The Importance of Maintaining Good Gut Health
Digestion. Gut microbiome. Prebiotics. Probiotics. These are terms that have become wildly popular in the health and wellness industry. It seems that you can’t log in to social media without seeing a post that talks about the importance of maintaining good gut health. Even influencers are posting pics of their “gut friendly” smoothie bowls and salads. But why has talking about gut health become so important? Why is proper digestion key to staying healthy and happy?
It may surprise you to know that most of our immune system resides within our gut. In fact, the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) is the most prominent part of what’s called the mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT). Why is this important to know? Because it represents over 70 percent of our entire immune system. Getting and keeping your gut healthy is one of the most important things that you can do to stay healthy, especially during cold and flu season.
What are some common symptoms associated with having poor gut health?
- Upset stomach – This is one of the most common signs of having an unhealthy gut. If you experience issues like bloating, gas, constipation and/or diarrhea, you may have an imbalance in your digestive system. If you experience any of these symptoms, you are not alone. According to a 2013 survey, at least 74% of Americans are living with digestive symptoms which in turn, impacts their daily lives in negative ways. (link to https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/digestive-diseases)
- Food intolerances – If you are having difficulty digesting certain foods or are experiencing food allergies, it may be due to having poor quality of bacteria in the gut. This can also lead to experiencing the symptoms associated with having an upset stomach (bloating, gas and overall digestive discomfort).
- Skin irritation – Did you know that certain skin conditions are related to having poor digestion? Inflammation in the gut can cause an increase in the leaking of certain proteins which leads to skin irritations like eczema.
Fortunately, there are some ways that you can improve the health of your gut in safe and natural ways. The easiest way to do this is to switch up your diet. Try reducing the amount of high-sugar, highly processed foods. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those that are rich in fiber (which has been shown to promote a healthy gut microbiome). When you are eating, slow down! Chew your food to ensure that you are getting enough saliva to help break down those beneficial nutrients. It is also important to stay hydrated during the day. Drinking water has been shown to have a beneficial effect on the mucosal lining of the intestines as well as balancing the good bacteria in our gut. How much water should you drink? Take your body weight and divide it in half. The number you get is the total amount of water you should be drinking daily (in ounces).
In addition to these tips, there are some helpful supplements that can assist in promoting good gut health:
- Milk Thistle – This prickly little plant contains a group of plant compounds collectively known as silymarin. This silymarin is extracted from the milk thistle due to it’s high amount of antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. (link to study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26367736) Silymarin can support healthy digestive function and bile flow, making it a beneficial supplement for those who are looking to improve their gut health. Superior Labs 100% Pure Milk Thistle capsules contain 250mg of pure milk thistle with absolutely no magnesium stearate, dioxides and preservatives of any kind. Learn more about this popular product here (link to Milk Thistle product page https://superiorlabs.com/collections/wellness/products/milk-thistle)
- Artichoke Leaf Extract – This extract comes from globe artichokes which are rich in beneficial antioxidants. These antioxidants are shown to help with intestinal problems like gas, bloating and overall indigestion. Artichoke leaf extract has also been shown to help stimulate the production of bile from the liver and it can help with the metabolic process. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26310198) Superior Labs 100% Pure Leaf Extract is produced in small batches to ensure purity, potency and efficacy. Each batch is tested to ensure that the artichoke leaves are free from chemicals and pesticides. Learn more about the benefits of Superior Labs 100% Pure Artichoke Leaf Extract here. (link to product page https://superiorlabs.com/collections/digestive-health/products/artichoke-leaf-extract)
- Psyllium Husk – Psyllium is a form of prebiotic fiber that has been shown to promote good gut health. Prebiotic fiber is important for digestive health because it encourages colonies of healthy gut bacteria to thrive. When this happens, our bodies are better able to fight infections, reduce inflammation and prevent frustrating digestive symptoms. (link to study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18772105) Superior Labs 100% Natural Psyllium Husk capsules contain 1000mg of pure organic psyllium husk, all formulated, developed and manufactured in an FDA registered facility. Learn more about the benefits of Superior Labs 100% Natural Psyllium Husk here. (link to product page https://superiorlabs.com/collections/digestive-health/products/psyllium-husk)
The bottom line? Having good gut health is crucial to promoting overall wellness throughout our body. Ask anybody who has experienced a bout of digestive issues and they will tell you how debilitating these symptoms can be. By eating a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods, drinking plenty of water and taking beneficial supplements, you are taking the steps toward living life with a healthy and happy gut!