When your gut isn’t feeling well, it can seem to affect your whole body. Bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and other symptoms can make it difficult to engage in daily tasks. You may not feel like eating, walking, or working when these symptoms are triggered. And when your gut symptoms appear, inflammation ensues, and can set off a whole cascade of events that can put your overall health at risk. Let’s look a little more about gut health, inflammation, and how you can improve your health by taking care of your gut.
What does gut health mean?
There are about 100 trillion microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract of humans. The health of this gut can be viewed in a variety of ways. Perhaps to one person, gut health is when their irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms are at bay. Or for another person, gut health could mean having a bowel movement every day. Both of these perceptions of gut health are true because when your gut is balanced and healthy, you will experience less inflammation and more regular digestive health functioning.
Inflammation and gut health
Inflammation arises in the gut when the gut microbiome is off kilter. This means when there are more “bad” bacteria in the gut than healthy bacteria, you will experience what is called dysbiosis, or imbalance. This inflammation can lead to oxidative stress, which in turn can increase your risk of inflammatory conditions like heart disease, diabetes, as well as inflammatory skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis .Also, those with such inflammatory conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), psoriatic arthritis, celiac disease, obesity, and type 1 diabetes have been found to have lower bacterial diversity.
Research shows that such inflammation in the gut may be linked to health conditions all over the body. For example, one study reports that the intestinal microbiome may provide immune and metabolic health properties. Therefore, if the microbiome is imbalanced, then this could cause reduced protection against pathogens and may increase one’s risk of autoimmune conditions.
An imbalanced gut has also been linked to brain health. In fact, one study reports that there are certain hormones and neurotransmitters released from the gut that send signals to the brain. An imbalanced gut has been linked to mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. However, some human and animal studies show promise in treating symptoms of anxiety and depression with an adjunct treatment of probiotics.
How to improve your gut health
This is just a small snippet of how gut health affects the health of the body. However, one common denominator that is clear is that imbalance of the gut microbiome can lead to many health conditions of the skin, brain, and gut. Therefore, use the tips below to start improving the balance of your gut and in turn bettering your overall health.
- Consume more fiber-rich and antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fruits and vegetables can provide a variety of antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation in the gut and body overall. Also, research shows that whole grains like brown rice and barley may help increase diversity of gut bacteria, which can benefit gut health.
- Reduce intake of foods that cause digestive symptoms. If you have a digestive condition like IBD or IBS, it’s important to avoid foods in the diet that could trigger symptoms and in turn inflammation. A low FODMAP diet is an example of an eating plan that could help those with conditions like IBS. You can find a variety of low FODMAP products and information on how to start this diet on the Casa de Sante website.
- Add fermented foods to your diet. Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, and kombucha can help provide good bacteria to the gut. Be sure to consume such probiotics with prebiotics to help the good bacteria flourish.
- Take a daily probiotic supplement. If none of these foods are on your daily docket, then a probiotic supplement may be helpful for your gut health. The probiotic and prebiotic supplement by Casa de Sante provides a convenient gut health supplement all in one daily dose.
Take home message
Your gut health is not just about relieving digestive symptoms. Although digestive symptoms will let you know that something is out of balance in your gut, it’s also telling you that inflammation could be occurring elsewhere in your body. Therefore, by taking care of your gut with healthy bacteria, fiber and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, as well as following a low FODMAP eating plan when warranted, you are taking care of your whole body. For more resources, recipes, and product information regarding gut health, be sure to visit the Casa de Sante website.