The health of your gut is vital to living a healthy lifestyle, and it can impact everything from your immune system to your weight.
If you have an unhealthy gut, it can be difficult for your body to absorb vital nutrients and perform its other functions properly. This may lead to several severe health conditions.
You can improve your gut health by consuming probiotics, eating healthily, and avoiding the overuse of antibiotics.
If you find it difficult to lose weight, suffer from digestive issues, or feel like your immune system is weaker than it should be, perhaps it’s time to look at the health of your gut. Let’s find out more.
What Is Gut Health?
Gut health is the balanced state of the digestive tract where microscopic organisms live, and these are known as the microbiome. The gut microbiome has several essential functions: It aids food digestion, produces vitamins, supports the immune system, and protects against invading pathogens.
An imbalance in these microorganisms could lead to various symptoms and even long-term health consequences.
An unhealthy gut can cause all sorts of problems, including digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and constipation; skin conditions such as eczema; mood imbalances such as anxiety and depression; autoimmune disease; food allergies or intolerances; diabetes; low energy levels; weight gain or loss; sleep disturbances; hormonal imbalances; bacterial infections and increased risk of cancer.
What Are The Symptoms Of An Unhealthy Gut?
Experts say that a bad gut is responsible for nearly every disease. The system begins in your mouth and ends in your anus. If you have any pain or discomfort between these two areas, it could be because of an unhealthy gut.
A bad gut can cause many problems like brain fog, depression, anxiety, heartburn, indigestion, heart diseases, skin problems, and weight gain.
Here are some other symptoms of an unhealthy gut:
One of the early signs of an unhealthy gut is depression or anxiety. We may not realize it, but our gut produces more serotonin than our brain. An unhealthy gut means a chemical imbalance in our body which can lead to mood swings and anxiety.
Bad breath often shows that food is not being digested properly, and as a result, our body starts to produce more gas which causes bad breath. In order to prevent this from happening, you must include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, along with probiotic foods like yogurt and kefir.
Fatigue is another sign of an unhealthy gut, as most people don’t get the right amount of nutrients from food.
According to recent research, there is a link between certain skin conditions (such as acne and eczema) and gastrointestinal health. If you have noticed a correlation between flare-ups in your skin condition and what you ate beforehand, it may be worth keeping track of any patterns.
Brain Fog Or Trouble Focusing
In addition to digestive issues, your intestines produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which affect mood regulation and memory function. However, if your gut is unhealthy, more neurotransmitters are produced than needed, leading to anxiety disorders and depression.
Gas and bloating are some of the most common symptoms of an unhealthy gut. These usually happen after eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages (such as those with high sugar or artificial sweeteners).
How To Improve Gut Health
Gut health should be a priority for everyone. We’ve all experienced gut problems, from irritable bowel syndrome to food sensitivities, and it’s not something we like to talk about. It seems inevitable that we’ll experience gut issues as we get older, but there’s a lot we can do to avoid or alleviate them. Here are some helpful ideas.
Eat More Fiber
Fiber is one of the best things you can consume to improve gut health. It’s a type of carbohydrate that our bodies can’t digest. It travels through our digestive system intact until it reaches our colons, where friendly bacteria break it down into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).
These SCFAs help to keep the cells of your colon healthy and may be linked to weight loss and energy gains.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and helps food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines, while soluble fiber acts like a sponge in the gut and helps keep things moving along. Eating a wide variety of whole foods will naturally help you get enough fiber.
Like yogurt or sauerkraut, bacteria in your gut can help keep things running smoothly if you have the right balance of “good” to “bad” bacteria. Some studies show that eating probiotic-rich foods or taking supplements can help reduce gas and bloating and improve digestive health overall.
Probiotics are the first step in maintaining our gut bacteria — healthy bacteria that help us digest food, absorb nutrients, and fight infection.
Get Plenty Of Exercise
Which can increase the number of healthy bacteria in your gut. One study found that aerobic exercise was associated with higher microbial diversity.
Exercise helps regulate and stabilize the digestive process.
Climbing stairs, walking, or even a short jog, can help move food more efficiently through your intestines.
Exercise also helps relieve stress, which is directly tied to digestion.
It stimulates the release of endorphins, which are the brain’s natural feel-good chemicals that can result in positive moods—all in all, a win-win situation for you.
Eat Fermented Food
Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso all contain probiotics that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Aim to eat a few servings per week.(1)
Improving your gut health is about starting small and taking it one step at a time. Improving your gut microbes will take some time and effort, but following the tips outlined above is good to start.
Once you get the ball rolling, you will likely start feeling better and notice more improvements in your gut health. That’s the power of making a few simple changes in your diet.