The Ins And Outs Of Gut Health

Many people are becoming more concerned about their gut health, but it can be difficult to understand the basics as you sift through online resources about gut health.

This article will outline the essentials you need to know, including what exactly your gut is, why gut health is important, and how bacteria and lifestyle habits affect gut health.

Gut functions
The word “gut” is another term for your gastrointestinal tract, which is a very important component of your digestive system. It is basically a long tube that goes through your mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.

As you chew your food, your saliva helps break down the food, and then, once you swallow, the food is sent to your stomach through your esophagus. When your food gets to your stomach, it is further broken down, and bacteria are killed by acid and peptic enzymes. After that, your food moves from your stomach to your small intestine.

The small intestine turns proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into amino acids, fatty acids, and sugars, which are sent through your bloodstream. Whatever material is left over goes to your large intestine, where sugars, starches, and proteins are fermented into short-chain acids – a form of energy. Additionally, salt and water are extracted from the large intestine. The last step in the process is for waste products to be flushed out in the form of feces.

Importance of a healthy gut
Research has shown that your gut affects many aspects of your overall health, including fat loss, inflammation, mental health, and skin issues. Although many health problems begin in your gut, they can also be stopped by good gut health.

Bacteria and lifestyle effects on gut health
Your gut’s microbiome (all the bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microbes) is complex, and everyone’s microbiome is different. However, everyone should follow a few guidelines to know what is healthy and what is not.

If you have gut health issues, your microbiome is less diverse and includes more disease bacteria than that of a healthy person. For example, poor gut health can increase inflammation, weaken your immune system, increase your asthma and allergies risks, cause or worsen diabetes and heart disease, and magnify anxiety and depression.

Poor lifestyle habits such as eating non-nutritious food, going on restrictive diets, stress, inadequate sleep, smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking certain medications and antibiotics all negatively impact your gut health.