What is gut health? And why is it so important?
Gut health is a hot topic of late, but with so many articles available on the subject and many with differing information, getting to the bottom of it all can be a minefield. To help, we thought we’d do some research for you and figure out once and for all what gut health actually means, why it’s important and how to know if you have a healthy gut.
First things first, gut health is essentially ensuring you have a healthy gut. As with many things, creating a healthy gut comes from having a healthy lifestyle, so making sure you are getting enough sleep, exercising often and eating a range of healthy foods. When talking about gut health, it’s hard to avoid mention of both pre and probiotics. The difference between these two? Prebiotics are the food that the good bugs that naturally exist in your gut feed off of, whereas probiotics are live bacteria that we consume via food types, that then live in your gut to deliver a range of health benefits.
There are lots of foods that contain prebiotics naturally, such as leeks, garlic, onion, legumes and some grains, so make sure to pack plenty of those into your diet! The foods that are the best for your gut are those high in fibre, such as bananas, berries, broccoli and peas, fermented foods such as yoghurt, tempe and kimchi as well as collagen-boosting foods such as salmon, egg whites, and citrus fruits.
So, why is gut health so important? There’s new research coming out often on the topic of gut health, but one thing for sure is that a healthy gut plays a huge role in your overall health. Not only does a healthy gut prevent inflammation in the body, it can also be linked to a strong immune system, heart health, skin appearance, brain health, improved mood, healthy sleep, and effective digestion, and it may help prevent some cancers and autoimmune diseases as well as play a role in weight management and mental health. Pretty important then!
How will you know if you have a healthy gut? Or, more importantly, how can you spot an unhealthy gut? There are many ways of spotting a problem when it comes to gut health, including complaining of an upset stomach, sleep disturbances, unintentional weight changes and skin irritation. As we are all unique, the signs of an unhealthy gut differ in each of us, but these are some of the key signs to look out for when it comes to keeping your gut in tip top health.