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  • Writer's pictureChad Arterburn

Why Gut Health Is Important and 6 Tips to Improve It



“Gut health” relates to the function and balance of bacteria’s in some parts of the gastrointestinal tract.


Optimally, organs like the esophagus, stomach, and intestines all work side by side to allow us to eat and digest food without feeling any discomfort.


However, there are more than 70 million people in the U.S. struggling with digestive diseases.


The food we consume is broken down in our guts, where it is turned into nutrients, ready to enter our bloodstream.


Yet, this won’t be possible if we have an unhealthy digestive system.


A healthy gut contains immune cells and healthy bacteria that fight infectious “pests”, such as viruses, fungi, and bacteria.


Having a healthy gut is extremely important for our general health and well-being because it communicates with the brain with the help of nerves and hormones.


But how do you know if you have an unhealthy gut?


Signs of an Unhealthy Gut


Sleep Deprivation and Persistent Fatigue


An unhealthy gut is a guarantee for sleep disturbances.


Poor sleep and insomnia potentially lead to chronic fatigue and a decrease in our productivity.


Serotonin, one of the hormones of happiness, is actually produced in the gut.


For this reason, having an unhealthy digestive system leads to producing less serotonin, which makes our life miserable.


Food Intolerance


When we have difficulty digesting certain types of food, we experience food intolerance, which is completely different than food allergy. (It is caused by a reaction of the immune system)


Accidental Weight Change


Caloric consumption is the primary reason why people lose or gain weight; however, unintentional weight change could occur for another reason.


When we have an unhealthy gut, it harms our body in a way that it has a problem absorbing nutrients.


Furthermore, our body’s ability to store fat or regulate blood sugar is also damaged.


Having decreased nutrient absorption increases our appetite and urges us to overeat.


Irritated Skin


An unhealthy gut does not only harm us from the inside but externally as well.


Inflamed gut leads to “leaked” proteins from the gut to the skin, which causes irritation and itching.


Moreover, a bad digestive system could potentially lead to skin disorders such as eczema.


Autoimmune Conditions


The impact of the gut on the immune system has been tested many times in the past.


Researchers have found that an irritated gut is related to systematic inflammation, which changes the proper function of our immune system.


This leads to autoimmune diseases where the body doesn’t protect itself versus harmful “enemies”, but it rather attacks itself.


Some autoimmune conditions are:


● Celiac Disease

● Ulcerative colitis

● Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

● Type 1 diabetes

● Crohn’s disease


Other signs of an unhealthy gut are:


  1. Abdominal Pain

  2. Bloating

  3. Loose stools

  4. Constipation

  5. Heartburn

  6. Nausea

  7. Vomiting


Influence Of Gut Health on Our Bodies


The microbiome within the gut is created from trillions of bacteria, other microbes, and fungi.


It plays a major role in our general welfare because it helps controlling digestion and benefits our immune system


A disproportion of healthy and unhealthy microbes within the intestines might lead to obesity, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and other disorders.


We suggest eating a wide assortment of fruits and veggies to help support the growth of healthy microbes in your gut.


6 Tips to Improve Your Gut Health

  1. Change Your Diet


Getting rid of high sugar, trans-fats, and processed food should be your priority if you want your gut to thank you.


Consuming more lean protein such as chicken/turkey breasts, beef topside, fish, and quality fibers (oats, whole-grain bread/pasta) will benefit your digestive system.


In fact, eating a high-fiber diet has been proven to alter our guts in a positive direction.


  1. Keep Yourself Hydrated


Drinking 8 glasses of water per day may sound like the most annoying thing your mom used to tell you, but it is true.


Keeping your body hydrated has been shown to have a positive effect on the balance of the good bacteria in our guts.


  1. Don’t Rush When Eating


Keeping a slow pace when consuming food is of major importance for the health of your gut.


For this reason, chewing slowly can help you digest your food better and absorb all required nutrients.

Maintaining a healthy gut and reducing digestive discomfort is guaranteed if you stick to this condition.


So, next time when you are trying to eat as fast as you can, slow down for a second, and think how your gut will react if you continue at the same pace.


  1. Sleep More


Getting enough uninterrupted sleep is a complicated process for a lot of people, especially those with kids out there.


However, not getting enough quality sleep can have a great impact on your gut health.


Try to prioritize getting at least 7-8 hours a night.


Not only it will help you maintain a healthy gut, but you will also be more productive throughout the day.


  1. Eat Fermented Foods


Fermentation is a process where the sugar many foods contain is broken down into bacteria or yeast.


One of the foods, which is easy to get and cheap is yogurt.


Yogurt is rich in lactobacilli, which is a bacterium that can benefit your gut health.


It was proven that people who consume a lot of yogurts, have more lactobacilli in their gut.


These people have less chance to experience gut inflammation or any other chronic conditions.


However, keep in mind that there are many sweetened yogurts out there with a lot of added sugar, which are not beneficial.


Always search for a natural yogurt with no artificial sweeteners.


  1. Eat Dark Chocolate


We can almost see the smiles of all chocolate lovers out there.


Polyphenols, which are plant-based molecules that are rich in fiber, are found in dark chocolate.


They travel to our intestines where microbes use them for fuel.


Other foods and beverages that are rich in polyphenols are:


● Blueberries

● Green Tea

● Cocoa

● Broccoli

● Almonds

● Onions


Conclusion


A disrupted microbiome, which is found in the gut, can lead to many chronic diseases.


There are a lot of lifestyle changes that you can make and with some effort, you can maintain a healthy gut.


Avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible.


Eat plenty of vegetables and fresh unprocessed foods. Beans, legumes, and whole-grain foods should also be in your diet.


What are you waiting for?


Your Gut Health is in your hands now.


Go and make the most out of it!


All the best,

Coach Chad

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