Not Feeling Well? Check your Gut Health June 9th, 2020
Our body is home to tens of billions of bacteria along with viruses, fungi, yeast and other microbes, which inhabit every part of our body. Many of these microbes are found in our gastrointestinal tract and collectively called the microbiome.
Gross and unhealthy as the microbiome may sound, the gut microbiome is actually the master puppeteer of the entire body and controls our overall health and well-being. For instance, the gut microbiome aids in digestion, ensures smooth functioning of the immune system, removes toxins from the body, aids in the production of Serotonin, the happy brain chemical and so on.
How Is Gut Health Related to Overall Health and Well-Being?
The gut microbiome with its diverse mix of microbes is as unique as our fingerprint. But the right balance and combinations of bacteria and other microbes are necessary for a healthy gut. The bad bacteria, especially, need to be kept in check. If the balance between the good and bad actors goes awry and the bad bacteria thrive in the gut instead of the good ones, the gut health gets eroded. And poor gut health negatively affects your health and well-being.
For instance, gas is a natural and normal part of the digestion and fermentation process. However, if the bad strains of the super gas producing bacteria are excessive, it will cause gas and bloating.
Signs of An Unhealthy Gut
- Digestive problems such as constipation, nausea, bloating and gas, diarrhoea, etc.
- Skin irritations, inflammations and acne
- Chronic fatigue
- Sleep disturbances and insomnia
- Unintentional weight changes
- Food cravings (especially for sugar and sweets)
- Autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis
- Food intolerances and allergies
Ways to Improve Gut Health
Eating Right: What, when, how much and how we eat massively impacts our gut health. We must clean up our diet and include foods that help the good bacteria thrive in our gut. The importance of chewing and eating slowly and proper hydration cannot be stressed enough.
Elimination of Trigger Foods: If you have certain food allergies or intolerances, it will affect your gut health when you consume trigger foods. It is best to identify and avoid those.
Managing Stress Levels: Chronic stress takes a toll on your gut too. Consciously manage and lower your stress levels with activities like meditation, mindfulness, physical exercise, spending time with family/ friends, playing with a pet, etc.
Getting Good Sleep: The quality and quantity of sleep together impact your gut health. Make sure to get uninterrupted, relaxed and restful sleep for 7-8 hours every night.
Staying Active: Getting at least 30 minutes of physical exercise daily and generally, having an active lifestyle is key for a healthier and happier gut.
Avoid Unnecessary and Excessive Use of Antibiotics: Doing so will eliminate the good bacteria and negatively affect gut health. If antibiotics are prescribed by your doctor, include probiotics and other foods that boost the bacterial community in your gut.
Foods That Can Improve Gut Health
- Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, miso, kefir, etc. which are natural probiotics and help maintain the microbiome balance.
- Prebiotic foods such as leeks, asparagus, onions, garlic, oats, soybean, etc. feed the good bacteria.
- Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and high-fibre foods such as beans, peas, berries, leafy greens, bananas, etc. have a positive impact on gut health.
- Seeds and nuts contain healthy fats and fibres support the growth of healthy bacteria.
- Lean meat proteins (turkey, chicken, fish), low-fat dairy products and Omega-3 rich foods promote gut health.
- Collagen-boosting foods like bone broth and salmon are great for gut health.
Avoiding the following will do wonders for your gut health:
- Processed foods
- Sugary foods from white sugar to sodas.
- Simple carbs like pasta and white breads
- Unhealthy saturated fats
Are Supplements Helpful in Boosting Gut Health?
Yes. Probiotic supplements as well as general wellness supplements can help fix the deficiencies in the food we eat and help boost our gut health and overall wellness.
A healthy and balanced gut = Happy mind and healthy body. Given the importance of a well-rounded and nourishing diet to our gut health, Lifelike Nutrition has crafted supplements that fill in the nutritional gaps permeating from our fast-paced, 21st-century lifestyle and achieve holistic physical and mental health.