Lil' NookView all
Our gastrointestinal tract, the ‘Gut’, is one of the most vital parts of our body. Recently it has been established that a direct link exists between the gut and numerous aspects of health. The secrets to many health issues may lie in your gut ‘microbiome’, the bacteria, yeast and viruses in the stomach and intestines that protect us against germs, break down food to release energy and produces vitamins. Over 70% of the immune system is in the gut. A healthy gastrointestinal tract contains well-balanced microbiota and immune cells to ward off infectious microorganisms that do not belong in our body and help maintain general health and well-being.
A gut at the pink of health ensures a happy body and mind. Most of us understand the connection between our gastrointestinal tract and physiological health but underestimate its effect on our brain. A healthy gut communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, affecting every part of our overall health. In fact, gut bacteria manufacture about 95% of the body's supply of serotonin, the neurochemical that influences body functions like mood, sleep, digestion, nausea, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting and more.
Now that we can all agree that gut health is important, what exactly do we do for a healthy gut?
- A great place to start is a balanced diet, good hydration, regular exercise and good sleep. Essentially, staying healthy is a great way to maintain a healthy gut. Sounds pretty fundamental, right?
- Some bad habits for other parts of your body, like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can also hurt your microbiome.
- If you are on medication, ask your physician the right questions about your medicative habits and understand how any medication you might take affects your gut.
- Lastly, but most importantly, getting the recommended amount of fibre —20 to 40g a day, depending on your age and gender is absolutely essential. Things like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are sources of healthy fibre that you can add to your diet. To conclude- balanced and regular sources of prebiotics and probiotics are non-negotiable for a healthy gastrointestinal tract.
Now, you may have more questions. What are Prebiotics? What are Probiotics? How are they different from each other?
Hold on to your questions because that is what we will be discussing next! Until we meet again!
~The Lil Goodness Family