It’s no coincidence and we’re not going crazy. Yes we are it’s all about gut health, and for good reason! Our understanding of the human body is an ever-evolving study and there are so many things that keep changing with our diets and lifestyles that often make gut health a very complex thing to manage. What unites picky eaters and foodies is the need to eat foods that make us feel good. Unfortunately, not everything we eat is good for our gut health. More so, there are hidden triggers in our lifestyle that can make gut health even more problematic. To keep our bodies in a happy balance (without sacrificing everything we love), let’s explore the topic of gut health a bit more.
What are the signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut?
Let’s be honest – until a few years ago we knew nothing about gut health. Sure, probiotics and kombucha have been considered mainstream for at least a decade, but these only scratch the surface of what it means to eat for gut health. Before we can fully understand what gut health is and why it’s so important, let’s take a closer look at the signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut.
Stomach ache is probably the most obvious indicator of poor gut health. For some of us, that means severe bloating and even weight gain, especially at night or even after meals that seem healthy. It feels like excess gas and heartburn and can also cause us to rush to the bathroom or be completely backed up.
Related is an emergent Food intolerance. For many of us, this can often be caused by dairy products, as studies have shown that over half of the population is lactose intolerant. And to be suspected, other food intolerances are usually processed foods high in sugar and gluten. What’s worse is that oftentimes poor gut health is accompanied by food cravings and especially sugar cravings, making it even more difficult to balance our gut.
Beyond those glaring issues that often alert us that our bodies aren’t feeling their best, there are other side effects of poor gut health that can be harder to spot or silent enemies. Common examples are birth control and antibiotics. Since gut health is closely tied to hormones and immunity, these drugs frequently alter the body at the hormonal or immune level, leaving our gut worse for wear.
From then on, a constant or severe case of fatigue and lethargy is another way to detect poor gut health. Our gut is just as important as the brain when it comes to the functioning of the body, and when it’s not working on all cylinders, the first clue is probably inexplicable lethargy.
And finally, one thing we all say is that the skin is the largest organ in the body. It often acts as a map to reflect what’s going on inside, and gut health is no exception. Rashes and skin irritations are another way our bodies communicate gut health issues. Sometimes it looks like a flare-up of an existing skin condition, like eczema, while other times it looks like active breakouts on the face. especially on the cheeks under the cheekbones.
Why is a healthy gut important?
When we see all the things that can go wrong due to poor gut health, it’s no wonder gut health matters! Although beyond the obvious bad consequences of an imbalanced gut, there is the unforeseen impact of all these problems.
For example, we mentioned that a moderately or severely out of balance gut leads to a noticeable lack of energy, but what then? For some it just means sleeping more or going out less, but for many of us it has a total impact on our diet and lifestyle. Maybe we decide to get takeout more often because we’re too tired to cook, or we stop working out as regularly because we just don’t have the energy.
In another case, we saw that poor gut health can manifest as rashes and skin irritation. In reality, popping sucks and for many of us it can trigger feelings of stress, sadness, and lack of confidence. Someone with a gut health-related rash may not realize it’s the cause, and to fix the problem, they turn to buying fancy facial treatments or loading up on irritating makeup. more skin.
These short examples are just small examples of the importance of gut health. We can’t look into our gut and tell right away when we’re out of balance, but if we’re able to understand how our body communicates poor gut health, we can work to fix it quickly and avoid many problems. that come with it.
Tips to improve your gut health.
We now know that gut health matters, and it’s surprisingly personal. Gut health is truly unique to everyone. There are studied gender differences in gut health patterns, and even studies between couples that find, while similar, gut health between partners can differ significantly.
While it may take a bit of trial and error to figure out what works for us individually, there is hope for improving our gut health – no matter how unbalanced or inflamed it may be. With that in mind, there are actually a number of things we can do with little to no effort that play a supporting role in good gut health.
Reduce stress. While we often think of stress as a mental or emotional concept, stress is known to manifest itself physically; like having a stomach ache when you’re worried or a migraine when you have a lot on your mind. Although reducing stress can sometimes be easier said than done, devoting more time to relaxation and meditation is a great way to be on a calmer, less stressful path.
Limit alcohol consumption. Many of us enjoy wine with dinner or relax with friends for an evening. Yet our bodies are not designed for regular alcohol consumption. Drinking frequently – even once a week – can have a negative impact on our gut health. Finding high non-alcoholic beverages that taste good can help eliminate alcohol as part of the diet.
Eat fiber-rich foods. Also known as prebiotics, high fiber foods aid in timely digestion and also feed the healthy gut bacteria we need. Options include fan-favorite garlic and onions, smoothie stars, bananas and berries, and of course whole grains, oats and nuts.
Incorporate probiotics. Ingesting healthy bacteria sounds weird, but it really is the best way to achieve gut health – and surprisingly tasty. Some of our favorite foods like yogurt and kimchi contain probiotics; but when we can’t get probiotics from our diet, adding a probiotic supplement works just as well.
Exercise often. The secret to relaxation, the secret to maintaining energy and the secret to long life are always linked to activity and exercise. Since physical activity works in sync with diet, digestion and metabolism, staying active and fit helps maintain a well-balanced gut.