Does your health really begin in your gut? Does better digestive health equal better overall health? Can the health of my gut really impact my day to day life?
Have you ever thought about how much food you will consume in your lifetime? The average human will consume approximately 35 tons of food in his/her lifetime! That’s a TON of food!! Your digestive tract is exposed to huge amounts of food during your lifetime and is one of the your body’s primary lines of defense against harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites and toxins. What we often fail to understand is that poor digestion can dramatically impact ones quality of life! Therefore, it is important that we are aware of what we are putting into our bodies and how it impacts us; both positively and negatively.
Maintaining a healthy gut, however, is not only about what we are consuming. Stress management is another essential aspect of maintaining a healthy gut. Our digestive health is significantly impacted by how much stress we are exposed to and how we respond to that stress. Emotional stress such as money, work, or a disagreement with a significant other can all disrupt your digestive system. Excessive stress or anxiety can severely hinder digestion and be detrimental to healthy gut flora.
So how do you keep your gut healthy? One way you can aid your digestive system is by paying attention to how your body is responding to the different foods you're eating. Are certain foods leading you to feel fatigued, experience acid reflex, loose stool, cramping, or inflammation? Another way is through exercise. If you aren't exercising, start now! Exercise is a good habit for gastrointestinal health as well as stress management. One of the many benefits of exercise is that it improves blood flow throughout your body--including your digestive system! A consistent exercise routine can help you avoid bloating, cramps, and a sluggish digestive system. Lastly, make sure you're getting enough sleep! Lack of sleep can lead to added stress in life and overall fatigue resulting in a disrupted, or stressed, digestive system. Managing your evenings and when you go to bed is the first step in creating a healthy sleep cycle.
Remember, a healthy gut equals healthy digestion which leads to an overall higher quality of life!