Gut health is arguably one of the most overlooked aspects of our body’s health and wellbeing but is one of the most important to consider. There are many reasons why looking after your gut should be a top priority when it comes to your overall health.
The Impact of Poor Gut Health
An unhealthy gut will have an impact on almost all aspects of your body and mind. It harms your digestive system, making constipation and other common concerns even more frequent and problematic. Poor gut health can also weaken your immune system and affect the quality and length of your sleep each night.
Gut health has strong links with mental health and wellbeing since the majority of serotonin – a hormone that promotes feelings of happiness and joy – is produced in the gut. Poor gut health will, therefore, lead to an increased risk of mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety.
Signs Of Bad Gut Health
The gut microbiome can be damaged by so many modern life facets, like getting little sleep, high stress levels, high-sugar foods, processed foods, and even some antibiotics. After your gut microbiome is damaged, several health aspects end up being affected, including your immune system, weight, skin, brain, hormone levels, the body’s natural ability to absorb good nutrients, and more. This is why it is so important to know when you have bad gut health, with the following signs being those you have to be aware of:
- Upset Stomach: Disturbances like constipation, bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, and gas are signs your gut is unhealthy because it becomes difficult for the body to eliminate waste and process food.
- High Sugar In Your Diet: If your diet has too much added sugar and is made out of many processed foods, there is a good possibility good bacteria numbers inside your gut will go down. Such an imbalance leads to increased sugar craving. This will make gut damage even worse. If you notice inflammation in your body and you consume a lot of sugar, you should get your gut checked.
- Unexpected Weight Changes: Losing or gaining weight when your diet and your exercise habits do not change is a sign you might have bad gut. This is because imbalanced guts will impair your natural ability to store fat, regulate blood sugar, and absorb nutrients. Weight gain can appear due to insulin resistance and weight loss is the result of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).
- Constant Fatigue: Unhealthy guts contribute to different sleep disturbances like insomnia. This leads to you suffering from chronic fatigue. Keep in mind that the gut produces most of your serotonin, which affects sleep and mood. If you have gut damage, it becomes difficult to be able to sleep well.
- Skin Irritation: Eczema and other skin conditions could be connected to damaged guts. This is because gut inflammation due to food allergies or a poor diet can cause some proteins inside your body to “leak”. This irritates your skin and leads to skin conditions like eczema.
Eating to Improve Your Gut Health
Luckily, there are many things that you can do to improve the health of your gut. While it can take time, you may also notice instant improvements to your digestion, mood, and energy levels.
One of the best things you can do to look after your gut is to limit sugary foods and include fermented foods and drinks in your diet. Look for products that have live bacteria since this is the important factor when it comes to fermented foods. The live cultures will be absorbed into the gut and help to repair damage or maintain good digestive health.
Kimchi and sauerkraut can be made at home or purchased from stores and added to each meal. Fermented drinks such as kombucha can be included in place of fizzy and sugary drinks, helping to improve the health of your gut. RISE is available across Canada, with plenty of good bacteria to help strengthen your gut.
Reducing Stress to Improve Your Gut Health
Another major way to improve the health of your gut is to reduce stress. Most people experience some form of stress, even if they don’t feel it prominently from day to day. At a cellular level, our bodies can experience oxidative stress and inflammation, which in turn can impact the health of our gut.
You can help to reduce your stresses by incorporating activities such as regular massage and relaxing treatments, yoga, walks outdoors in nature, visiting a therapist frequently, reducing caffeine and alcohol levels, and checking to see whether you have any vitamin deficiencies that could be impacting your wellbeing.
Reducing stress will also have a positive impact on other areas, which will affect your gut health – such as sleep quality, the risk of depression and anxiety, and the balancing of hormones.
It’s clear that gut health is a very important aspect of our health. Improving and strengthening your gut can be achieved in a variety of ways – from choosing the right foods to limiting stressful activities in your daily routine.
Take Care Of Your Teeth
You need to floss and brush your teeth as often as needed. We all know that. But, did you know that regular dental cleanings are very important for the microbiome of your body? Mouth bacteria can reach the stomach and this would end up causing problems. Fortunately, all you really need to do to avoid this is to properly take care of your teeth.
Special attention should be put on limiting sugary foods. They are inflammatory, as already said, and will also make yeast grow, which throws off gut balances. Generally speaking, avoiding high sugary foods is good for your overall health, not just your gut.
Don’t Forget About Spices
If you often find yourself eating foods with several spices like ginger, turmeric, and garlic, you may want to continue. They can help you to remove harmful bacteria from your gut. At the same time, spices do not hurt good bacteria. So, spicy foods, contrary to what many will tell you, can be great for your gut.