Everyone fears bacteria and microbes, but in truth, the body is not only loaded with them, they’re important to our health. Your body’s microbiome gut health helps determine your overall health. In fact, you have more microbes in your body than you have cells. There’s a debate on how many, earlier estimates were a ratio of ten microbes for every human cell, today they think it might be closer to 1.3 to every one. The gut microbiome refers to those microorganisms that live in the intestines. There’s an estimated 300 to 500 different species. Some of those are harmful, but many are not only beneficial but necessary to good health.
It’s been said that our body’s microbiome should be considered an organ.
You need your lungs, heart and all your organs….but you also need those belly bugs called your microbiome. They’re more than just in the gut, they’re on the skin and genitals, too. They carry out vital functions in your body by digesting food so you can use the nutrients and boosting your immune system when the good bacteria kill off those that are detrimental to health. The microbiome even affects your behavior and is linked to the control of diseases like asthma, cancer, autism, celiac disease, colitis, diabetes, malnutrition, heart disease, MS, obesity and eczema.
There are a number of ways an unhealthy gut can reveal itself.
The most obvious way you know there’s a problem is digestive issues. Whether it’s gas, bloating, constipation, heartburn or diarrhea, it’s sign there may be a problem. Craving sugar may be another sign. Unfortunately, adding extra sugar also kills more healthy microbes, making you crave sugar even more. Constant fatigue, unintentional changes in weight, skin irritations, autoimmune conditions and even mood disturbances occur when there’s a problem with an imbalance.
How do you help improve your gut health?
Eat healthier and slower. Processed food, sugary food, food that’s high in fat or low in fiber affect your gut health negatively. Eating a healthy diet with lean protein and plenty of fiber, fruits and vegetables helps. Get adequate sleep. Lack of sleep has been shown to affect gut health. Something as simple as getting adequate water has been shown to improve the gut microbiome. Consuming food with live healthy bacteria, like yogurt and sauerkraut also helps.
- If you have an intolerance for certain foods, such as dairy or grain, it might be a sign your gut health is out of whack. While food allergies are different from an intolerance, there’s also some evidence that allergies are also related.
- Exercise has proven beneficial to overall health, but recent studies show it’s good for your gut microbiome, too. The study showed that after six weeks of exercise, it helped increase the “friendly” bacteria.
- The gut makes 90% of some of the chemicals that affect our mental health, such as serotonin. Studies show that a healthy gut improves mental health. Since exercise improves gut microbiome, it’s just another reason that exercise helps your mood.
- Chronic stress can also lower your gut health. Learn ways to control your response to stress. Learn to meditate, exercise, have fun with friends. Make your life fuller. Even adopting a shelter animal to keep you company if you live alone could help.
For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness