Everyone knows having a healthy body, in general, is good for you so it should come as no surprise that having a healthy gut is also critical. But just how important is a healthy gut for our overall health?
A healthy gut has many great effects and in general, will help prevent digestion issues. In the long run, this means you'll reduce the likelihood of diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
A common misconception is that what goes on inside the gut only affects the gut. People envision a healthy gut preventing gut-related issues such as bloating or pain. However, your gut connects to the rest of the body from your brain to your nervous system. And the key player in your gut to maintaining a healthy relationship with your entire body is your microbiome.
The bacteria and microorganisms that make up the stomach and small intestines are called the microbiome. It is the "gut bacteria" in simpler terms. We can refer to it also as "gut health."
The microbiome is a key player in helping your body's immune response.
Firstly, everyone has a unique microbiome, there is no one size fits all version of the microbiome as it varies from person to person based on their diet, environment, stress levels, medications, and even how they were born. That last part may come as a bit of a surprise, but the truth is that vaginal birth leads to a more diverse microbiome, than delivery via Cesarean section. This is because the birth canal provides exposure to a wide pool of diverse bacteria.
Chronic conditions that may be prevented by a healthy microbiome include:
Maintaining a healthy gut isn't something done once, it's a consistent effort and does require some lifestyle changes. While there are many steps to be done that will allow you to maintain a healthy microbiome some key factors include a healthy diet and managing your stress.
Limit red meat
Limit processed meat
Eat fiber (20 to 40 grams per day typically is recommended by eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds; but introduce more fiber slowly to avoid bloating, and drink plenty of water)
A healthy diet is key to gut health and reduces the likelihood of health issues.