Gut Health: Why It Matters
Have you heard the term “Healthy Gut, Happy Life”? Well, it couldn't be more true. Our gut is the reason why we are healthy and safe.
The gastrointestinal tract also known as the gut is a part of the digestive system. The gut also contains trillions of “good” bacteria known as the gut microbiota; they’re unique to every individual and contribute to a person's overall health.
With that said, let’s dive deeper into why gut health matters so much..
The “good” bacteria (gut microbiota) in our gut breaks down undigested food particles from the small intestine. They contain specific enzymes that aid in the breakdown of nutrients that the body can’t digest. Then, the metabolic byproducts of this cause fermentation, which is beneficial to our overall health.
2. The Immune System
A whopping 70% of our immune system is housed in the gut. The gut wall acts as a barrier that prevents fungi, viruses and “bad” bacteria from entering the bloodstream. Neglecting the health of the gut could cause it to be more permeable, thus weakening our immune system.
3. Mood and Mental Health
Have you heard of the Gut-Brain Axis? The gut and brain are connected by a nerve that enables messages to be sent to your brain from your colon and vice versa. The gut microbiota can help the body produce more serotonin which regulates mood and levels of happiness and anxiety. That means an unhealthy gut could cause your mood and mental health to plummet.
4. Circadian Rhythms and Sleep
A lot of neurotransmitters that influence sleep are produced in the brain but also in the gut. These neurotransmitters include serotonin, dopamine and melatonin. Studies have also shown that the gut microbiome affects not only our cognitive function but also our circadian rhythms - an internal body clock that determines our sleep-wake cycle.
Gut health doesn’t directly cause bad skin, but it does contribute to it. Studies have shown that people with skin conditions such as rosacea were more likely to have gut disorders. This is the same with inflammatory skin conditions like acne and eczema, which could be a result of inflammation or imbalance in the gut.
So how do we keep the gut healthy and on its best behaviour?
Simple, eat your probiotics and prebiotics ! Find out more about them here.