Gut fitness refers to the balanced portion of healthy bacteria residing in the gastrointestinal tract. The presence of an accurate and adequate balance of healthy bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms – known as gut microbiome of gut flora – results in better health; physiological, psychological, immunity, and much more.
There are good gut microbiomes that are essential for a healthy body, and some of its species can be harmful as well; as there are a plethora of its species.
Recent investigations have shown that an adequate amount of gut microbiomes may dwindle the perils of diseases; such as diabetes, chronic inflammation in the intestines (Crohn’s disease & Ulcerative Colitis), and arthritis along with others.
The GI Tract must break down and digest the food that you ingest, where the small intestine absorbs the nutrients – the part of the gut responsible for absorbing nutrients – from it and hence charges the body and maintains it.
To lead a healthy life one needs to focus on quality eating and a healthful lifestyle.
What are the Causes, Signs, and Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut?
A few of the factors that affect our Microbiome are:
1. Devouring Unhealthy diet: Less Intake of Fiber, Consumption of Highly Processed Food, and High Sugar Intake.
2. Medication: Intake of Antibiotics, Pain Killers, Steroids, antacids, Chemotherapy drugs, and Inhibitors.
3. Infections: Viral Infections, Parasitic Infections, Pathogenic Bacterial Infections.
4. Excessive Stress: Stress includes Physiological as well as Psychological.
5. Deficient Sleep: Inadequate sleep also results in subduing a balanced gut flora.
Following are a few of the symptoms that pop up in case of an Unhealthy Gut:
1. Upset Tummy: This includes heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating. A sound gut will efficiently process and digest the food, and dispose of the waste with ease.
2. Lofty Intake of Processed Foods & Sugar: A colossal amount of diet consisting of highly processed foods and sugar could diminish the number of healthy bacteria and heterogeneity of gut flora.
3. Involuntary Weight Transformation: Putting on or off weight unintentionally without switching the munching habit is an indication of a detrimental gut. Disproportionate gut flora can mar your body’s propensity to absorb nutrients. Losing weight may be spawned by malabsorption due to the overgrowth of bacteria in small intestines. On the flip side, weight earned could be engendered by surged inflammation or insulin resistance.
4. Improper Sleep and Perpetual Fatigue: A recent exploration has established that a disproportion in gut flora may disrupt the circadian cycle thus resulting in fragmentary and intermittent sleep which further catalyzes fatigue.
5. Halitosis (Bad Breath): Since the mouth is also part of the gastrointestinal tract, it is no wonder that the signs of poor gut health would manifest in this part of the body.
6. Skin Irritation: In case of an insufficient cluster of healthy bacteria in the gut, the immunity system weakens hence the body gets susceptible to various skin disorders.
7. Autoimmune Conditions: Inferior gut fitness may aggravate Systemic Inflammation and amend the conventional modus operandi of the immune system thus leading to Autoimmune Diseases.
8. Food Intolerance: This condition is due to the inability to fully digest some types of foods for instance Milk and its byproducts. Recent studies have shed some light that improper gut flora may cause food intolerance such as lactose intolerance and food allergies.
How to Enhance Gut Health?
For the welfare of physical fitness, psychological fitness along with immunity maintaining an adequate amount of gut flora is imperative. To ameliorate your gut health the following lifestyle and nutritional routine may be observed:
1. Devouring Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Collagen:
Prebiotics are the food fibers that aid in the germination, incubation as well as sustenance of healthy bacteria, whereas probiotics are the beneficial bacteria found in certain food and supplements. A scientific exploration advocates the usage of probiotics as it buttresses a healthy gut flora and it may nip the gut inflammation and additional intestinal problems in the bud.
Collagen intake is instrumental in enhancing the gut and health in toto. Some examples of collagen-boosting foods include nuts, meat, eggs, citrus fruits, broccoli, etc.
Also, Some of the commonly available prebiotics are bananas, Apples, Garlic, Onion, Barley, Oats, Wheat Bran, etc.
Some of the commonly available fermented foods that contain probiotics are Yogurt, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Kefir, Pickles, sourdough, cheese, etc.
2. Reduce intake of Artificial Sweeteners:
A study alludes that Artificial Sweeteners begets glucose intolerance which boosts blood sugar due to its effect on healthy bacteria.
3. Drink Copious Amount of Water:
It is advised by research and doctors to consume nearly 3 liters of water for men and 2.2 liters of water for women. Research has shed light that drinking water augments the gut microbiome, considering the water source free from any foulness.
4. Partake in a Healthful & Nutritious Diet:
Eat unprocessed, fresh, hygienic foods. Eating processed food will negatively impact gut health as these foods get broken down easily into sugar.
5. Exercise Regularly:
Working out regularly leads to the right operation of bowel movements, as it helps the food to move throughout the gut much more smoothly.
6. Curtail Stress Levels:
A lot of stress will negatively affect your gut health and whole body. A few methods that act as stress busters are accompanying friends and family, meditating, exercising, Yoga, etc.
7. Adequate Sound Sleep:
Try to get a sound sleep for at least 7-8 hours. This helps the person in busting the stress and ameliorates concentration along with refined gut health, on the flip side a person with debilitated sleep is affected by Gut diseases.
8. Curb Alcohol and Caffeine Consumption:
Alcohol begets gut inflammation, which stimulates the malfunctioning of the GI tract and other organs. The twin; caffeine, and alcohol irritate and derange the digestive affair.
The gateway to a healthy body is a healthy gut, and a healthy gut consists of diverse gut flora or gut microbiome which bestows the following: Refines Digestion, Diminishes Stress, Restores Healthy Sleep, Polishes up the Mood, Elevates health of the brain and heart, etc. To obtain these perks one must observe the aforementioned practices religiously.
Few quotes regarding gut health:
“The road to good health is paved with good intestines” – Sherry A. Rogers
“All disease begin in the gut” – Hippocrates
“Let food be thy medicine” – Hippocrates
“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food” – Hippocrates
“If there’s one thing to know about the human body; it’s this: the human body has a ringmaster. This ringmaster controls your digestion, your immunity, your brain, your weight, your health and even your happiness. This ringmaster is the gut”
― Nancy Mure
“Your gut is not Las Vegas. What happens in the gut
does not stay in the gut.”
― Peter Kozlowski, MD