WHY YOU SHOULD EAT GUT HEALTHY FOODS
We have always known that your digestive system is important because of the role it plays in processing foods, extracting nutrients, and expelling waste. But did you know that it is responsible for more? Your gut is actually home to trillions of bacteria that are responsible for a host of functions in your body. These bacteria help you stay healthy and happy. Fortunately, you can influence the bacteria in your gut so you can always feel awesome. Here is why you should eat gut healthy foods.
Your gut is home to anywhere from 300 to 500 different species of bacteria. These organisms are referred to as a microbiome. It is basically a world unto itself. Some of these bacteria are harmful, but many are incredibly helpful to your body. It’s best to have a diverse microbiome because a wider variety of bacteria means that you are healthier and your body will function better. A diverse microbiome also means you will have plenty of healthy bacteria to fight any bad bacteria that makes its way into your gut.
How Your Gut Affects Your Health
Your gut affects both how you look and feel. If you have poor gut health, then your chances of developing autoimmune diseases, skin conditions, endocrine disorders, and even cancer, increase. Gut health also affects your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis. You gut also effects your mood and mental health – an unhealthy gut has been linked to higher instances of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and neurological conditions like dementia. Your gut health also affects your weight. Obese people often have poor gut health. Poor gut health can also lead to increased inflammation throughout your body which often manifests itself as pain and disease, like arthritis.
How to Improve Your Gut Health
Eating gut-healthy foods will help diversify your microbiome and improve your health. Gut-friendly foods include all vegetables and fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and lean proteins. Sugary foods and processed foods are also linked to poor gut health. Instead, try to eat whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. Aim to consume 20 – 40 grams of fiber per day to keep your good bacteria fed. You can help increase your good bacteria by eating probiotic-rich foods like kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir. It’s especially important to eat these types of foods if you have recently been on a round of antibiotics. While antibiotics are incredibly important, they often wipe out the good bacteria with the bad. Eating probiotic-rich foods will repopulate your microbiome with good bacteria.
Your gut health is important to your overall health. Even if you aren’t experiencing gastrointestinal issues like gas, bloating, or diarrhea, your gut may still be imbalanced. Some signs of an unhealthy gut are skin irritation and disturbed sleep. However, you may not experience any symptoms at all. However, eating a balanced diet as well as getting plenty of sleep (7 -9 hours per night), exercising regularly, and staying hydrated is always a good idea. This healthy lifestyle will keep your gut microbiome diverse and healthy so you’ll look and feel your best.