7 Ways a Well-Functioning Gut Can Significantly Improve Your Health
The human body is so much more than the cells working inside of it. In fact, there are more bacteria living in the body than human cells. This holds especially true for our GI tract. For our digestion to work properly, good bacteria need to be present in our gut. When enough probiotics, or good bacteria, are present in the GI tract, our digestion works well and enough nutrients are there from the food we eat. However, because of various external factors and the intake of antibiotics, these bacteria can drop in numbers and unhealthy bacteria can take their place. When the digestion slows down health conditions can occur as a result. As Hippocrates said, all disease begins in the gut. That is why a healthy gut is paramount to building a healthy body and good health.
The Benefits of a Healthy Gut
Do you know that there is a connection between the brain and your gut? Sometimes the reason behind your stress, anxiety, and depression is stemming from your gut. When they’re many factors that affect your gut microbe balance to be altered, you can trigger disturbances to your gut functioning. Gut Flora imbalances breed unhealthy bacteria that produce neurotoxins. These neurotoxins directly affect your gut-brain connection. The microbiome in the gut produces more serotonin, or the hormone of happiness, than your brain. When you have a healthy gut, you also have a happy brain.
When the gut is not healthy it can become inflamed. Gut inflammation can manifest as different symptoms for different people. These can include migraines, allergies, or autoimmune diseases. When the right diet of whole foods is consumed consisting mainly of fruits and vegetables, inflammation will come down. When the inflammation in the gut is taken care of, various other health symptoms, such as headaches, can become history.
A Healthy Weight
Some people who struggle with being overweight or underweight may experience problems with their gut. To support our weight, we need certain types of bacteria in our gut microbiome. When these certain bacteria are low, the person is more likely to experience excessive weight gain. A diet that is high in fiber and probiotics can improve gut health, after which the weight can be regulated naturally.
Heart disease is one of the most common reasons for early death. A little known fact is that our gut affects our heart. The bacteria in the gut is responsible for producing good cholesterol. Processed foods contribute to the production of unhealthy cholesterol which affects the heart. When you take care of your intestines through proper lifestyle changes, good cholesterol will increase. When cholesterol levels are in check, the risk for clogging of the arteries and veins decreases. When the veins and arteries are clean, the heart does not have to strain to pump the blood through them and increase the pressure inside leading to increased blood pressure. This protects the heart from major clogs that can occur around it as well.
A healthy gut can prevent any disturbances of digestion like constipation, heartburn, bloating, and diarrhea which can all be signs of problems with the gut. A balanced microflora in the gut will ensure that the food is processed and eliminated in a quick and efficient manner. Also, the bacteria in the gut are responsible for a great part of the digestion of the food and the driving of nutrients from it. Digestion will significantly improve with the improvement of gut health.
Greater Endurance and More Energy
When the gut is healthy, so is your sleep. It will be deeper and last throughout the night. When the gut is healthy, your mood is better. Many people experience insomnia is the result of anxiety and stress throughout the day. When the day goes better for you, so will the night be more relaxed. Also, the body’s production of serotonin depends on gut health since most of the serotonin receptors and serotonin production is located in the gut. When serotonin is produced in sufficient quantities, the wake-sleep cycle regulated to give more energy during the day and deeper relaxation at night.
Healed Food Intolerances
Food intolerance can come as a result of improper gut functioning. Because food is not digested well by an unbalanced microbiome, the undigested particles can enter the body causing myriads of symptoms including nausea, headaches, or outbreaks. Once the gut’s health is restored with proper diet choices, digestive support, and lifestyle changes, the foods that were formerly not tolerated by the person can be consumed once again without consequences. Another reason the gut may not fare well when it is not healthy is because of a condition known as leaky gut. This is when the lining of the gut (which is extremely thin) becomes permeable due to inflammation and irritation. This permeable wall can allow undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream causing a myriad of reactions known as intolerance. When the gut lining is restored, these foods will be harmless to the organism.
The gut is considered the root of the whole organism. Like a tree, our body needs to have healthy roots through which it can derive nutrients or itself to grow and repair itself. Healing the gut is not a complex process as the gut constantly renews itself and repairs itself. It simply needs a little help from you. You can improve the health of your whole body when you invest in a good diet, a time to relax during the day to lower stress levels, and enough exercise to release tension. With all of these changes, your gut, physical, and mental health will thank you.