The importance of gut health

What’s your gut feeling? I hope it’s to take care of your gut microbiota and health.

Gut microbiota, or bacteria, is astonishingly important for our overall health and well- being. In fact, there are over 100 trillion microbes in the human body, all of which primarily are found in the gut.

So why does gut health matter? For starters, and the most obvious reason, it hugely impacts our digestive health. But the effect of gut health on our body doesn’t stop there. Maintaining a healthy gut will provide other benefits such as boosting the immune system, regulating and producing hormones, weight management and enhancing mental health.

Believe it or not, gut microbiota can influence an individual’s ability to lose or gain weight. Simply put, the types of microbiota within the gut can alter the way a person stores calories as fat. At the same time, the way your gut microbiota interacts with other cells in and around its environment can determine diseases and health conditions of an individual. For example, an obese person will have a vastly different gut microbiota composition than that of a lean individual.

Moreover, gut health influences the immune system, whether positively or negatively. Not only does maintaining a healthy gut prevent you from suffering from any food related illnesses, it can also help fight off sicknesses and viruses by interacting with other immune cells in the gut and other parts of the body.

What’s more? Gut health impacts the way our bodies regulate and produce hormones. For instance ,in women, a poor gut health may lead to an imbalance of estrogen levels, whereby there is an increase in estrogen production. This may lead to a low libido, menstrual cramps, ‘PMSing’, bleeding and potential estrogen-causing cancers.

Lastly, and certainly not least, our gut health can directly affect our mental health. Your gut health and environment can have an impact on your brain functioning as well as your mood and emotions. Actually, it can affect your chain of thought and perception of the world too.

Gut health is slowly taking over the research headlines. The benefit of a healthy gut on one’s health and well-being is evident and this relationship must be taken into serious consideration when choosing to live a healthy lifestyle.

My take home message is the following: eat clean, unprocessed and fermented foods to help protect and improve your gut health. A healthier gut is a happier, stress-free life. Don’t be gutted!

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