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Everything You Need To Know About Your Gut Health
When it comes to maintaining your health, there are several parts of the body that immediately come to mind - the heart, brain, lungs and even the stomach. However, one part of the body which many individuals unfortunately forget about, despite its integral role in your overall body function, is the gut.
The gut, or more technically known as gastrointestinal system, is essential to your digestive system and helps with nutrition and energy extraction from foods. Not only that, your gut houses ‘good bacteria’ to keep away the ‘bad bacteria’ you can contract from diseases and foods. In this blog, we’ll cover what the gut is, how it impacts your health, and how you can take care of it so that your body continues to keep the ‘bad bacteria’ away.
What is your gut and how does it impact your health?
Your gut is a group of organs which forms the basis of your digestive system. It is comprised of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, rectum, small intestine and colon. Located all the way between your mouth, down to your back passage (the anus), your gut makes up a large physical ...
... portion of your body and plays a key role in absorbing nutrients into your bloodstream (from food), as well as processing and excreting foods as waste.
In addition to digestion, your gut also functions as part of the immune system as it keeps ‘bad bacteria’ away with the right amount of ‘good bacteria’ - keeping the two types at an equilibrium. A healthy gut is able to maintain this equilibrium, however unhealthy guts which either produce too much ‘good bacteria’, or can’t produce enough of it, may cause you to become victim to Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel system.
How can you take care of your gut health?
Below are a few ways you can take care of your gut health and make sure it is operating effectively:
Ingest probiotics and fermented foods: to increase the amount of ‘good bacteria’ in your guts, you can take probiotic supplements or eat foods with probiotics in them. Fermented foods are a good option and they include miso, kombucha, kimchi and other fermented vegetables.
Eat foods with fiber: foods with fiber encourage the body to produce more ‘good bacteria’. Foods with high levels of prebiotic fiber include garlic, onions, bananas, asparagus and whole grains.
Exercise frequently: the right amount of exercise and physical activity can help immensely in taking care of your gut health. Exercise contributes to good heart health and also helps with weight maintenance. The World Health Organisation recommends adults over 18 to perform at least 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise every week.
Get enough quality sleep: for adults, the recommended hours of sleep per night is seven to nine hours. Getting enough high quality sleep will improve both your physical and mental health, thereby maintaining your gut health as well.
Another less common yet effective way to take care of your gut health is to examine it regularly. Medical tests such as a gut microbiome test can determine the amount of ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ bacteria you have in your body, and allow doctors to better understand your gut health, as well as recommend any necessary treatments or lifestyle changes.
To better take care of your gut as well as understand your gut health, a gut microbiome test followed by a consultation with a health practitioner may be the solution you are looking for!
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