Why Gut Health Is So Important

Did you know that gut health affects literally everything in your body? The gastrointestinal system is the main “portal” for taking in and processing nutrients, but it also serves a communication center and disease fighter. From your nervous and immune systems to your mental health and digestive function, a healthy gut plays a pivotal role in your overall well-being.

But what does “gut health” mean? How does it affect other parts of your body? And what can you do to improve your gut health if it’s out of balance?

When we talk about gut health, we’re really talking about the bacteria in the microbiome, and the vast majority of the “microbiome magic” happens in your large intestine.

Think of the microbiome as the environment inside the large intestine, specifically the trillions of bacteria that live there. In fact, there are more bacteria in your gut than there are stars in the Milky Way.

Microbiome diversity is important. The microbiome contains both good bacteria and bad bacteria, known as gut flora. The good bacteria feeds on fiber, including both soluble and insoluble fiber in our diets. The bad bacteria feed on elements in simple sugars and processed foods. Our body has an important, symbiotic relationship with our microbiome: it takes in all these microorganisms, digests them and then produces other compounds that our body can use. So, while some of these bacteria are harmful to our health and others are beneficial, they both need to be there.

What factors affect the health of our gut?

While several factors can contribute to poor gut health, some of the most common can include:

  • Stress: This increases intestinal permeability (leaky gut), tipping the scales toward an imbalance of more bad than good bacteria in the gut.
  • Poor nutrition: Most people eat processed food and sugar, which can harm the beneficial bacteria in your gut and contribute to or cause inflammation throughout the body.
  • Long-term use of antibiotics and antacids – They all decrease B12 within the gut, which is essential in cell production, brain function and energy. They also kill the good bacteria that live in your gut. However, it’s important to note that there is a time and a place for these medications, but it’s best to consult with your physician before using them.

Linking Gut Health and Overall Well-Being

According to the National Institutes of Health, digestive diseases affect 60 million to 70 million Americans, ranging from gallstones and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Gut-related issues span beyond your GI tract. 

An unhealthy gut can appear as gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea, but it can present itself in many other forms as well. Autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s Disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, where your immune system is attacking different parts of the body, can also be a sign of an unhealthy gut. Brain fog, headaches, poor concentration and memory, fatigue, chronic pain, trouble sleeping and issues with cravings or bad moods are also symptoms and critical indicators of a poor microbiome.

Gut balance also has a profound effect on the brain. More than 90 percent of the serotonin, the hormone that makes us feel happy, is produced in the gut. Food cravings often originate from this connection. And psychological stress can negatively affect your gut health, causing inflammation and emotional eating.

Because the gut forges such a strong connection with so many other elements of our well-being, it’s important to keep it healthy.

How To Improve Gut Health

To balance your gut flora for a healthy microbiome, follow these tips for better health.

  • Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Besides providing a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, they’re also a good source of fiber — the main fuel for those bacteria. Aim for three large servings of vegetables a day with at least four or five different sources of vegetables.
  • Include nuts, seeds and legumes in your diet. Examples include cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, black beans and lentils. They’re all excellent sources of both fiber and protein.
  • Eat whole grains. They provide another great source of dietary fiber. Eat a variety of whole grains, including barley, brown rice, bulgur, millet, oats, quinoa, whole wheat breads and cereals.
  • Eat both prebiotic and probiotic foods, which help boost the population and diversity of good bacteria. They may help to reduce gut inflammation and stimulate the gut’s natural immune system. 
    • Prebiotics: almonds, apples, bananas, broccoli, flax seeds, garlic, onions  
    • Probiotics: fermented foods such as kimchi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, tempeh, yogurt
  • Take supplements. If you don’t consumer enough prebiotic and probiotic foods, consider taking supplements to maintain a healthy gut.
  • Limit antibiotics. Avoid taking antibiotics if you don’t need them, such as if you have a common cold. Why? Antibiotics can wipe out both bad and good bacteria.
  • Managing their stress levels, practicing mindfulness, getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night and exercising are also very beneficial for the gut.

Remember, healing your gut will take time, dedication and consistency. Your microbiome didn’t get unhealthy overnight, so you aren’t going to fix it overnight either. Eating healthy and managing your stress will go a long way in getting you on the road to recovery and optimal gut health. 

To make sure that I am getting what I need to keep my gut healthy, I take a daily delicious Green Glow Shot with the following supplements:

Gut Health Digestion & Microbiome Support  – Designed to amplify the benefits of a healthy diet, this powder-based dietary supplement mixes easily with water so its blend of prebiotics, probiotics and enzymes can work synergistically with your body to promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

BeWell Superfood Greens – One scoop of this versatile, vegan superfood powder delivers a blend of 36 fruits and vegetables in each serving for a boost of greens. Featuring prebiotic fiber and phytonutrients along with a natural, deep-green color courtesy of Blue-Green Algae derived from Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheatgrass and Barley Grass, this vegan nutrition supplement provides the benefits of eating the full color spectrum of fruits and vegetables.

SkinElixir Collagen Builder – This vegan dietary supplement features antioxidant Vitamin C to help build collagen to support normal skin, Hyaluronic Acid that helps skin retain moisture to support and maintain smooth looking skin and Biotin to support and maintain healthy hair, skin and nails. But, by helping your body increase it’s collagen production, this is also very beneficial for the lining of your gut!

Just add 1 serving of each to 10 ounces of water, stir til dissolved and take the shot! 

If you have any questions about gut health or the Green Gut Glow, please reach out to me. I love helping people get healthy so they can feel great and live their very best life!


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