Having a healthy gut largely depends upon the number of bacteria and their functionality in your body. These healthy bacteria or microbes are collectively called a microbiome. In addition to purifying your gut, these microbes also ensure a strengthened immune system, improved heart health, honing your fitness performance, improving your mood and ameliorating cancer-treatment ramifications.
With that said let’s focus on some of the symptoms that arise when your gut health is not proper and something’s off. This will help you to get medical attention, if needed, as soon as possible.
What happens if your healthy gut isn’t functioning properly?
- Your mental health has gone haywire:
Feeling stressed, crappy, tired and restless all the time can be credited to poor gut health for a plethora of reasons. The gut microbiome generally stimulates the production of mood-enhancing chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Due to poor gut health, the balance in the production of these chemicals is disrupted, thus explaining the exhausting mood swings.
- Significant changes in your weight:
Studies indicate an undeniable connection between your brain and your gut. The feeling of being hungry or satiated is an indication by your gut. But, with an unhealthy gut, this connection between the brain and gut is disrupted which leads to drastic changes in your weight. So, if your body has experienced an unprecedented increase or decrease in your weight, you should get your gut checked.
- Something’s not right with your stomach:
Having poor gut health is often characterised by vomiting, diarrhoea, acid reflux, bloating, nausea and indigestion out of many things. A spike in bad bacteria in your stomach can cause more gas production which causes more digestion issues.
- Skin conditions:
Having a healthy gut ameliorates and strengthens your immune system. On the contrary, with the increased number of bad bacteria, poor gut health can jeopardise your immune health. Now, when your immune system has become dysfunctional, the external barrier of your body, that is, your skin becomes inflamed. This leads to the development of several skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, etc.
With that said, let’s explore some of the ways on how to have a healthy gut.
What should you do for a healthy gut?
- Take the stress off from consuming fermented foods:
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, Greek yoghurt and kombucha are essential healthy gut foods that provide probiotics. However, the excessive consumption of such foods is to be avoided. Instead, one can focus upon consuming more fibrous and leafy-green foods. Besides, people with lactose intolerance cannot consume dairy products. So, it’s necessary to take the stress off from consuming fermented foods and explore other foods which can be an essential part of a healthy gut diet.
- Say no to sugar:
Although you might’ve come across this point several times, it’s necessary to stress it constantly. Consuming sugar is equivalent to consuming poison. It spikes the number of bad bacteria in your body which causes digestive issues and harms your immune system.
In addition, consuming sugar alcohols that are sold in the market as sugar-free is not properly absorbed in the body. This can also hinder the proper functioning of your body.
Be that as it may, the gut microbiome of one person is different from the gut microbiome of another. So, if you face difficulty in consuming milk, nuts, soy or corn, no matter how healthy they are, you can avoid consuming them.
- Consume more plants:
Consuming foods from diverse plants is an extremely healthy practice that will ameliorate your gut health and the overall health of your body. It might sound weird at first, and you’re allowed to frown at this, but with time eventually, you’ll recognise the benefits of eating foods from plants.
It includes not only fruits and vegetables but also whole grains, beans and buts. Consuming all of them daily in varied amounts reduces the number of bad bacteria in your body and also promotes more microbial diversity.
- Focus on fibre:
Millet, brown rice, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, fruits such as kiwifruit and prunes, vegetables, seeds, lentils and nuts are high sources of fibre. For those who don’t know, fibre provides prebiotics which is technically food that keeps the microbes in the large intestine thriving. Consumption of fibrous foods helps in dealing with constipation and keeps your gut clean.
- Get dirty:
Contrary to common perception, playing in the dirt and getting your hands dirty strengthens a child’s immune system. Eventually, it resists the bad bacteria from in the future and keeps their body strong and sturdy.
However, the kids are often trained to stay away from the dirt under the notion of being sophisticated. It’s important to let the parents as well as the systems that oppose this, know that it’s okay to put our hands in the ground and get them dirty.
The microbes in the soil penetrate through the skin and enter the body through the air one breathes in. It might cause certain mild infections in the beginning, but eventually, your immune system will be stronger.
- Wash your body carefully:
Apart from your armpits and private areas, the rest of your body largely possesses good bacteria which can be washed off with soap. Therefore, it’s important to avoid using antibacterial soaps because they will prevent microbial resistance.
- Consider what you consume every day:
More often than not, the consumption of probiotics has gained traction. And it’s certainly not without evidence as probiotics help in treating eczema, depression and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, not much concrete evidence is present to support the effect of these probiotics on a person’s intestine.
These are some of the most effective ways through which you can promote a healthy gut. However, if the situation has not improved or it has worsened, it’s prudent to get immediate medical aid.
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