People who are “healthy” or “fit” are often portrayed by the media as people who are thin, have a toned body, rock-solid abs, perfect skin, and a bright white smile to go with it. But is that really what healthy looks like, or is there more to it than that?
Appearances can be deceiving, and true health encompasses a lot more than our outward physical appearance. A person who is truly healthy will see benefits that go much deeper than what others are able to see. So how do you become your best, healthy self?
We’ll let you in on a little secret—the key lies in your core and is something you can literally feel in your gut. Why? Because it is your gut! That’s the secret! A healthy gut is a precursor to a healthy brain and body.
So if that’s true, how can you tell if your gut is healthy? And what should you do if you think it needs a little extra care? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
The Importance of a Healthy Gut
Your gut is at the core of who you are, and it’s at the core of your overall health. In fact, the bacteria that reside in your gut microbiome impact nearly every aspect of your health. Here’s a closer look at just a few ways your gut can impact other areas of your body.
Your Immune System
The cells that make up your immune system are located throughout your whole body, but roughly 70% of them reside in your gut. Because of this close connection, the health and diversity of your gut microbiome can directly impact how your immune system functions.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it is connected to your gut by something known as the gut-skin connection. Essentially, this connection allows your gut to not only provide your skin with important nutrients but also clear out any waste or toxins that your skin is exposed to throughout the day. When your gut is healthy, it is better able to perform these jobs, which helps keep your skin healthy and glowing.
Your gut is responsible not only for the digestion of food but also for the production of a variety of different hormones, which both play a role in controlling your weight. When your gut is healthy, it helps you convert calories to energy more efficiently and promotes the production of appetite-regulating hormones to help you avoid overeating.
The gut-brain axis connects your gut and your brain, allowing them to talk to and directly impact each other. Without getting too complicated, the gut-brain axis is made up of two parts—a physical connection of nerves and a chemical connection of neurotransmitters. The physical connection allows your gut to send signals to your brain about things like digestion and comfort levels. The chemical connection is a little more complicated, but in simple terms, the bacteria in your gut produce certain neurotransmitters, like serotonin, that are then sent to the brain to influence your mood.
When To Focus On Rebuilding Your Gut
How do you know if you need to be focusing your attention on rebuilding your gut microbiome? Here are just a few of the times you may want to consider giving your gut a little extra TLC.
- You’ve Travelled Recently. Whether it’s a weekend road trip or a month-long vacation, traveling can take a toll on your gut, causing things like gut lag and even altering the composition of your gut microbiome. So if you’ve recently returned from a trip, it’s time to turn inward and make sure your gut is taken care of.
- You’ve Been Eating Processed Foods. If your diet in recent weeks has consisted of foods from a bag or box, chances are your gut could use a little extra attention. Although convenient, these pre-packaged foods are often highly processed, contain unnecessary ingredients like added salt or sugar, and have low nutritional value, which means they can be difficult for your gut to digest.
- You’re Experiencing Digestive Discomfort. Have you noticed that you’ve been bloated or excessively gassy? Have you been struggling with constipation or an upset stomach? If so, it’s time to listen to your body. These types of digestive discomfort are often a sign from your body that your gut needs some extra care.
- You Were Recently Taking Antibiotics. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria in your body, and they do so without discriminating, killing the good bacteria along with the harmful ones. While these types of medications can often be necessary to help kill pathogens that have taken hold in your body, keep in mind that they will also be hard on your gut, and it may need some help recovering.
Tips For Rebuilding Your Gut Microbiome
With trillions of bacteria residing inside your gut microbiome, it can seem like a daunting task to change them, but it’s not as hard as you may think. In fact, the gut microbiome is known to adapt quickly, and it only takes a few days before it will start changing after you start implementing new daily habits.
Here are some of our favorite tips for rebuilding your gut.
Ditch the Processed Foods
Your diet not only provides the nutrients your body needs, but it also provides your gut bacteria with the sustenance they need in order to thrive. While processed foods may taste good and be convenient to grab on a busy day, they often don’t have much to offer in terms of nutrients. Meanwhile, fresh, whole foods are packed full of nutrients that your gut, and the rest of your body, need in order to function at their best. So instead of grabbing a bag of chips or having a freezer meal for dinner, opt to fill your plate with fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to help nourish your gut and the bacteria that reside there.
Thanks to the bidirectional connection formed by the gut-brain axis, your feelings and mood can influence your gut health. This is particularly true for strong feelings like stress and anxiety, which can interrupt the communication signals flowing between your gut and your brain and lead to gut health issues like digestive discomfort and increased gut permeability. One of the simplest ways to start improving your gut health today is to incorporate stress-relieving activities like meditation, journaling, and exercise into your daily routine.
Move Your Body
Not only is daily exercise beneficial for your muscles and cardiovascular system, but it’s also great for your gut health. In fact, incorporating more movement into your daily routine can alter the composition of your gut microbiome for the better. Studies have found that those who exercise regularly tend to have gut microbiomes that are more diverse and contain more health-promoting bacteria. Whether you prefer to lift weights or take a leisurely walk, make time every day to take care of your gut by moving your body.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
A hydrated gut is a happy gut. Your gut needs water to help it efficiently break down food and move it through your digestive system. That’s why drinking plenty of water throughout the day is an important part of taking care of your gut. The amount of water the human body needs to stay hydrated varies from person to person, but aiming to consume at least half of your body weight in ounces every day is a good place to start.
Support with Supplements
Supplements that contain digestive enzymes and probiotics are a great tool to help improve and maintain your gut health. Digestive enzymes are the compounds your body uses to break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats so your body can absorb and use the nutrients. Meanwhile, probiotics are living bacteria that help replenish your gut microbiome to support and grow those important colonies of friendly microbiota. While both enzymes and probiotics can be found in certain foods, including them in your daily routine through a gut-health supplement is a convenient and effective way to give your gut the support it needs.
Meet Essentials: Your Daily Gut Support Pack
A healthy gut is the foundation for a healthy body and mind. Here at New Earth, we understand that. That’s why we created Essentials—the ultimate daily gut support pack.
Essentials is designed to nourish and support your gut microbiome with a powerful combination of probiotics, enzymes, and organic Wild Microalgae®. What’s more, it comes in one, convenient daily pack, making it an easy addition to your daily routine.
The best part? You can put Essentials to the test risk-free with our 90-day money-back guarantee.
At New Earth we are on a mission to positively impact the health of every body and soul we come in contact with. We specialize in producing third-party certified, organic whole food supplements including a variety of probiotics, and digestive support. Our supplements feature a rare, yet highly nutritious superfood, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Also known as organic Wild Microalgae®, AFA is a unique type of microalgae that is available in many forms including tablets, capsules, and powders all designed to help you on your journey to holistic wellness. The best part? We offer a 90-day money-back risk-free guarantee on all of our products. Visit our website to learn more.