Gut health check — And what you can do about it.
Whether dealing with chronic health conditions like food intolerances, depression, arthritis and other related complications. The journey to good health always starts with your gut. But how could the discomfort or cramps you feel after eating, drinking or going through stressful events indicate that something in your intestinal tract is amiss? Also, what can you do exactly to tackle these issues?
In this article, we’ll delve into the world of gut health, exploring the general knowledge of what it means to have a strong gut. We’ll also share practical tips for promoting healthy digestion and the connections between gut health and overall well-being. So, let’s get started and explore how you can feel your best from the inside out.
What signs can indicate whether your gut health is balanced or not?
As with anything related to health, it is helpful to start with the simplest of things: your stool. Even though there is no fixed rule for how often you have to do the number two. Bowel movements should happen smoothly and with little complaint, with a frequency anywhere from 3 times a day to 3 times a week, as this study confirms. You should also seldom experience bloating, constipation, or abdominal discomfort that manifests as burning, cramping, stabbing, or gnawing pain sensations. If you feel gassy, constipated, or experiencing abdominal cramps or symptoms like heartburn and acid reflux. It may be worth taking this as a sign to take a closer look at your diet, lifestyle and day-to-day routine. Also, gut health is crucial in maintaining overall well-being and vitality.
So, if you’re also experiencing other health symptoms like low energy, fatigue, and general tiredness after a meal, do not hesitate to ask a professional for help and advice.
How does my emotional state affect the health of my gut?
Aside from having a diet rich in nutrients and minerals, scientists have understood that emotions and the gut strongly influence each other. As this Harvard study shows, the gastrointestinal tract is quite sensitive to emotions, especially strong ones like joy, excitement, anger, anxiety, and sadness — in fact, all of these feelings (and others) can trigger different health ailments or modifications in the gut.
Certain types of mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety, for example, have been linked to gut microbiome changes. This means that all the microorganisms – bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes – that reside in the digestive tract are directly impacted by your emotional state, not just what and how you eat.
Furthermore, as outlined in this medical study from 2018. A healthy gut microbiome helps train and modulate the immune system, improving its ability to distinguish between harmful and harmless substances and the connection between the gut and the brain known as the gut-brain axis.
How can you boost your immune system through your gut?
Aside from your gut’s most critical role in helping your body digest and absorb nutrients from food and drinks, the gut also plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Research has shown that the gut is home to trillions of bacteria, fungi and viruses that comprise the gut microbiome, which is critical in supporting the immune system.
Additionally, the microbiome helps regulate the immune system by producing and releasing compounds that promote immune function and prevent harmful bacteria from taking hold in the gut. So a healthy gut can help prevent chronic inflammation linked to various health conditions, including autoimmune disorders, clinical obesity, allergies, cancer, and even arthritis.
Fortunately, there are certain factors and recommendations to keep in mind, which will improve your overall health and strengthen and empower your microbiota:
Choose to eat a healthy diet
Consuming a nutritious diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, good proteins, and healthy fats is essential for maintaining a healthy gut and a robust immune system.
Drinking enough water is essential for flushing out toxins and keeping your gut and immune system healthy.
Actively consume probiotics
Probiotics are living microorganisms that support the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Eating fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut can help increase the levels of probiotics in your gut.
Incorporate prebiotics into your diet
Prebiotics are fiber-rich foods that help feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Foods like oats, bananas, garlic, onions, and artichokes are good sources of prebiotics.
Avoid processed foods or consume them in moderation
These foods are more than often high in unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt, which can create an imbalance in your gut and weaken your immune system.
Cut back on stress
Chronic stress disrupts the balance of bacteria in your gut and weakens your immune system. Practicing relaxation techniques like breathwork, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress and promote a healthy gut.
Boost your gut health by opting for a detox or cleanse.
Going through a detox program can help boost your body’s natural detoxification systems, including the liver and the kidneys, which work to eliminate toxins and waste products from your body. Overall, there is no magic pill or quick fix for gut health, but there are always choices you can make that will directly impact your health.
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