Your body contains trillions of viruses, fungi, and bacteria known as the microbiome. Some people may be disgusted at this idea because viruses, bacteria, and fungi are linked to disease. However, they actually play an essential part in the health of your heart, immune system, weight, and other health factors. Your microbiome starts when you are born, as you collect microbes from your mother.
As you age, your gut microbiome diversifies and will begin to have different types of microbial species. A diverse microbiome is generally linked to better health, and an interesting fact is that the food you eat affects your gut bacteria.
Many people develop dysbiosis, or leaky gut, which can fuel inflammation and lead to other types of disease. Working on improving your gut health can help to improve dysbiosis. Some other reasons gut health is so important are listed below.
Positive Impact on Blood Sugar
A diverse, healthy gut microbiome may help properly regulate blood sugar levels, which may lower the risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. One study discovered that even when people ate the same exact foods, their individual blood sugar levels could greatly vary.
Researchers believe that the blood sugar regulation is linked to the bacteria types in the gut. When people have leaky guts, they have an increase in inflammation which causes a reduction in insulin sensitivity. If they work on improving their gut health, inflammation lowers and they find their blood sugar regulation improving.
The Link Between Gut Health and Brain Health
If you’ve ever heard the term “gut feeling,” you may have put together the link between gut health and your brain health. What’s really interesting is that the gut sends messages to the brain and vice versa, but it’s not completely clear as to which comes first. Certain species of bacteria in the gut help produce neurotransmitters in the brain. Serotonin, one of the happiness chemicals, is mostly produced in the gut.
The gut is physically connected to the brain through a network made up of millions of nerves. One of the theories is that the microbiome may have an impact on brain health by assisting in controlling the messages sent to the brain through the nerves.
Studies on people with psychological disorders have shown a difference in their gut bacteria versus neurotypical people. This suggests that the gut microbiome influences brain health. The good news is that there are steps you can take to improve your gut health, and taking certain strains of probiotics has improved mental health disorders.
How to Improve Your Gut Health
There are steps you can take to improve your microbiome. Many of them are easy tweaks, and implementing them as soon as possible can help you make the biggest impact on your health. What can you do to take better care of your gut health?
- Eat a wide variety of foods. When you eat various foods, this can promote a diverse microbiome.
- Consume fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and yogurt, as all of these foods contain healthy bacteria.
- Eat a certain type of fiber called prebiotic foods that stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria.
Improve Your Gut Health
If you’re lost on where to start, working with a doctor like Dr. Leo can get you on the right track to better health. Dr. Leo will take your health information, possibly run tests, and help get to the root cause of your ailments. Don’t wait any longer – make 2023 the year you take back your health!
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