Wellness Wednesday with Lauren
You’ve probably heard that having a balanced gut microbiome plays a very important role in your health. But what exactly does this mean? Good gut health occurs when you have a balance between the good (helpful) and bad (potentially harmful) bacteria and yeast in your digestive system. Instability of the gut microbiome can be caused by many factors, including infection, diet, exercise, sleep pattern, exposure to antibiotics, and various co-morbidities. Along with that, 80% of your immune system is in the gut, and the majority of your body’s serotonin is too. So when your gut is imbalanced you are more susceptible to getting sick, as well as experiencing mood swings and depression.
Poor diet is one of the biggest causes of gut imbalance. While good bacteria thrive on things like fiber and plant foods, bad bacteria and yeast love processed foods and sugar. And when your diet is full of processed foods and sugar, as many Western diets are, the well-fed bad bacteria start to overtake the good. Making better food choices involves eating a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. These foods provide the fiber needed to build good bacteria and guard gut health. That said, while certain foods may be generally categorized as “gut-healthy foods,” you also have to consider any potential food intolerances that may be unique to you. Such intolerances can contribute to a “loose” or permeable gut wall— also referred to as “leaky gut.”
Diet diversity is key in establishing a good gut microbiome, but there are also some other steps that you can take to achieve optimal results. One of the major ones is to avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily. Antibiotics are damaging to the gut microbiota and immunity, with some research reporting that even 6 months after their use, the gut still lacks several species of beneficial bacteria. Reducing your stress levels, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and using natural cleaning products, are also all recommended to help benefit your gut.
So now you know gut health plays a huge role in the well-being of our bodies. Not only does it aid in digesting food and absorbing nutrients, it’s also key in immune function, energy levels, and mood disorders. Creating a strong foundation in your gut can help optimize your life, and allow you to live healthier for years to come.
*All information presented is intended for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho