What is Gut Health?
What is Gut Health?
Good Health Starts with Gut Health
When we think about good gut health, most of us think about digestive health. But that’s only part of the story. Your gut is home to countless bacteria known as your gut flora, or microbiome. Recent studies suggest the benefits of “good bacteria” in your gut flora go beyond the digestive tract to impact different areas of health including overall mental well-being1. The gut-brain connection may influence your mood, or even the way you think.
The good news is you don’t need to make major life changes to help support gut health — there are many quick, easy and delicious ways to get there. Cheers to that.
Listen to Your Second Brain
Your digestive tract is made up of over 100 million neurons, creating its own nervous system. Ever feel “butterflies” in your stomach? That’s your second brain talking. The gut-brain connection explains why digestive discomfort may impact your ability to be at your best. In other words, when your gut feels good, so can you
Home Sweet Biome
Everyone’s microbiome is different, and you have about ten times the number of gut bacteria in your intestinal tract as you do cells in your entire body (about 100 trillion bacteria cells total). Most of these bacteria are the “good” kind that benefit you, breaking down the food you eat and turning it into nutrients your body needs. Under normal circumstances, good bacteria outnumber the "bad" bacteria. Stress, antibiotics, illness, aging, and diet can all influence the health and “happiness” of your microbiome.
Gut Health Diet
It is possible to help support gut health with a diet full of variety, including fruit, vegetables, whole grains and foods that contain probiotics. Because the benefits of probiotics are strain specific, make sure you pick one that has been scientifically shown to support gut health.
Additionally, many fermented foods have been shown to help support gut health and some even contain probiotics like certain kinds of yogurt. Other fermented foods include aged cheese, as well as kimchi and sauerkraut.
1. Harvard Medical School, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/can-gut-bacteria-improve-your-health