We’ve all heard about gut health and how it is important to our overall wellbeing, but it can be confusing knowing exactly what gut health means and how to achieve it. Your gut is responsible for carrying your food into the stomach and converting it into absorbable nutrients and stored energy. This is one of the most important jobs of the human body, and if your gut isn’t healthy, then your overall health could be at risk.
If you’re wondering what gut health is, why it’s important, and how to improve yours, then read on for our expert guide.
Why Is Gut Health So Important?
Everybody is different, and that includes everybody’s gut. We all have a unique microbiome; however, there are some general rules on keeping the gut healthy which are the same for all of us.
In a healthy gut, there is a range of different organisms present, and these organisms include bacteria, fungi, viruses and many other microbes. In an unhealthy gut, the diversity of the organisms is far lower, and there is usually an increase in the type of bacteria that is associated with disease.
Different types of bacteria have different jobs within the gut, and while some fight inflammation, others promote it. A healthy gut works to keep these two things in check, but it is a delicate balance that can easily be skewed. It is easy for inflammatory bacteria to take over in an unhealthy gut and can lead to inflammation in other areas of the body if not controlled.
There are other concerns with gut bacteria, including lowering immune function, increased risk of allergies and development of chronic illnesses including heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
What Impacts Gut Health?
Gut health is often considered a separate thing to overall health, as it is perfectly possible for an individual to be completely healthy in every other way, but have an unhealthy gut. Gut health is impacted by the foods you eat as these help towards the bacteria makeup in the gut.
There are other factors that have an impact on gut health, including the nature of birth and breastfeeding. In addition to these, more exposure to bacteria and germs during your lifetime can strengthen the microbiome.
How To Improve Gut Health?
Changing your diet and being mindful of your gut when choosing what to eat is the most effective way of improving gut health. There are a few foods that you can incorporate into your diet to promote a healthy gut, and also a couple of things to avoid;
- Eat High Fibre: Fibre is one of the biggest influencers when it comes to gut health, and by increasing your fibre intake, you can improve gut health. Fibre is found in plant foods and is used to help regulate the speed that food moves around the gut.
The daily recommended intake for fibre is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men, and many individuals are not meeting these levels. As fibre works alongside the water in the body to keep the gut healthy, it is vital to also stay properly hydrated. Foods that are rich in fibre include legumes, raspberries, blackberries, and green vegetables.
- Stay Away From Caffeine: Too much caffeine is bad for the body for many reasons, but overindulging on coffee can have a negative impact on your gut. Large amounts of caffeine can overstimulate the gut and intestines, and lead to stomach cramps and diarrhoea.
- Avoid Processed And High Sugar Foods: Not only can processed, and high sugar foods contribute to weight gain and increase blood pressure, but they can also affect your gut. A diet that is high in sugar and starch can lead to inflammation in the gut and poor absorption of nutrients during digestion.
- Take Probiotics: An easy way to promote good gut health without making too many changes to your current diet is to take probiotic capsules. Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms which are created in foods through fermentation.
This type of good bacteria can be found in yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, miso and other fermented foods. Udo’s Choice Super 8 has been specially designed to promote a healthy gut and support digestion. These tablets contain eight microbiotic strains which support the natural flora in the digestive tract. Taking just one Udo’s Choice Super 8 a day can improve your overall gut health easily.