What is the gut microbiome and why is it important?
Gut microbiota is the name given to the trillions of microbes residing in our intestines. These are extremely important for your immune system and digestive processes. Gut microbiota can weigh approximately 2 kg. One-third of the gut microbiota is similar in most people, while two-thirds of it is individual- specific. In other words, the microbiome in your intestine is your unique identity.
Despite its uniqueness, it carries out the same physiological functions in each individual. Some of the functions are:
- It helps in the digestion of certain foods that have been digested by the stomach and small intestine.
- It helps with the production of some vitamin B12 and vitamin K2.
- It helps us combat the negative effects of bad gut bacteria to maintain an optimum gut environment.
- It plays an important role in maintaining the immune system, by performing a barrier effect towards foreign microorganisms.
There are many factors in your daily life that can affect gut bacteria. These include:
- High-stress levels
- Too little sleep
- Consuming processed and high-sugar foods
- Intake of antibiotics
An upset gut environment can lead to other health issues, such as the brain, heart, immune system, skin, weight, hormone levels, ability to absorb nutrients, and even the development of cancer.
Learn many ways to maintain an optimum gut environment.
Lower your stress levels
Anxiety and chronic stress can be hard on your gut health. Reduce your stress levels by including meditation, walking, getting a massage, spending time with friends or family, diffusing essential oils.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep and maintaining a proper biological clock plays an essential role in improving gut health. Taking 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night is recommended.
Slow and thorough chewing promotes better digestion and absorption of nutrients. This helps in maintaining a healthy gut.
Staying hydrated has a beneficial effect on the intestinal mucosa. It also helps to maintain a balance of positive gut microbes.
Check for food intolerances
Symptoms such as cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rashes, nausea, fatigue, and acid reflux, are indicative of food intolerances. Eliminating common trigger foods can help to control the symptoms and improve digestive health.
Change your diet
Reducing the amount of processed, high-sugar, and high-fat foods that you eat can contribute to better gut health. Also, eating plenty of plant-based foods and lean protein can positively impact your gut.
The human gut is more complex than previously thought and has a huge impact on whole-body health. There are several lifestyle changes you can adopt for positive gut health and overall well- being.