Why it matters and how to improve – Flux Magazine

Al Woods words

When you hear the word gut, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the bulge in your midsection. Anyway, your gut and its impact on your health and well-being is more detailed. Your gut refers to your digestive system, including the intestines and stomach. Recent studies have confirmed that the gut is linked to everything from your immune system to your mental health.

Why is gut health important?

Why should you pay more attention to your gut health? Well, your gut is responsible for maintaining healthy bacteria, fighting off harmful bacteria, digesting and breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, and preventing life-changing illnesses. It also helps ensure that your brain, heart, immune system, hormones, skin, and weight stay balanced and functioning properly.

Signs of poor gut health

Now that you know how your gut contributes to your overall health and well-being, how do you know when something is wrong? There are a few signs to watch out for, including gas, constipation, bloating, sugar cravings, sleep issues, skin issues, unintended weight fluctuations, and food intolerances. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, as there may be more serious consequences.

Ways to improve gut health

Improving your gut health can essentially improve your quality of life. Below is an overview of some practical solutions to change things up.

  • Take probiotics – Maintaining a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut isn’t easy. This is why some people decide to take probiotics. These are live bacteria that are beneficial to your digestive system. Although a general probiotic may suffice, a multi-strain probiotic may be needed if you are dealing with significant bowel issues.
  • Fermented foods – Along with probiotic supplements, adding fermented foods to your diet can help improve gut health. The best sources are sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, sourdough bread, apple cider vinegar, and yogurt.
  • Reduce sugar intake – Treating yourself to the occasional dessert or sugar-filled indulgence is fine, but too much sugar can lead to poor gut health. Pay attention to the foods you eat to make sure they don’t contain too much refined or artificial sugar. Instead, switch to natural sweeteners like agave, raw honey, or stevia.
  • To manage stress – They don’t call stress the silent killer for nothing. When you are emotionally overwhelmed, it can cause gut health issues. Learn to keep stress under control meditating, exercising, relaxing and getting a massage.
  • Take antibiotics responsibly – Doctors prescribe antibiotics to help patients fight infection and disease. Although effective, they can also eliminate healthy gut bacteria. Therefore, you need to take antibiotics responsibly. Long term or overuse of antibiotics can cause serious problems. So, keep in touch with your doctor and stop the medication as soon as possible. You should also make sure to take a probiotic supplement and increase your intake of fermented foods while taking your prescriptions.
  • Stop smoking – Smoking cigarettes, cigars, and even vapes can alter the state of your gut, causing imbalances that lead to serious health issues. If you’ve developed this bad habit over the years, it’s time to quit. You can go cold turkey or ask your doctor for resources like patches, pills, and gum to quit smoking for good.
  • Rest – Missing a night or two of sleep might not seem like much, but if sleep deprivation is common, it could be impacting your gut health. Make sure you get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Create a sleep schedule, relax before bed, and improve your sleeping environment (bedroom) if needed.

After reading this article, chances are you’ll have a whole new perspective on what the gut is and how it contributes to your health and well-being. If you want to improve existing medical issues or improve your well-being, pay attention to your gut. If you recognize signs of trouble, use the solutions above to get things under control. If problems persist, contact a doctor or specialist immediately for further treatment and recommendations.

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