best-gut-health
best-gut-health
best-gut-health

WHAT IS GUT HEALTH?

Apr 2, 2024

Nutrition

“Gut health” describes the function and balance of bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract and its many parts. The gastrointestinal tract, aka the gut, is of vital importance as it plays a significant role in carrying food from the mouth, digesting it in the stomach, converting these food particles to nutrients for functioning of the body, and expelling waste out of the body.

In recent years, extensive research has been carried out on this topic and studies show that a healthy gastrointestinal tract has far greater importance for the human body than previously thought. Poor gut health has also been linked to anxiety disorders like depression, as well as immune system issues. Some studies indicate that poor gut health may have serious consequences such as cancer and type-2 diabetes.

MICROORGANISMS IN THE GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT: 

Trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes reside in our gut. While they are primarily responsible for digesting food and getting rid of waste, they are further linked to the overall health of the human body. An imbalance in the level of microbes in the gut deteriorates overall health. It is believed that an increase in bacteria harms the effective functioning of the gut, but most of these studies are still in their early stages…

INFLAMMATION:

Inflammation is one of the main issues of the gut. A healthy gut has two types of bacteria: one fights inflammation and the other stimulates it. An imbalance between these two types of bacteria causes inflammation to pass on to other parts of the body.

WHAT AFFECTS GUT HEALTH?

  • Food – As it is often said, we are what we eat. The food we consume has a direct impact on our health. That is why our meals should consist of a variety of healthy, nutritional foods.

  • Method of delivery at birth – Good gut health is more common in children who are born naturally as compared to those delivered via c-section. The microbes present in the birth canal assist in improving gut health.

  • Breastfeeding or Formula Feeding – In addition to the many benefits of breastfeeding, babies who are breastfed tend to develop more of a variety of microbes in their gut, which provide them with lifelong benefits.

  • External Exposure – Environments that are excessively cleaned can be detrimental to the human body. Children should be encouraged to play outside and encounter various surrounding bacteria in order to build up immunity.

  • Stress & Anxiety – Microbes in the gut have a direct impact on the mental state of a person. If there is an imbalance, they can impact the neurotransmitters in the brain and affect one’s mood.

  • Use of Antibiotics – While antibiotics kill the infection-causing ‘bad‘ bacteria in the body, they also wipe out many of the beneficial ‘good’ bacteria in the gut.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle – A sedentary lifestyle causes various problems for human health — it increases the chances of obesity and metabolic syndrome and reduces gut health.

HEALTH PROBLEMS INDICATING POOR GUT HEALTH:

How is a person able to distinguish an issue related to gut health? Diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating, and nausea are symptoms commonly linked to poor gut health.

Always make sure you take care of your gut health and, in case of persistence of the symptoms mentioned above, please consult a general physician or a gastroenterologist for more timely treatments!

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