A Guide to Gut Health
We’re all too familiar with the feeling of a bloated tummy or uncomfortable rumblings that you cannot explain, but keeping your gut healthy is more crucial to your overall health than you may be aware of! Your gut is one of the central hubs of your body, and it serves several purposes. Such as:
- Your digestive system absorbs essential nutrients such as proteins, healthy fats, and proteins
- Keeps unwanted bacteria out of your system
- Produces vital neurotransmitters and hormones
- Eliminates toxins
An unhealthy gut can result in a lot more than potential weight problems- it can lead to arthritis, psoriasis, acne, or even migraines. So, what are the potential symptoms of an unhealthy gut, how do you fix it, and keep it healthy? Here are a few tips!
Signs of a Potentially Unhealthy Gut
You’re Having Trouble Losing Weight
Digestive issues can be one of the biggest roadblocks when it comes to losing weight because it causes your immune system to overreact. Your gut is responsible for keeping out harmful bacteria and other toxic substances, so if it’s failing due to poor health, your immune system will automatically be activated to fill that role.
When your immune system is overactive, it requires more glucose which your body should be able to extract from your fat cells. However, when your gut is unhealthy you have less metabolic flexibility, making extracting glucose from your fat cells nearly impossible. This leads to weight gain.
Since a lot of diseases originate in the gut, you can trace almost any abnormal signs back to it. Here are a few to keep an out for:
- Excess flatulence/gas
- Bad breath
- Abdominal pain
- Skin problems
- Frequent colds
Basically, having an unhealthy gut can lead to a wide variety of health issues that no one wants to deal with. If you’re facing any of these symptoms, don’t panic! There are ways to fix it.
Restoring & Maintaining Gut Health
Restoring your gut health is fairly simple- here are a few practical options to help improve your overall gut health!
Avoid Toxins & Toxic Anti-nutrients
This will help you keep your intestinal lining from getting damaged. Toxic anti-nutrients can be found in certain grains, beans, peanuts, soy and vegetable oils. Be sure to check with your nutritionist on the best foods to avoid.
Toxins include cigarettes, alcohol, as well as exposure to toxins in the environment are both damaging to your gut and your liver. Control your alcohol intake, avoid both smoking and second-hand smoke as much as possible as well.
Sugar is extremely hard on your digestive system. It accelerates the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi reducing the space for the good bacteria to live.
Lower your sugar intake as much as you can, particularly refined or processed sugar.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that produces lactic acid and helps maintain healthy intestines. You can find probiotics in certain beverages, but you can also take probiotic supplements. Encapsulated pills are a better choice since they help the bacteria survive in the acidic environment of the stomach.
Fiber, just like probiotics, promote healthy digestion as well as help clean your intestines clean. Fiber can be found in a variety of foods including whole grains, vegetables, and fruit that you can easily incorporate into your daily diet.
Lower Stress Levels
Keeping your stress down is important not just for your gut health but for your overall health. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercise, keep your diet healthy, and have fun! Laughter is the best medicine, after all.
For a few tips on how to avoid sugar when pursuing a healthier tummy, check out our blog on Seven Strategies for Reducing Sugar!
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