Why does the gut need care?

Unfortunately, the gut is not often thought of when it comes to overall health. However, the gut plays a huge role in the body- it isn’t just for digesting food. The gut is the part of the body to focus on if trying to lose weight, manage IBS, or attempting to live a healthier lifestyle in general. The gut is the foundation for several systems in the body. A strong foundation is required to uphold the responsibility of properly running so many aspects of the body. Habits like smoking, consuming fast food, and not getting enough sleep all negatively impact gut health. Luckily, there are steps to take today that will begin to heal and establish a healthy gut.

What is the “gut” and what does it do?

The digestive tract, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, or gut, involves all moving parts of the body involved with eating and drinking and the assistance of the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. The main function of the gut is to digest food. The gut takes the food we eat and turns it into nutrients and energy that the body needs to survive and function properly. What determines how effectively we process, absorb and digest nutrients? The gut microbiome! 

What is the gut microbiome?

The gut microbiome is home to trillions of bacteria that make up the environment of the large intestine. Of the trillions of bacteria in intestines, a large majority are “good” bacteria. Good bacteria not only aid in the digestive process, but also keep the “bad” bacteria at a minimum. In a healthy gut the “good” bacteria multiply so often that the “bad” bacteria don’t have the ability to multiply. When the gut has a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria, it is said to be in a state of equilibrium. When the body’s balance or equilibrium is off it leads to dysbiosis. The imbalance in gut bacteria (dysbiosis) has recently been investigated as a major player and cause of numerous acute and chronic diseases. 

Why is gut health a priority?

According to the National Institutes of Health, digestive diseases affect up to 70 million Americans. That’s about one fifth, or 20%, of the population in the United States (as of 2021) impacted by GI issues! A number of these GI problems are caused by dysbiosis. Studies show a strong correlation between a multitude of diseases and gut imbalances such as IBS (inflammatory bowel disease), gallstones, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, liver disease, chronic heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, autism, and more. This is evidence that gut health spans beyond the GI tract and can impact almost every system in the body. This is why gut health needs to be placed at the forefront of overall health and well-being. 

Ways to improve gut health

While the gut itself is complex there are simple changes to make to improve gut health! For starters, consuming a diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Good bacteria thrive on the nutrients from fresh foods while bad bacteria decline. Next, limit alcohol intake. Consumption of alcohol causes inflammation in the GI tract and kills the good bacteria. Chronic stress is also a culprit of gut issues. Managing stress in a positive way with meditation, hobbies, or exercise is a great way to stabilize the gut microbiome. Finally, incorporating nutrition into daily routines is a simple way to establish strong gut bacteria. A product such as GI Defend has numerous benefits including promotes healthy gut homeostasis, gut barrier function, proper immune function, supports digestive function, nutrient absorption, and more! A dysfunctional gut didn’t become dysfunctional overnight, and therefore won’t repair overnight. Commit to positive choices!

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