A Healthy Gut Makes A Healthy Life

When we talk about gut health, we tend to trivialise it as purely a digestive problem. Not many people know that the gut refers to the entire gastrointestinal tract, which runs from the esophagus till the back passage of the intestine. With almost 70% of immune responses activated in our gastrointestinal tract[1], our gut plays a far more important role than maintaining good digestion.

An unhealthy gut not only perpetuates digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea, it leads to severe chronic illnesses including inflammatory bowel diseases, autoimmune disorders, obesity and cancer.

The gut serves as one of our human body’s primary defense forces to fight against diseases, absorb nutrients to perform essential functions, and facilitates information exchange with the brain. It is no wonder that the phrase ‘gut feel’ exists, because our gut does – in fact – communicate with our brain[2] to know what it’s thinking and feeling. So, next time if you have a gut feeling about something, it’s probably your brain trying to convey a message.


What Affects Our Gut Health?


The balance of good bacteria and immune cells, across various parts of the gastrointestinal tract, maintains our gut health[3]. If there is a surge in bad bacteria, you may start to experience some digestive problems that you can alleviate by taking more fruits, vegetables and probiotics. In the event that symptoms worsen and persist, it may imply underlying health conditions that require medical attention.


What Are the Signs of An Unhealthy Gut?

The initial symptoms of an unhealthy gut are not hard to guess. It very much relates to what we associate with poor digestion including: gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and heartburn.

If the imbalance of bad bacteria in the gut continues, some people may even face difficulty in digesting certain types of food and form intolerances over time. This is unlike a food allergy – typically long-term – where the response is triggered by your immune system, rather it is a temporary reaction initiated by your digestive system that can be resolved through lifestyle intervention.

Sometimes, the people around you may be more sensitive to your gut problems than yourself due to bad breath. Odor-causing microbes may reside in your gums[4] if there is an imbalance of good and bad bacteria.

Apart from digestive problems, there is also a chance that an unhealthy gut may cause sleep disturbances and insomnia in some instances. This eventually leads to chronic fatigue and affect your day-to-day performance.

In the long run, immunity is compromised if your gut stays unhealthy. Since good bacteria interact with immune cells in the gastrointestinal tract, an unhealthy gut affects the ability of your body to fight against infectious agents[5]. This may cause you to fall sick much more frequently than your counterparts, especially during a flu season.

You may find it hard to believe that gut health could also affect your mood. Some mental health conditions arise due to deficiencies in micronutrients that are critical to our cognitive functions. An unhealthy gut could aggravate such conditions as it in unable to absorb the nutrients[6]. Like how regular exercise improves our mood by stimulating the production of endorphins, a healthy gut produces similar ‘happy’ hormones, dopamine and serotonin – making us feel more positive. Your gut affects how you feel.


Keeping Your Gut Healthy

The key to keeping your gut healthy is maintaining an active and balanced lifestyle. Regular exercise that stimulates bowel movements helps to keep your gastrointestinal tract in optimal condition and prevents bad bacteria from accumulating.

Dietary wise, try to avoid processed and sugary food because those are what the bad bacteria feed on. Eat more fruits and vegetables instead, including natural sources of prebiotics such as asparagus and bananas, during your meals as they help to promote the growth of good bacteria. It is even better if you can also include some natural probiotics such as yogurt and kefir. If it is challenging for you to make it a daily habit, opt for Premium Probiotics 10 that comes in sachets of powder that you can add into your cup of coffee, tea or fruit juice.

It takes only simple steps to improve your gut health. If you are currently experiencing signs of an unhealthy gut, start adjusting your lifestyle to improve your digestion and overall well-being.

[1] Do you know that 70% immunity lies in your gut? Source
[2] Your Gut Feeling: A Healthier Digestive System Means A Healthier You Source
[3] What is ‘gut health’ and why is it important? Source
[4] 8 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut Source
[5] How your gut health affects your immune system Source
[6] 8 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut Source

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