Nicknamed the “Second Brain,” gut health is becoming increasingly as important as overall health. Long gone are the days of just focusing on digestive issues. Gut issues can run deep and they are connected to the cause of many underlying health issues.
What Affects Good & Bad Gut Health?
Your microbiome, also known as the gut, is complex and consists of viruses, fungi and you guessed it, bacteria. They regulate everything in your body from helping control your immune system, digesting fiber and controlling brain health.
Bacteria are the leading factor in both good and bad gut health. Throughout your digestive system are trillions of different bacteria. Simply put, good gut health means that you possess more “good fighting” bacteria than bad. All gut bacteria play a role in the functionality and physicality of your body. Each bacteria in your gut has a job to do. Some bacteria can influence disease risk such as heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and more, while other bacteria can help fight against inflammation.
How Important Is My Gut?
Your gut isn’t called the second brain for no reason. Operating with its own reflexes and senses, the gut functions similarly to that of the human brain. Our gut can also send signals to other parts of the body as a way to warn of digestive, functionality or inflammation issues.
Know The Signs
If you are a victim of bad gut health, your body will let you know. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Digestive issues (i.e., bloating, upset stomach)
- Bad breath
- Constant infections or sickness
- Food sensitivity
Having and maintaining a healthy gut affects your overall health. Making sure you commit to a healthier lifestyle by making small to large improvements in the way you eat, exercise and/or manage stress is important.
Now that you know more about the importance of having a healthy gut, it’s now time to take action!
Good gut health can affect your mental and emotional health as well as brain functionality. So many factors go into maintaining good or bad gut health including medications we take, managing stress, exercise and the biggest factor: what we eat.
Incorporating fermented foods in your diet such as yogurt, sauerkraut, miso and kefir is important. Or, you can try adding more collagen-boosting foods such as bone broth. Making even the smallest changes can improve how your gut functions.
Understanding how to maintain a healthy gut can be overwhelming, but now that you have been given the tools to make changes, take your time and figure out a game plan. Attack good gut health before bad gut health attacks you.