Wellness Wednesdays Gut Health Guide
Did you know that gut health is one of the most important aspects of overall health? Your gut is responsible for digesting food and absorbing nutrients, and it also plays a role in your immune system. If your gut isn't healthy then it can lead to a variety of health problems. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of gut health and how to improve your gut health!
What is Gut Health?
Gut health describes the normal functioning of the entire digestive tract, from one end to the other. The gut microbiome plays such a huge role in gut health that sometimes people use the two terms interchangeably. The gut microbiome is the community of microorganisms that live in the gut. Each person’s gut microbiome is unique to them. It is made up of a complex community of bacteria, fungi (yeasts), and even viruses. Scientists still have a lot to learn about the gut microbiome. So far, more is known about the bacteria part of the gut microbiome than the fungal and viral parts. In simple terms, we have good bacteria that live in our gut and help us digest our food, absorb the nutrients, and protect us from harmful bacteria.
Why is Gut Health Important?
Gut health plays a vital role in the function of our body. In addition to helping with the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, and protecting the gut from harmful bacteria, the gut microbiome been linked to a number of other health conditions, especially irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Sometimes when people talk about wanting good gut health they are really talking about pooping! People with regular bowel habits tend to have healthy gut microbiomes compared to people with IBS. Scientists are still learning about how gut health might be related to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Gut Health
- Eat prebiotic foods: Because our gut microbes live in our digestive tracts, mostly in the large intestine, they basically eat the same foods we feed ourselves. We need to ensure we are eating foods that encourage the growth of our good bacteria. These are known as prebiotic foods. Prebiotic foods contain fibers or polyphenols (plant-based substances) that are known to have a good effect on the gut microbiome.
- Eat fermented foods or take probiotics supplements: Fermented foods, especially fermented milk products like yogurt or kefir, can be sources of good bacteria for our gut microbiome. You can also take prebiotic and probiotic supplements which can help you improve and maintain your healthy gut flora. You can find these supplements at most grocery stores and drug stores.
- Eat more fiber: In addition to the prebiotic effects fiber can have, eating a healthy amount of fiber on a daily basis is a great way to stay regular. Health experts say we should eat 20-35 grams of fiber a day to maintain our gut flora and digestive health. People with IBS might have to pay extra attention to what type of fiber they choose; some types of fiber (known as FODMAPs) may cause IBS symptoms.
Need Help with Gut Healthy Meals?
Do you need help taking care of your gut health? One of the easiest ways to ensure great gut health is by eating a healthy and balanced diet full of the right foods. ModifyHealth has 2 different meal plans that can help improve gut health.
Our Low FODMAP meals can help ease digestive symptoms caused by IBS, IBD, and SIBO, while our Mediterranean Diet meals can improve your overall gut health due to the generous amounts of fiber and polyphenols in the meals.
Are you ready to improve your gut health? Click here to start today!