Good Gut Health: 4 Ways Gut Health Affects More Than Just Digestion by NakedNutrition
Good gut health plays an important role in maintaining a healthy digestive system. However, gut health affects more than just digestion.
The gut impacts the immune system, energy levels, mental health and can even play a role in disease prevention. Read on to understand the three main ways that gut health affects more than just digestion, as well as simple ways to improve your gut health.
How Gut Health Affects Digestion
Let’s first talk about how gut health plays a role in digestion. A healthy gut means having a healthy balance of bacteria in the intestines. This bacterial balance – or gut microbiome – is key to setting the stage for a healthy gut environment.
The gut microbiome likely plays a role in intestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel diseases like Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Symptoms like bloating or stomach upset can sometimes result from an imbalance of gut bacteria.
However, frequently having a healthy bacterial balance in the gut can improve digestion and reduce digestive discomfort. Plus, a healthy gut tends to have stronger intestinal walls, which allows the body to more efficiently digest and absorb the nutrients from our food.
Here's how how gut health affects more than just digestion.
1. Gut Health Impacts the Immune System
Did you know that almost 70 percent of the immune system is in the gut? That’s right – being mindful of the food we consume and how we treat our guts is key in supporting a healthy immune system.
The bacteria in the gut communicate with immune cells, and in turn, can help the body’s immune response. Plus, the intestines are the first line of defense against foreign toxins or invaders that can harm our health or make us sick. Luckily, a healthy gut and strong intestinal walls can help keep these harmful substances out, reducing our risk of getting sick.
2. A Healthy Gut May Lead to a Good Mood
Interestingly, the gut microbiome may also impact brain health. Certain kinds of healthy bacteria in a healthy gut can help produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is responsible for helping us feel happy.
3. Gut Health Can Impact Our Energy Levels
If you experience frequent low energy, gut health may have something to do with it. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many possible reasons for low energy levels, and gut health is not necessarily to blame. Regardless, it’s worth giving gut health some time and attention, as it might contribute to fatigue.
How exactly does gut health impact our energy levels? An unhealthy gut, or one that has an imbalance of healthy bacteria, may contribute to poor sleep, leaving people feeling tired and fatigued. Additionally, serotonin is produced in the gut, which not only affects mood but also plays a role in our ability to have a good night’s sleep. An unhealthy gut may lead to lower serotonin production, which in turn may impact your sleep quality.
4. It May Be Important in Disease Prevention
Gut health absolutely plays a role in disease prevention such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancer risk. For the most part, this can be attributed to short chain fatty acids and their ability to reduce inflammation. Short chain fatty acids are produced in the gut as a result of healthy bacteria breaking down fiber from the diet. These short chain fatty acids then circulate throughout the body and can reduce the body’s inflammatory response which in turn may help reduce the risk for inflammatory disease.
How Can You Improve Your Gut Health?
First and foremost, gut health is directly impacted by what we eat. After eating any food, the gut is the first line of defense. In the intestines, our nutrients are further broken down and absorbed into our bloodstream.
It’s important to nourish the body with a well-balanced diet, rich in whole foods, containing a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, nuts, and seeds, as well as beans and legumes.
One of the most important nutrients for gut health is fiber. Fiber helps feed the healthy bacteria in the gut, and helps move things through efficiently. It’s also important to consider probiotic-rich foods, as these foods provide healthy bacteria to help nourish the gut's bacterial balance.
In addition to looking at specific foods to boost gut health, adding a supplement for gut health may be a convenient way to provide adequate nutrients to your gut on a consistent basis. This gut health supplement from Naked Nutrition contains a blend of fibers and probiotics, specially formulated to target the gut. It also contains glutamine, an essential amino acid that has been shown to strengthen the intestinal wall, improving digestion and reducing inflammation.
In addition to following a healthy diet and taking key supplements, it’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and working to keep stress levels low, as poor sleep and stress can directly impact not only our gut heath but our overall health as well.
Morning Gut Health Smoothie
This mango banana smoothie recipe contains delicious gut-nourishing ingredients to help start your day off right. In addition to the Naked Gut supplement, there are mangoes, Greek yogurt and chia seeds.
- Mangoes are particularly great for gut health as they are high in fiber and contain compounds that help with digestion.
- The Greek yogurt in the recipe provides an extra boost of probiotics to fuel your gut microbiome.
- Chia seeds are a gut superfood, not only because they are rich in fiber, but the omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation in the gut as well.
Maintaining a healthy gut is not only important for digestion, but it plays a role in many other aspects of our health as well. Gut health impacts the immune system, energy levels, mood and even plays a role in disease prevention. To help support the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut, eat a well-balanced diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods, as well as ensure proper sleep hygiene.
Adding in a gut health supplement to your daily routine is another great way to support your gut health and ensure you’re getting adequate amounts of fiber and probiotics to nourish a healthy gut microbiome.
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