A healthy gut supports overall health and wellbeing in many important ways. The gut plays many more functions than simply digestion, and is closely linked to the health of many other systems within our body.
For example, approximately 80 per cent of the immune system is located within the gut. Frequently referred to as an additional ‘brain,’ the gut is comprised of neurons which make up our Enteric Nervous System – which produces neurotransmitters like serotonin, the chemical responsible for inducing a positive mood. In recent years we’ve begun to really understand the importance of the gut on our overall health.
The gut contains microbes with good and bad bacteria. These microbes can have an effect on your entire health including your metabolism, your weight, your body’s ability to fight viruses and your mood. However, recent scientific studies reveal the reason so many digestive diseases in the gut are on the rise is because of an imbalance of our micro biome.
Our micro biome is the genetic material of all our bacteria. Acting as an endocrine organ – it works to maintain and enhance normal intestinal function and protects the gut against pathogens. It is important to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria within the gut to properly digest food and absorb nutrients and also playing a big role in overall immunity.
With the rise of digestive problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), it is more important than ever to maintain a good dose of beneficial bacteria. Symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation are all minor indicators of an imbalanced gut micro biome- however, uncomfortable and at times embarrassing these signs can often be eliminated with healthy lifestyle changes.
The most common of causes of an unhappy gut is poor diet – especially processed and sugary foods. Nutritionists suggest ways to improve an under-functioning gut is to favour fruit and vegetables, switch to wholegrain and be sure to include a range of nutrients and dietary fibres. Sour and fermented foods like kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, yoghurt and miso are great sources of the good kind of bacteria your gut needs.
If you struggle to include fermented foods in your diet it might be a good idea to talk to your healthcare professional about potential use of probiotic supplements, such as Blackmore’s new range of fridge free probiotics. In combination with dietary changes probiotics can help protect our gut against harmful bacteria. Probiotics supported with vitamins, minerals and probiotics help restore digestive balance and support daily wellbeing.
For more information on gut health and probiotics please visit www.blackmores.com.au.
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