Research has finally begun to recognize the vital importance of a healthy gut. Imbalances in gut flora have been scientifically linked to a range of health issues, impacting everything from mood and inflammation to pain and weight gain. In particular, correlations have been found between gut health and the following:
Eating Disorders – Research has uncovered a very strong link between disordered eating behaviors and gut health, specifically the presence of a certain protein made by intestinal bacteria. The presence of this protein leads to an unfavorable reaction between antibodies and satiety hormones, impacting the regulation of “feeding, energy regulation and anxiety.” Yet another reason why a healthy microbiome, i.e. balanced gut health, is vital to your health and wellness, both physically and mentally. One major way to promote and improve gut health is by consuming more probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods to feed the good gut bacteria.
Mood & Cognition – Gut health has been linked with everything from Autism and ADD/ADHD to symptoms of depression, anxiety, brain fog, even memory issues. A healthy gut is necessary for your body to properly digest and process nutrients, including playing a major role in the processing and functioning of neurotransmitter activity, including serotonin levels which are responsible for mood.
Willpower & Cravings – Do you ever feel like sometime you have excellent “willpower” to abstain from eating unhealthy foods, whereas other times you feel out of control with cravings? Your gut health plays a vital role in this.
Immune System Functioning – Over 75% of your immune system is housed within your digestive system. When you take antibiotics or use antibacterial products you are killing the good bacteria, creating a breeding ground for the bad bacteria to take over. When properly balanced, there are trillions and trillions of good bacteria keeping you healthy. When you disturb this balance, you put yourself at risk for digestive problems, poor immune system functioning, and a range of other issues.
If you are having health issues, consider the state of your gut flora. Stay tuned for our next blog article which will outline ways that you can promote gut health and improve functioning.