Gut instinct: Why Your Gut Holds the Key to Your Health
Known in the medical community as the second brain, the gut has been found to be a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to our health. Most of us don’t really understand exactly how our gut works and why it’s so important to keep it healthy.
Our guts have 500 different species and more than a trillion bacteria living in it. Our gut basically acts like a factory for our bodies that digests food, distributes vitamins, controls our hormones, expels toxins, and produces compounds to keep us healthy. The problem is that with so much going on, keeping it in balance can be difficult, which can lead to serious health issues.
Balancing gut bacteria starts with the food we eat, which should include healthy omega 3 fats, a lot of fiber, and protein, but there are other things we can do as well.
Balancing the Gut
► Restrict the use of unnecessary medications. Antibiotics job is to kill germs, but in the process, it also wipes out bacteria, both good bacteria and bad.
► Focus on a diet of whole foods. Ditching all processed foods, sugars, and low nutrient carbs, while adding more high fiber vegetables and fresh foods improves gut health.
► Include fermented foods in your diet. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, pickles, and tempeh are probiotics and add good bacteria to our gut that can multiply.
► Eat good fats. Healthy fats that you should include in your diet are nuts and seeds, avocados, virgin olive oil, and sources of fish which can help to reduce inflammation and promote good gut bacteria.
► Ditch bad fats. Omega 6 fats like vegetable oils reduce good bacteria in the gut.
► Add prebiotics to your diet. Onions, dandelion root, garlic, and chicory root include prebiotic fiber and promote good gut bacteria.
According to studies, the connection between our gut and our overall health are directly connected and have a significant impact on various areas of our health so doing what we can to improve gut bacteria can make a big difference in how we feel. But remember, there is no magic bullet when it comes to the complicated microbiome, so focusing on good habits is a great start.
Before starting or changing your health regimen, please consult with a nutritionally qualified physician.
Maria Pease, Health & Wellness Writer
Maria Pease is a freelance health & wellness content writer based in Southport, North Carolina. She has written about health & wellness for more than twenty-five years and has partnered with a variety of companies doing the most amazing work. She loves being able to write about health topics that can change lives for the better.