I don’t mean to alarm you — but I thought you should know that you are not alone right now.
Don’t worry, these little pals keeping you company are friendly for the most part. They are microorganisms that live in the gut microbiome. In other words — they are part of digestion.
According to the Food and Mood Center — “These bacteria live in your digestive system and play a key role in digesting food you eat, and they help with absorbing and synthesizing nutrients too. Gut bugs are involved in many other important processes that extend beyond your gut, including your metabolism, body weight, and immune regulation, as well as your brain functions and mood.”
Pretty neat, huh? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
What Is The Gut?
“I have a gut feeling about this.”
I’m sure you’ve heard that at one point or another.
But what exactly is the gut?
Essentially, the gut is part of the gastrointestinal tract. The major parts include:
We put food in our mouths, it goes through the digestive system, and out… errr — you know where.
At least that’s the simple version.
There are hundreds of thousands of little bacteria, archaea, viruses, and fungi in the digestive tract that either aid or cause havoc to parts of our overall health.
A Happy Gut
We need good bacteria in our system — so we need to give our gut lots of good nutrients for those to thrive.
It’s like sending the Pawns out to battle to protect the King in a game of Chess.
What foods should we eat then? Let’s break it down.
The Best Foods To Eat For Gut Health:
Foods To Limit For Gut Health:
Okay — we’ve talked about what the gut is, the microorganisms in the gut, and what to do to maintain a healthy gut.
But what does this have to do with our energy levels?
Our gut is extremely complex. In fact, it’s often called “the second brain”. What happens in the gut will ultimately impact other parts of the body — including energy.
Think of it this way, if you don’t put gas in your car, it’s not going to start, right?
And if you put the wrong kind of gas in your car, it’ll cause problems.
So, if we’re not giving our bodies the opportunity to build good bacteria, or giving our bodies foods lacking in proper nutrients, we’re going to be running on low steam.
Ahhh… Dopamine and Serotonin. Those good little chemicals in the body that make us feel like the sun is shining and the birds are chirping.
Did you know that 90% of serotonin receptors are located in the gut according to Harvard Health.
That is a hugepercent.
If we’re continuously throwing our digestive tract into chaos — it’s going to have some major repercussions on our mood and how we feel day to day.
On the flip side, if we are filling our bodies with healthy foods, thus providing a good little home for healthy bacteria, we’re going to feel pretty good.
More Than Just Food
Our diet plays a huge part in gut health. But there are other ways to make sure you are treating your insides well.
The gut follows natural sleep patterns. A disruption to regular sleep can cause problems in maintaining a healthy gut.
Working out helps the diversity of the bacteria in the system. The more healthy bacteria, the better.
Stress in the brain causes stress to the whole body. Stress will reduce the number of good bacteria and increase the bad bacteria.
Pay attention to your gut — instincts and otherwise. Take necessary steps to make sure your gut is happy, because when your gut is happy, you are healthy.
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