Did you know that the gut contains more neurotransmitters than our brain?! This is why the gut is often referred to as our “second” brain. The fact is, our digestive system and the microorganisms that live there have a tremendous effect on our overall health and wellbeing.
Why is a Healthy Gut So Important?
Our gut is one of our body’s first lines of defense against toxins and “bad” bacteria. Changes in the composition of our gut bacteria can send signals to the immune system, resulting in inflammation as our body tries to fight off bad microorganisms.
Our gut’s good bacteria serve to protect us from the numerous bad bacteria, keeping our gut flora composition in balance. And a healthy gut balance creates a hostile environment for external bacteria, keeping them from multiplying. If our gut gets out of balance? It gives the bad bacteria the opportunity to overcome the good, resulting in a myriad of potential health problems, including:
- Abdominal pain
- Leaky gut
- Weak immune system
- Joint pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Cardiovascular disease
- Eczema and other skin ailments
The Gut and Mind
There is a powerful link between the gut and the mind. Our digestive system is very sensitive to emotions. Evidence shows that gastrointestinal irritations send signals to the central nervous system, changing our mood. Moreover, the gut is responsible for serotonin, i.e. the “happy” hormone, production. Somewhere between 80 and 90% of serotonin comes from the gut. No wonder if our gut isn’t working properly, we can feel upset, stressed, or even depressed!
Any of these symptoms (which at first glance don’t seem to have anything to do with the gut), could in fact signal that you’ve got gut problems:
- Sleep issues
- Teeth grinding
- Lack of concentration
- Tight, stiff and tense muscles
- Unusual weight loss or gain
- Loss of sexual desire
How to Maintain a Healthy Digestive System?
Given its important to our health, maintaining a healthy gut is absolutely vital. How best to keep your gut healthy?
- Food: a healthy diet is the #1 thing you can do to keep your gut happy and healthy
- Sleep: get at least 8 hours of good sleep each night
- Water: drink plenty of water every day
- Exercise: regular exercise strengthens the body, including the gut
- Prebiotic and Probiotic Supplements. Try as we might, it can be hard to get enough prebiotic fiber and probiotics just with our typical daily food intake. Supplements, like our Great Gut Prebiotic Fiber, can bridge that gap. If you’re still finding yourself with gut troubles even with a healthy lifestyle, consider adding prebiotic and probiotic supplements to your diet.