What are simple ways to improve your overall health through your gut microbiome? You can find the answer here But, what is gut microbiome and how does it affect one’s overall health?
What Is Gut Microbiome?
Gut microbiome, also known as gut flora, gut microbiota or simply microbiome, are the trillions of microorganisms that are living in the digestive system of people and animals, even insects. These microorganisms include bacteria, fungi and archaea. They help in digesting the food we eat, they work throughout our body and could be good for our physical as well as mental health.
Research discovered that having too much of a specific type of bad bacteria in our gut microbiome can cause an unhealthy balance in the gut bringing about pain and discomfort and other warning signs which includes:
- GI discomfort
- Bloating and painful gas
- Sleep problems, fatigue and sluggishness
- Chronic diarrhea
- Constant heartburn (acid reflux)
- Poor mood or depression
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Skin rashes and allergies
We get our gut microbiome at birth and as we grow up, the world that surrounds us affects it. Additionally, our gut microbiome is also influenced by the kind of food that we eat. This is why it could be diverse depending on where one lives as well as why we may be able to tilt the balance of our gut microbiome a bit.
Restoring and Bettering Our Gut Microbiome for Good Overall Health
Gut health would refer to the balance of our gut microbiome, the balance of the microorganisms that are living in our digestive system. Taking care of our gut health as well as maintaining that proper balance of these microorganisms is crucial for our overall physical health, mental health, immune system, and so much more. With that, here are some ways we could restore and better out gut health.
Consume Foods Rich in Polyphenol
These are compounds that are found in plant foods which aren’t completely absorbed in the small intestines. They then turn in food for microbes found in our colon, converting them into substances with anti-inflammatory, prebiotic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-oxidative, as well as anti-microbial properties.
Avoid High-Sugar, Low-fibre Diet
Consuming highly-processed food and having a high-sugar, low-fibre diet has a damaging effect on our gut microbiome which could bring about various illnesses and diseases. So ditch this kind of diet and be mindful of the food you eat. Consume fibre-rich food, remove artificial and added sugars, eat fermented foods like kimchi, and hydrated. Basically, choose healthier food options.
Establish a Regular Sleep Routine
Research discovered that the residents in our gut microbiome have their own sleep pattern. In one study, the gut flora of individuals with jet lag revealed greater quantities of bacteria that are connected with metabolic disease and obesity. In other studies, a diverse gut microbiome is found to promote heathier sleep.
While it may seem odd, fasting can actually be good for our gut flora. By not eating, we starve them. However, this can be a good thing. Fasting changes the microbiome which increases gut mucus, goblet cells as well as the length of the villi which helps in the absorption of nutrients.