If you’re anything like me, you like to binge-watch superhero movies while secretly wishing you had a superpower. But if you really think about it, your body has a lot of superhero characteristics. It somehow maintains homeostasis even when conditions around you vary wildly. It also performs a lot of different processes simultaneously, such as digesting food, pumping blood throughout your body, thinking and moving.
While it’s helping you perform all your daily functions (both those you do intentionally and those you don’t even think about), it’s simultaneously searching for bad guys in your body and destroying them. That sounds pretty incredible to me!
One of the most impressive but underrated parts of your body is your gut. In the world of superheroes, it’s the most powerful one your body has. Here’s what you should know about the power of your gut and how you can help it do its job efficiently.
A Community Inside Your Body
Your gut contains an amazing community of microbes (including fungi, bacteria and archaea). Collectively, these microbes are referred to as the human microbiome. Your microbiome has an incredible impact on your health. It does a lot of really cool things, including:
Educating your immune system
Contributing to various metabolic functions
Protecting against the “bad guys” (i.e. pathogens)
The gut microbiome is so fascinating and so diverse that scientists still have a long way to go in discovering its role in human health. But we do know that a healthy gut is essential for optimal human function.
Benefits of a Healthy Gut
It’s well worth your time and effort to maintain a healthy gut. Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy if you take care of this important system in your body:
Stronger immune system
Better heart health
Improved brain health
More effective digestion
There is some research to suggest that a healthy gut may even help prevent some diseases, such as autoimmune disorders and some types of cancer. If you weren’t convinced of your gut’s superpowers before, perhaps you are now!
Indications of Poor Gut Health
A lot of people are walking around right now with poor gut health. The health of your gut can be negatively impacted by a variety of things, including your diet, excessive stress levels, and lack of exercise. Here are some common indications of gut problems.
Frequent stomach disturbances (such as constipation, bloating, diarrhea, gas and heartburn).
Skin irritation and blemishes
Unintentional weight changes (typically weight gain)
If you’re eating a diet high in sugars and processed foods while experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s important to adopt a healthier diet. By eating unhealthy foods, you’re putting the health of your gut and your entire body at risk.
How To Improve Gut Health
If you have poor gut health, try not to worry too much! Instead, take matters into your own hands and start working now to rebalance your gut microbiome and reclaim your health. Here are a few of my top suggestions for improving your gut health.
Eat tons of vegetables, fruits, legumes and other organic foods prepared by Mother Earth herself.
Eat whole grains instead of the processed stuff you find at fast food joints and in grocery stores.
Avoid artificial sweeteners.
Cut back on sugary, sweet foods and drinks.
Eat prebiotic foods that feed the good bacteria in your gut (including bananas, asparagus, chicory root, artichoke, dandelion greens, onions, leeks and garlic).
Incorporate fermented foods into your diet.
Lower your stress levels
Get sufficient sleep
Try these lifestyle changes (starting today!) and watch your symptoms improve within a few weeks. I’m confident you’ll be so happy about the way your gut feels that you’ll want to stay away from gut-destroying foods and lifestyle changes going forward.