The human body’s biggest population of microorganisms is situated in the intestine. They are collectively known as your gut flora or gut microbiota. These various microorganisms reside in your unique microbiome. Likewise, these play a significant role to your overall health. To note, your microbiome is commonly known as your gut.
The status of your gut health is identified through the balance of bacteria in the areas of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Your GI tract allows food to travel from the mouth down to the stomach. It then turns what you’ve eaten into consumable nutrients and stored energy. A well-conditioned digestive system processes all the vitamins, mineral, and macro- and micronutrients from food. Then, material that can no longer be used is expelled from the body. The body’s organs such as the esophagus, stomach, and intestines cooperate in harmony in order for you to consume and digest food without discomfort.
Although each microbiome is different, there are certain criteria which determine its general condition. Significantly, healthy individuals have wide scope of microorganisms. You need to bear in mind that the more species of bacteria you have, the greater health advantages they may bring to your digestive health. On the other hand, an unhealthy person may have less variation in their microbiome. This may potentially be due to a large colony of bacteria which accompanies certain diseases. Such disorders may vary from mild to severe cases. For instance, constipation is an example of a mild complication, while small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is regarded as a serious one.
The Impact of Your Lifestyle on Your Gut Health
Your lifestyle can affect your digestive health. There is growing acknowledgement towards the role of certain physical and environmental factors in regulating the gut microbiota. The sum of all these influences constitutes to our health.
A healthy digestive system blocks harmful microbes from turning into diseases. Your digestive system has default mechanisms that fight against these alarming bacteria. For instance, your digestive acids neutralize invasive bacteria in your stomach. Considering this, you need to be mindful of your lifestyle choices in order to support your gut health.
Fix Your Diet!
Notably, the food that you consume greatly impacts the strains of bacteria in your stomach. Macronutrients, in particular, play a huge role in regulating the activity and constituents of these complex colonies.
Eat a variety of food
There are hundreds of kinds of microorganisms in your intestines. Each of them serves a specific role in your health and may demand various nutrients for their growth. Due to this, you should incorporate a wide array of food into your daily meals.
You may start by eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, prebiotic-rich foods, and fermented foods. All of these healthy foods can enhance the condition of your gut health. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients for healthy gut flora. They are high in fiber, which can be digested by particular microorganisms in your gut. Other foods that are rich in fiber are legumes like beans, green peas, chickpeas, lentils, and the like.
Likewise, fermented foods are suggested to promote bacterial growth. The method of fermenting such food commonly incorporates bacteria or yeasts. These microorganisms convert sugar to organic acids that benefit your microbiota. Additionally, prebiotics can stimulate the growth of beneficial microbes by feeding them the right nutrients. Such pre-biotic rich foods include kimchi, tempeh, miso, kefir, and sauerkraut.
Refrain from consuming artificial sweeteners
The gut microbial system serves a key function in your metabolism. However, overconsumption of food with artificial sweeteners can negatively influence your digestive tract. These sweeteners may affect your system by modifying the balance of bacterial colonies in your gut. This may eventually result in glucose intolerance.
These additives are utilized as alternatives for sugar and can be found in many processed food items. Hence, it is important to be mindful with our food intake to protect our gut health.
Avoid all fast foods
Fast foods are commonly high in fat and low in fiber. Overindulgence of these foods may hinder the growth of good bacteria. Notably, good bacteria aids in producing short chain fatty acids. Eventually, when these fatty acids are disrupted, this may cause inflammation.
Our gut microbiota interrelates with the immune cells within the gut. Studies have suggested that when you frequently treat yourself with fast food, the condition of your digestive health will be negatively altered. Furthermore, this may also contribute to poor immune function alongside inflammation.
Take probiotic supplements
Probiotics are live good bacteria. When ingested, they can contribute to specific health benefits. Some studies even report that probiotics can enhance how certain bacteria operate and the kinds of chemicals they generate in the stomach. Likewise, probiotics modify the overall composition of your gut health and facilitate a smooth metabolism.
Fix Your Exercise Routine
Apart from good cardiovascular health and weight loss, working out may strengthen gut microbial diversity.
This type of workout targets the abdominal muscles, which stimulates the digestive system. There are varied crunch exercises that you can incorporate into your routine like reverse crunches, long arm crunches, and vertical leg crunches.
Core muscles and other muscles in your abdomen promote bowel movement, and these exercises can help shed belly fat. Because crunches may burn belly fat, this may, in turn, minimize the likelihood of inflammation. Accordingly, this may help prevent digestive issues such as bloating.
Low impact cardio such as brisk walking is regarded as the simplest exercise that you can easily incorporate into your regimen. Walking for 30–40 minutes a day may help prevent you from developing digestive disorders and certain conditions. It also prompts regular bowel contractions, which smooth out digestive functions.
Breathing Exercises and Yoga
Breathing exercises not only benefit your overall well-being, but they can also enhance your gut health. Practicing proper breathing may help fight against bloating, heartburn, and acid reflux. This is why it is important to create time for mindful breathing exercises. This activity helps in relieving stress and inflammation, which in turn may aid in proper digestion.
Yoga is another calming activity that reduces stress which, consequently, affects the condition of your microbial system. Yoga poses such as child’s pose, boat pose, bow pose, and the like relax the abdominal muscles and aid in intestinal potency.
Summing It Up
Your gut microbiome plays an integral role in maintaining your overall health and immune function. Hence, you must learn to look after it by improving your lifestyle habits. Through this, you can modify the diversity and number of your microbiota for the better.
A happy and healthy gut aids in fighting against potential illnesses and digestive disorders. Eating a variety of nutritious foods and exercising regularly may optimize the condition of your digestive health.