Did you know that the human body is home to millions, even trillions, of microorganisms? Called human microbiota, these microbes can be found on the skin and inside the nose, mouth, and throat. Most of them, however, are found in the gut.
While some microorganisms can cause infections, most of the time, they are not harmless. In fact, studies show that good bacteria are vital for growth, immune function, and healthy digestion. These bacteria can even affect an individual’s susceptibility to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease — diseases that are strongly associated with gut health.
5 ways to improve gut health
1. Taking a gut microbiome test
Do you want to be in better control of your gut health? Remove the guesswork by taking EasyDNA’s Gut Microbiome Test. Through this test, you gain access to valuable information concerning the health of your digestive tract.
Using the latest laboratory technology and scientific knowledge, the test will show you the bacteria living in your gut, how they affect your health, and the health issues that you might be susceptible to. You will also know if you are getting enough fiber, fat, and protein from your diet.
The microbiome report includes dietary recommendations and detailed information about your test results, which you can receive 15-20 working days from the time the laboratory receives your samples.
Through this test, you will know exactly what is going on inside your gut, empowering you to make specific choices to optimize your health in the most natural and effective way possible
2. Good and diverse food choices
The first thing you should do to improve your gut health is to make better food choices. Your diet should be comprised of a variety of healthy foods including the following:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Fermented foods such as yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi
- Whole grains
- Green tea
On the contrary, it is advisable to minimize the consumption of these foods:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Fried foods
3. Regular exercise
Regular physical activity also has beneficial effects on gut health. According to recent studies, the gut microbiome can change with exercise, which is not surprising since gut microbes are highly sensitive to the changes in the human host’s environment and activity.
In particular, regular exercise can cause the increase of gut microbes that reduce the risk of diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. However, be warned that stopping exercise can revert these changes, so it is important to make it a part of your daily routine.
4. Taking probiotic supplements
Taking a probiotic supplement might not have a dramatic impact on healthy people, but it can help a person suffering from digestive issues. Probiotics, which are live microorganisms, don’t reside in the gut permanently, but they can change the overall environment of the microbiota. This can improve a person’s gut bacteria function and enhance their metabolism.
5. Careful use of antibiotics
Antibiotics are helpful in fighting infections, but they can also kill the good bacteria residing in the gut. Thus, you should take antibiotics very sparingly and only when needed. Many mild conditions, such as your sore throat or cold, are more likely to be caused by a virus anyway.
The importance of gut health
Gut health is the term used to describe the condition of the community of bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract. The primary purpose of the gut is to break down the food we eat so that nutrients can be delivered throughout the body, and the presence of diverse good bacteria is necessary for this function to be effectively carried out.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the same microbiota. The microorganisms inside the body are ever changing and are sensitive to several factors such as food. Hence, a person with a bad diet might have more bad bacteria in their gut than good bacteria. In addition, a person who only consumes a few types of foods might have an imbalanced gut, which can also cause diseases.
Aside from IBS and Crohn’s disease, people who have poor gut health often experience digestive issues such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, indigestion, and abdominal pain. More signs of gut health issues include bloody stool, black stool, vomiting, and unintended weight loss.
Improving your gut health is the only way to prevent these issues
Trillions of microorganisms inhabit the human body, and most of them can be found in the gut. In order to achieve overall health, it is essential to maintain a diverse and balanced microbiome composition in the gut, which improves digestive functions, metabolism, and prevents diseases.
For you to be in better control of your health, remember to eat a healthy and diverse diet, exercise regularly, and take probiotics. Finally, take a Gut Microbiome Test to help you make specific choices according to what your body truly needs.