You've Got Guts: Here’s How To Keep Them Healthy

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We all know the basics of living a healthy life — diet and exercise — but we often forget a crucial component to that first thing: our gut. Keeping our gut health in check is integral for not only living a healthy life but also a comfortable one.

For starters, if you’re wondering, “what the heck is gut health?” Well, let’s break that down. ”Gut health” is a combination of two things: the function and balance of bacteria within the many parts of the gastrointestinal tract, says UC Davis Health. They note that if our gut health works best, “organs such as the esophagus, stomach, and intestines all work together to allow us to eat and digest food without discomfort.”

So, that seems like it’s pretty important, right? If you’re still not convinced, consider it this way. The food we eat is what gives us nutrients in our body, but only after that is food broken down to its simplest form and able to enter our bloodstreams. As UC Davis Health emphasizes, “this is only possible with a healthy digestive system.” 

“A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off infectious agents like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. A healthy gut also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which helps maintain general health and well-being,” they explain.

Okay, so now you know what gut health is and why it matters, but how do you get your gut in good health? For that part, there’s a pretty apparent first suggestion: Eat right! Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests a diet loaded with fiber, rich in fruits and vegetables, and fermented or pickled foods (think kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickled ginger). The hospital also recommends getting more sleep, moving more, and seeking help for anxiety or depression issues. 

Other suggestions for bettering your gut, as per Medical News Today, include eating less sugar and sweeteners, avoiding unnecessary antibiotics, switching up your cleaning products (disinfectant cleaning products can disrupt the gut microbiota), and avoiding smoking.

Tags: exercise, Healthy Eating, healthy living

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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