I’m sure you hear the term ‘gut health’ all the time. Or maybe you’ve even commented on ‘having gut issues’ yourself. But do you really know what this means and how it can affect your health?
The term ‘gut health’ includes proper digestion, absorption and elimination of food, as well as maintaining a healthy balance of good gut microbes. Unfortunately, many of our lifestyle habits today have a negative affect on your gut.
The gut plays a vital role in our overall health and well-being for several reasons:
- Nutrient Absorption – The gut is responsible for breaking down food into nutrients which then gets absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Immune Function – The gut houses a big portion of our immune system. A healthy gut lining acts as a barrier preventing harmful substances such as toxins, pathogens and undigested food particles from entering the bloodstream. A compromised gut (lining) can lead to increased inflammation and (auto)immune dysfunctions, which can contribute to a variety of other health challenges.
- Microbiome Balance – The gut is home to trillions of microorganisms collectively known as the gut microbiota. These bacteria play a crucial role in maintaining gut health and performing a number of functions. An imbalance in the gut microbiota (dysbiosis) has been associated with various health problems, including obesity/weight gain, metabolic disorders, sleep challenges, constipation and immune dysfunction.
When it comes to fat loss, optimal gut health is important because:
- Metabolism – A healthy gut contributes to proper metabolism and energy production. Certain gut bacteria are involved in the breakdown of dietary fiber and the production of short-chain fatty acids, which can help regulate metabolism and fat storage.
- Inflammation – An unhealthy gut can lead to chronic inflammation, which can disrupt hormonal balance and impair the body’s ability to metabolize fat. Inflammation can also hinder insulin sensitivity, promoting weight gain and fat accumulation.
- Hormonal Balance – The gut and its microbes interact with various hormones that regulate appetite, satiety, and fat storage. Imbalances in gut bacteria can disrupt this hormonal balance, leading to increased food cravings, overeating, and weight/fat gain.
To support optimal health and fat loss (long term), it is important to prioritize gut health.
This can be achieved through
- A healthy diet rich in fiber, healthy fats, quality protein and other whole foods that are nutrient dense.
- The elimination of the foods that are feeding bad gut microbes or disrupting your gut. This includes foods you’re sensitive to and the Furious 5 (wheat, dairy, sugar, corn, soy) which are all known inflammatory foods and hard for our gut to digest.
- Managing stress levels.
- Getting regular exercise.
- Improving sleep quality and detoxification pathways
- Avoiding excessive use of antibiotics and other medications that can disrupt the gut microbiota are important for maintaining gut health.
Need help putting it all together?
Get started today and begin improving your gut health with our 6 Week Gut Repair Program.