Keep Your Gut Happy - The Basics
Let me start by confessing something: I love food. Like seriously love it! We all eat, it's something we need to do to survive, but for me, it’s a passion. One that often leaves me with more than just a satisfied appetite. It's also led me to a journey of learning and realisation about the significant impact our gut health has on our overall wellbeing.
Our gut is like our secret weapon, if it's working well and is treated right, it can work wonders for our body and mind. Many of us are only now starting to realise and appreciate the tremendous contribution our gut makes to our overall health and wellness. It's linked to so much more than just our digestive system – when our gut is healthy, we're healthier as a whole.
The science behind it is fascinating and the benefits of good gut health are surprisingly wider than you’d imagine. So, sit back, grab a healthy snack (your gut will thank you) and let’s delve into the surprising benefits of good gastro health.
Advantage: Your Immune System
When people think about building up their immune system, they often focus on taking vitamins, eating oranges, and avoiding the office when their colleagues are sniffling. Additionally, some throw in a bit more sleep and sternly glare at anyone who dares to sneeze in their direction. But what about our gut health? Ever considered that?
Surprisingly, our gut stores approximately 70% of our immune cells. That's right! Our guts are like the unsung heroes of our immune systems. A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that build good defenses against harmful bacteria and viruses. When our gut health is compromised - through a poor diet, stress, or lack of sleep for instance - our immune system can be weakened, making us more susceptible to illness.
Helping the Happiness Hormone: Serotonin
It's hard to imagine, but our guts are intricately entwined with our emotional health. If you've ever had a 'gut feeling' or 'butterflies in your stomach', then you've experienced this connection first-hand. You see, our gut plays a pivotal role in the production of serotonin, which is often called the 'happiness hormone'. Approximately ninety percent of our serotonin is produced in the gut!
This means that our daily emotions, mood swings and general outlook on life can be impacted by the health of our gut. So, a healthy gut isn’t just good for our physical well-being but can also be our secret weapon for maintaining mental health and happiness! Now, isn’t that something?
Goodbye, Exhaustion: Hello, Energy!
Those afternoons where you're longing for a nap, even though you've had a good night's sleep, might not just be a sign of long working hours. It could be your gut asking for some love! When our gut is in good health, it helps in the efficient breakdown and absorption of food, which is then converted into much-needed energy. Yes, you read that right! A healthier gut can lead to more energy to power through your day.
Taking care of your gut can not only help improve your general energy levels, but it could help reduce those frequent colds, help your skin glow, and even help in achieving your weight goals.
Shining With Healthy Skin
Now, this is going to sound crazy – but your gut health and your skin are like secret BFFs. A healthy gut will likely equal healthier skin whereas poor gut health could lead to skin problems like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. I discovered this myself when I made a few changes to my diet to boost my gut health. The result? A noticeable difference in the clarity and glow of my skin! Now, I'm not promising miracles, but isn’t it worth a try?
Healthy Gut, Healthy Weight
If you've been desperately trying to shift those extra kilos with little success, it might be the time to turn your attention towards your gut health. Research has shown a significant association between the types of bacteria in our gut and our weight, with certain types of bacteria more prevalent in people who are overweight.
Improving your gut health can act like a secret weapon in weight management, helping the body to maintain its ideal weight and even make weight loss efforts more effective. So, next time you reach for a diet book, maybe consider reaching for a probiotic instead!
A Handle on Hormones
A surprise culprit in many hormone related problems could be poor gut health. You see, our gut health plays a huge role in regulating hormones including those responsible for hunger and satiety, stress, sleep and mood. A healthy gut has been tied to better hormonal balance which is key to our overall well-being.
Perhaps, next time you're feeling stressed, or aren't sleeping well, instead of seeking a quick fix, consider giving your gut some extra love.
Keeping Your Heart Healthy
Remember those Sci-Fi movies where every part of the body is connected by an intricate network? We're not too far off in reality! The condition of our gut can signpost the health of our heart. After all, a healthy gut aids in digestion and nutrient absorption, helping to keep our hearts healthy by providing it with the nutrients it needs.
Research even suggests that certain species of gut bacteria can influence heart health by breaking down dietary fibers into a special type of fat that helps to reduce inflammation and prevent heart disease.
Look, I'm not a doctor or anything but it’s clear to see that our gut is the unsung hero of our bodies. By making some simple daily changes to our eating habits, we can improve our gut health and see changes in many aspects of our overall health. From maintaining a healthy weight, glowing skin, stable mood, to a stronger immune system - our humble gut holds the key!
So, let’s give our guts the attention and love they deserve! Because a healthier, happier you is just around the corner with good gut health. Remember, take care of your gut, and your gut will take care of you!