The Importance of Gut Health
The term 'Gut Health' is becoming more prevalent among health care practitioners, scientists, social media platforms and especially here at PERKii Probiotics. In this article, we'll take a brief look at what constitutes a healthy gut, and why taking care of your gut is important for your overall health and well-being.
What is Gut Health?
While often challenging to define as it is difficult to measure, gut health is essentially optimising the gut you were given, even if you have a functional or structural disorder. It refers to a state of physical and mental well-being thanks to the absence of gastrointestinal complaints and many other symptoms that put the person in a state of discomfort.
The top indicators of a healthy gut are:
- Effective digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- No active gastrointestinal disease.
- Favourable balance of gut microbiota.
There are also criteria for an unhealthy gut:
- An upset stomach: bloating, gas, diarrhoea, constipation, and heartburn.diarrhoea, constipation, and heartburn.
- Secondary food intolerances (without clear aetiology): recent evidence has revealed that food intolerances may be caused by a high amount of poor quality bacteria and a reduced amount of good bacteria in the gut.
- Unclear and non disease-associated general symptoms such as: unintentional weight changes, and sleep disturbances and constant fatigue without specific aetiology.
So why is gut health important?
According to Dietitian, Megan Rossi, "good gut health has been linked to the health of just about every other organ in the body, including the heart, skin and brain." The main reasoning behind this is over 70% of the body's immune cells lay along the digestive tract. As you will already know if you follow on from some of our previous posts, the human body also contains trillions of microbes—including bacteria—within the digestive tract that are incredibly powerful and perform thousands of functions for looking after us on a daily basis.
Nutritionist, Andrea Hardy, ranks gut health at the foundation of treating almost any condition in her line of work. This is due to gut health covering multiple aspects of the gastrointestinal tract, from digestion and absorption of nutrients to an effective immune system and more. So by taking care of your gut, your are taking care of the health of just about everything in your body, ranging from your intestine to your immune system and mood. However, despite its relevance, there is still no single criteria when looking to define a healthy gut.
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