12 Oct Why is Gut Health important?
“Gut Health” refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. Looking after the health of the gut and maintaining the right balance of these microorganisms greatly benefits our overall health.
A healthy gut can also contribute to many other factors such as a stronger immune system, better sleep, heart health, brain health, resistance to autoimmune diseases, and even improved mental well-being.
How do you know if you have an unhealthy gut?
Common problems with modern work life include a lack of sleep, improper nutrition, and a high-stress environment that contributes to a higher risk of having an unhealthy gut.
There are several ways that an unhealthy gut would present itself:
- An Upset Stomach
- When your gut is healthy it can eliminate waste and properly process the food that you eat. You might have an unhealthy gut if you experience frequent bloating, heartburn or constipation. A balanced gut will have less difficulty processing food and eliminating waste.
- If you experience these symptoms, avoid fried food and start having healthier meals, and consume alcohol in moderation. You can try documenting your meals and your symptoms by a food diary, which might help you narrow down what foods could be linked to your upset stomach.
- Skin Irritation
- Inflammation in the gut from an unhealthy diet can lead to skin irritation that contributes to eczema and other related conditions.
- An unhealthy gut can cause disturbances in your sleep, which lead to fatigue and headaches. The gut produces the hormone serotonin, which affects your mood and sleep, so having a healthy gut will cause you to feel and sleep better.
- Weight Changes
- If you changed your diet or exercise regimen and have experienced significant weight gain or loss, this could be caused by an imbalance in your gut. Weight gain can be caused by insulin resistance, while weight loss can be caused by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. A healthy gut will be able to store fat, regulate blood sugar and absorb nutrients properly.
- Food Intolerance
- Poor quality of gut bacteria can make it difficult for your gut to digest certain foods, which causes nausea, diarrhea and gas.
- Too much sugar or processed foods
- Inflammation can be caused by foods with high-fructose corn syrup or other refined sugars, like soda and candy. It can even lead to fatty liver disease and other diseases. Consuming too much sugars leads to less good bacteria in your gut, and can lead to more sugar cravings which make it more difficult to change your diet.
How can we improve our Gut Health?
Now that “Prebiotics” and “Probiotics” have become buzzwords, it’s important to differentiate between the two. Probiotics refer to the living strains of good bacteria that will add to the overall population of bacteria in our gut microbiome. Prebiotics, on the other hand, refer to food compounds such as plant fibres that help to induce the growth of these beneficial bacteria.
Here are some things that will help to improve gut health:
Fermented products like Yogurt, Kefir, Kimchi, Tempeh and Kombucha are all good sources of probiotics that could benefit your Gut Health.
Getting enough rest
Not getting enough rest can significantly affect your gut health. Ensure that you are getting the right amount of rest that you need to benefit your gut.
If you’ve been feeling especially stressed lately, find a way to relax. Go for a massage, a run or try meditation. The health of your gut (and other parts of your body) can be affected by high levels of stress. Exercise not only helps to relieve stress, it can help you lose weight too, both of which can benefit your gut health.
Consuming High-fibre foods
The consumption of high-fibre foods such as nuts, legumes, bananas and berries can contribute to better gut health as these fibres will act as food for your gut bacteria.
Antidote’s line of products will help to supplement your daily intake of probiotics. Probiotics can be found in a wide array of our juices and especially our kombucha.
For a refreshing way to improve your gut health, check out our line of kombucha here.