Often times, we forget about taking care of the vital functions of our body. Instead, we're focused on taking care of our physique and our diet. While these are both important, being able to dig deeper and understand our digestive health can give us health benefits beyond working out. Gut health is not just limited to digestion and diet. It's linked to sleep quality, mental health, neurotransmitter production, your immune system and your nervous system. We've partnered up with Wes Feighner, our resident expert at physique and gut health to bring you the best tips on how to boost gut health.
First, let's go through some quick facts.
- It's about 200 square meters in size (everything from mouth to colon).
- It has about 50-100 million nerve cells which makes this a massive sensory organ.
- It's made of bacteria. This bacteria outnumbers human cells 10:1 and 99% of it in the body is found in the gut.
- 80% of the immune system resides here.
- 80-95% of serotonin is stored here.
What does gut bacteria do for the body?
1. It's responsible for defense against pathogens.
2. It strengthens the intestinal wall.
3. Manages nutrient absorption.
4. Produces Vitamins B & K.
Since the health of our gut microbiome is essential and digesting is a full time job, it's important that we improve it so it enhances our overall health.
How can we improve gut health?
1. Reduce the amount the bad bacteria. Our body does have a necessity for the 'bad' bacteria to live in our gut to fulfill necessary functions in the body. By adding anti-microbial foods like into our diet , pomegranate, garlic, coconut oil, oregano, berberine and cloves, our body can kill off opportunistic bacteria to help with gut health.
2. Too boost the beneficial bacteria in the gut, add a probiotic supplement like BioHealth's Phyto Fuel. It can help with inflammation, immunity support and boost energy.
3. Eat less sugar and sweeteners. If your diet is high in sugar or artificial sweetener, it can cause an imbalance of microbes. In a 2015 study, too much sugar and fat can negatively affect the gut microbiome and in turn can impact the brain and behavior. Try to reduce the amount of sugar you're consuming in your diet to limit negative effects.
4. Reducing stress is not only important to your overall health, but also for your digestive system. Stressors like psychological stress, environmental stress and sleep deprivation can negatively impact gut health. Get regular exercise, sleeping well and stress management techniques like meditation can help reduce your stress levels.