Your gut is more complex and affects your overall health more than you realize. Did you know that approximately 70 million people every day suffer from some form of digestive issue (i.e. heartburn, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.)? If you struggle with gut health, it's important to be proactive in solving those issues. Understanding how to keep your gut healthy will help you make more informed decisions when it comes to food and supplements. The good news is when you do improve your gut health, you strengthen your immune system, elevate your mood, improve your mental health and improve your body's ability to fight diseases linked to poor gut health. Let's explore why your gut is more complex than you think, how poor gut health affects your mental health and weight, some of the most common issues and how you can improve your gut health in 2020.
YOUR GUT IS MORE COMPLEX THAN YOU THINK
Over the past two decades there have been many studies that challenge the common belief that our gut is nothing more than a place for food to pass through, be absorbed and then eliminated. It turns out that our guts have a lot more going on within it and play a much bigger role in our health. In fact, our gut is a place where hundred of different species of bacteria live. Each of the diverse bacteria within the gut has its own unique role that impacts some aspect of your health. Many of these microorganisms are beneficial and necessary for a healthy body. According to a study by Dr. E. M. Quigley, a wide variety of good bacteria can have a positive impact on your immune system, you emotional well-being, your weight and more. If your gut can have such a big impact of your health, then it might be worth putting more thought into which foods and supplements you feed it.
A HAPPY GUT = BETTER MENTAL HEALTH
You can't see it, but your brain and gut are physically connected by millions of nerves. So, what does this mean? This physical connection makes it hard to deny or ignore your gut's influence on your mental health. In the previous paragraph, we pointed out how your gut is filled with hundreds of different species of bacteria. Well, certain species of bacteria that help product chemicals in the brain (like serotonin) are found mostly in the gut. The bacteria in your gut product many different chemicals that influence our mood and how our brain reacts to stress. Professor Marwa Azab states in her Psychology Today article that good bacteria or the absence of some bad bacteria can help us be more resilient to depression after a stressor or trauma.
"Resiliency, the ability to recover quickly from difficulties, may be a function of which bacteria lives or does not live in your gut." - Professor Marwa Azab
If you want to experience better mental health and a sharper brain, staying on top of your gut health can help.
GUT BACTERIA DIVERSITY LINKED TO WEIGHT ISSUES
Your ability to maintain a healthy weight has a lot to do with how diverse the bacteria is in your gut. There is a study that shows how bacteria diversity in the gut affects the weight of twins differently. It was discovered that obesity in one twin could be attributed to a lack of gut bacteria diversity. The twin who was obese lacked gut bacteria diversity compared to their counterpart. The effect bacteria have on the digestion of different foods has been tied to weight loss or gain. Researchers believe there's a link between your pituitary gland, the hormone that helps set your appetite and your gut bacteria. Studies are currently being conducted by scientists exploring how an unhealthy balance in your gut bacteria may be confused feelings of being hungry or full in your brain. A deeper understanding of our gut bacteria, their effect on digestion and how they interact with different hormones will improve our ability to address health challenges related to weight.
COMMON SIGNS OF AN UNHEALTHY GUT
The daily stresses of life affect your stress levels, your ability to get proper rest and the choices you make when it comes to the foods you eat. If left unchecked, high stress levels, lack of sleep and a poor diet can all negatively impact your gut health. Here are a few signs that may be an indication of poor gut health that you should be aware of:
- Upset stomach: gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and heartburn are all signs of an unhealthy gut.
- Unintentional weight changes: gaining or losing weight without making changes to your diet or exercise habits may be a sign of an unhealthy gut.
- Sleep disturbances or constant fatigue: since the majority of the body's serotonin is produced in the gut, an unhealthy gut may contribute to insomnia or poor sleep.
- Skin irritation: inflammation in the gut caused by poor diet may cause increased "leaking" of certain proteins into the body. This can lead to skin conditions like eczema.
If you're too stressed, overtired all the time and maintaining a poor diet, then chances are you're doing significant damage to your gut. No matter how you feel, taking care of your gut should be a priority today. It's a greater challenge to fix a health issue related to your gut than it is to prevent it.
TWO PATHS TO A HEALTHIER GUT
Your diet plays a critical role when it comes to your gut health. By adding gut-friendly foods and supplements to your diet, you'll decrease changes of gut-related ailments like heartburn, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome and leaky gut syndrome. Keep the following foods in mind when looking for foods that actively promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut:
In addition to eating more gut-friendly foods, you should consult your healthcare provider about the benefits of taking prebiotics, probiotics, and enzyme for nutritional support. Probiotics are good bacteria in your gut that help keep harmful bacteria from proliferating. Prebiotics are basically food for the good bacteria in your gut. Using both probiotics and prebiotics together increases the good bacteria, which improves the lining of the digestive tract and colon, improving overall gut health. Digestive enzymes help your body break down proteins, carbohydrates, lactose (milk sugar) and fats to maximize their benefits. This also supports more effective elimination and less bloating.
LifePharm's line of nutritional supplements include DIGESTIVE+++, a high quality and stable probiotic, prebiotic, and enzyme blend. This supplement combines the best of three worlds when it comes to nutritional support for your gut. This supplement was designed to ensure your gut receives everything it needs to maintain a healthy environment. Taking either a high-quality probiotic, prebiotic or digestive enzyme is a great first step in the right direction for better gut health. When you include all three in your diet, you'll create a comprehensive solution to meet all of your gut health needs. DIGESTIVE+++ is definitely an effective nutritional supplement for your gut because the ingredients chosen work together so well synergistically.
MAKE BETTER GUT HEALTH A GOAL FOR 2020
When it comes to living a long and healthy life, Benjamin Franklin said its best when he said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." When it comes to maintaining good health, it's more effective to prevent a problem than it is to correct it. A quick Google search will unveil the mounting evidence from scientific research and studies concluding a healthy gut can help reduce the occurrence of many diseases, improve overall health and increase your lifespan. With the onset of a new year, now is a great time to develop new, gut-friendly health habits. Take a moment today to add one new food that's good for your gut to your grocery list. And make it a priority to do your own research and consult with a healthcare professional about supplements you can take to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut.