gut health.
- Turmeric: The primary bioactive substance in turmeric, curcumin, plays a powerful role against inflammation and can help improve gut health.
Other things that can contribute to good gut health include limiting your alcohol consumption, reducing stress, getting regular exercise, and sleeping 7-8 hours every night.
All in all, a healthy gut can greatly benefit your overall health and well-being. For more information about the things you can do to improve your health, be sure to follow Revivele on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. We are always happy to share our knowledge and help our growing community become the best versions of themselves!