Does Gut Microbiome Affect Your Health?

The term Gut microbiome stands for the tiny organisms present in your digestive system. It is necessary to have a healthy gut to ensure overall health. The microbes present in your gut play a significant role in determining how you would feel throughout your day. Is it easy to believe that there are around 500 different kinds of bacteria that live in the human digestive system? With so many organisms existing in your gut, just imagine the chaos if there is an imbalance to the entire system.  Gut health is directly related to most of the physical and mental disorders that we suffer from. It affects many areas such as:

  • Your overall mood
  • Mental health and stability
  • Resistance to diseases
  • Endocrine system
  • Skin health
  • Cancerous cells

So you should be aware of what promotes the growth of healthy gut microbiome and increase the intake of food encouraging the same. The following categories of items have properties that enhance the action of healthy bacteria and promote their growth.

The Importance of Gut Microbiome

The gut microbiota is imperative for your body as it produces essential capacities to breakdown non-digestible items such as fibre. This breakdown allows the growth of certain microbes that produce some acids and gases. The main short chain fatty acids (SCFA) produced by this specialist microbes are acetate, propionate, and butyrate. These help in controlling the digestion and boosting your immune system and affects many other areas of your health. So, it is super important that your gut microbiome remains balanced because an imbalance will cause many different diseases that you don’t want to have.

What Kind of Food Is Healthy for Your Gut?

  • Onion and garlic
  • Fiber-rich products
  • Collagen boosters
  • Fermented food

Signs That You Have an 

Unhealthy Gut

Most of the time, you can tell if there are dangerous microbes within your gut by the symptoms exhibited. The following are some sure signs that you need to pay attention to your health.

  • Sugar cravings
  • Stomach upsets
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Constant feeling of tiredness and fatigue
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Skin breakouts and irritation
  • The occurrence of Autoimmune diseases
  • Intolerance to certain kinds of foods.

Causes of Poor Gut Health

Digestion model
adult and child hands holding intestine shape, healthy bowel degestion, leaky gut, probiotics and prebotics for gut health, colon, gastric, stomach cancer concept

You might exhibit the symptoms of having an unhealthy gut listed above but it is also important that you also understand the causes behind such poor gut health. Here are some of the surprising things that negatively affect your gut microbiome:

  • Lack of diversity in food
  • Low amount of prebiotics
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • High antibiotic use
  • Irregular physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Lack of sleep
  • High amount of stress

How You Can Improve Your Gut Health Effectively?

We have seen how to recognize the symptoms of ill health. The next step is to learn about measures that can be adopted to improve gut health, which involves a few things that can be easily accomplished. Following them will help you lead a healthy life without having to rely on heavy medication. The important methods have been listed below:

Slow down while you eat and enjoy your food

Most of you rush through your meals to make up for the lost time. There is always some reason or the other to skip meals or swallow them hastily just so you can squeeze in one more meeting or finish one more assignment. Stop doing that and learn to enjoy your food. You will be amazed to know what you were missing. Take time to chew and swallow properly. While this will help the proper and complete digestion of food, it will also aid in the excellent absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream.

Drink lots of water and keep the body hydrated

Your body needs to be kept hydrated throughout the day. Water is an essential component that is required for all body functions. On average, you should take four liters of water per day. This keeps you intestinal bacteria healthy and also aids in improving gut functions. You will be easily exhausted if your gut bacteria refuse to work actively. Quench your thirst and keep them happy.

Sleep to your heart’s content

7 hours of sleep may sound like a dream to many. However, that is a fact that needs to be paid attention to. As life is rushing by and people are trying to catch up with so many agendas, they often neglect to notice that their body is getting tired. It needs rest and has to be energized. The sleep routine is important for giving the body time to rejuvenate. The body parts can’t function properly when you are sleep deprived. The entire digestive process is affected and your gut health will be severely damaged if this continues on a long term basis.

Consider taking prebiotics or probiotics to assist digestion

Prebiotics are supplements that keep your gut bacteria healthy. And probiotics are a form of good healthy gut bacteria that can be ingested. This post from Microbe Formulas explains the proper way to restore gut health quickly. Prebiotics and probiotics are an additional step to be taken if you feel that something is lacking. However, it should be adopted only after consultation with a medical

practitioner. The increase in live bacteria will help smoothen the gut processes immensely. If the doctor advises you to include any of these in your daily routine, follow his instructions closely.

Start eating clean, healthy foods

The importance of clean eating cannot be stressed enough. The harm you are causing to your body by consuming junk food is quite alarming. Nowadays it is so much easier to survive on processed fast food. No matter what the taste appears to be, the benefits your body gets from a simple home-cooked meal cannot be compromised while considering gut health. Eating clean helps you to improve the microbial health within and this brings effective changes in proper digestion.

Control your diet and incorporate a balanced diet in your lifestyle

Say no to high sugar, high-fat food. Follow a balanced diet with lots of healthy changes in lifestyle. Protein-rich food, high fiber items, intake of required carbohydrates, etc. promote the action of healthy bacteria and this leads to optimal energy production and all the body organs respond effectively. The resistance to external diseases increases along with strengthening the immune system.

Reduce stress and consider meditation

It is not possible to function properly when your mind is disturbed. If your gut health is low, the entire body feels it. This affects your mental health too. You feel tired and stressed out in everything you do. So to take away the stress, increase physical activity, get proper rest, take up new hobbies and also practice guided meditations. Reducing your stress levels will directly increase the proper functioning of the gut microbiome.

Improve your oral health

It is surprising to many that there is a strong link between your teeth and your gut. Studies show that the bacteria from your mouth can get into your stomach and cause all sorts of issues in the microbiome of your gut. So, it is important that you take good care of your teeth by brushing and flossing them regularly. In addition to this, regular dentist cleans, and check-ups will go a long way to keeping your gut microbiome healthy and sound. 

Avoid artificial sweeteners

Packets of artificial sweeteners
A stoneware container holding packets of artificial sweetener.

Studies with animals have shown that artificial sweeteners affect gut microbiome adversely. For instance, rats were given one of the artificial sweeteners; their blood sugar levels increased sharply, however, there bodies were not able to use the insulin produced effectively. Similarly, a study with humans also showed comparable results where blood sugars were spiked. As such, it is recommended that you avoid artificial sweeteners for the sake of your gut microbiome. 

Have more dark chocolate and polyphenols rich food

Dark chocolate assortment
Assorted chocolate bar and chunks, background. Flat lay with a multitude of chocolate kinds. Delicious cocoa dessert. Baking chocolate collection.

This may come as a surprise as we had advocated for healthy and less sugary food throughout this article to improve gut microbiome. However, dark chocolate contains polyphenols which are fibre-rich and plant-based molecules that pass through your intestines which the gut microbiome use as food. These polyphenols contain anti-inflammatory properties, help control blood pressure & cholesterol levels among many benefits. 

The list below shows foods that contain high amounts of polyphenols and are great for the health of your gut microbiome:

  • Broccoli
  • Blueberries
  • Green tea
  • Dark chocolate
  • Almonds
  • Onions
  • Cocoa.

As a concluding note, it is very important to note how the lifestyle you follow can harm or help your health. So, make sure you are incorporating lots of healthy choices combined with a stress-free environment. While it is common knowledge that you cannot control what goes on with the outside world, learning to keep calm in all situations is the best way to de-stress yourself. Concentrate on your health and start making life-changing decisions.