The gut, and digestive system has one of the largest impacts on overall quality of life and satisfaction, though in many cases we fail to realize its importance and day-to-day effect on our life. Keeping a healthy gut, and healthy gut biome can ensure our overall health, make us more effective and energetic, and even affect our mood. There are a plethora of ways that proper gut health can drastically change your life, and we’re going to touch on a few of them. Here are three ways proper gut health can improve your life.
The Second Brain
Your gut, and the nervous system surrounding it is so advanced and intuitive that scientists have called it the “second brain.” Have you ever experienced anxiety and felt it in your stomach? Have you ever eaten something that disagrees with you and noticed that you become lethargic, nervous, or even foggy? This is because your gut is intrinsically linked to the rest of your nervous system and your brain!
Proper gut health can ensure that you have mental clarity, and can even help to defeat long term anxiety issues. A great way to ensure that you are taking care of your gut in such a way that your brain is high functioning is to do an elimination diet. This means that you do a short cleanse, eating only clean, non-inflammatory foods for a few weeks. Only rice and chicken is a great way to start this. You then slowly introduce new foods and see how they affect your body and mind. This can help you to eliminate anything that may cause issues from your diet.
Additionally, a high functioning, well-cared for gut can make your brain function better. Eating healthy fats and proteins, keeping your carbohydrate intake appropriate, and eating high amounts of vitamins and minerals can help you function with a mental clarity that you may not have experienced before.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
If you’ve ever looked into gut health, you have likely stumbled upon prebiotics and probiotics. That is because these two things have a huge effect on what we call your gut biome.
The gut biome is essentially the climate of your gut, if you imagine your gut as its own micro-ecosystem. Within your gut, there are healthy bacteria that help to digest and break down food, and there are unhealthy bacteria that may grow as a result of certain foods, or get introduced to your body due to poor dietary decisions. A healthy gut biome is full of good bacteria, or probiotics. These nourish your gut, break down foods well, and help to combat bad bacteria introduced into your system.
So, what is the difference between prebiotics and probiotics? Thankfully, the answer is quite simple! Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that you want in your stomach. You can get these through foods that are high in probiotics (fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi, or sauerkraut, as well yogurt, and even sourdough!), or through a store-bought supplement. If you take a probiotic, make sure to take it regularly, as you don’t want to throw off your body’s probiotic count suddenly.
Prebiotics are the food your probiotics eat. These help them to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain a healthy gut biome. Prebiotics occur naturally in a number of foods, especially fruits such as apples, bananas, watermelons, grapefruits, and many others. Keeping a healthy intake of probiotics and prebiotics can help your gut biome thrive, and can keep you healthy year round!
Your gut takes a lot of energy to function, and it is the place where your body produces energy! An unhealthy gut can struggle to effectively convert your food into energy. Especially if you have poor eating habits. This can mean that you are frequently tired, you feel chronically fatigued, or you struggle to get things done without the assistance of stimulants like caffeine. It can also lead to dehydration, and poor bowel habits.
A healthy gut that is high in probiotics and used to regular quality nutrition can easily convert foods into energy, and can facilitate proper storage of different nutrition types. This means that your muscles will recover faster, you are less likely to put on surprise weight, and you will have a healthier colon.
Get to Know Your Gut!
Whatever you do, it is important that you get to know your gut. Everyone’s gut biome is different, everyone has different sensitivities, and everyone has different habits. Finding the best ways to keep your gut healthy is a journey, but the payoff is full-body. If you have had energy and health problems consistently, one of the best places to look is your gut. A happy, healthy gut can lead to a happier, healthier life.
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