You may have heard that a healthy gut is important for digestion, but did you know that your gut health can also impact so much more? In this blog post, we'll explore 5 surprising ways that your gut health affects your overall health, and how nutritional therapy can help improve gut health.
1. Mental Health
You may be surprised to learn that your gut health can play a role in your mental health. The gut and brain are connected through the gut-brain axis, which allows for communication between the two. Research has shown that imbalances in the digestive microbiome (gut bacteria) can contribute to conditions like anxiety and depression.
By improving gut health and the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, we can make steps towards feeling stronger mentally too. This can be done through the use of probiotic supplements, probiotic & prebiotic rich foods and avoiding foods that harm the good gut bacteria.
2. Immune Function
Around 70% of your immune system is located in the gut and the same microbiome mentioned above plays a vital role in the formation of our immune systems. When the gut microbiome is imbalanced, it can lead to inflammation and immune dysfunction. With issues ranging from poor body temperature control, to impaired energy production even to autoimmune diseases.
On top of working towards restoration of a healthy microbiome as mentioned previously, making sure we provide enough nutrients and antioxidants through a colourful plant-focused diet, alongside adequate protein intake, can be instrumental for our immune system.
3. Skin Health
You may not think of your gut when it comes to skin health, but research has shown that gut health can impact conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. This is because the gut microbiome plays a role in regulating inflammation throughout the body, including in the skin.
By addressing gut health we can help improve skin health. This can be done by eating a diet that is rich in anti-inflammatory foods like fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, certain probiotic strains have been shown to improve skin health, making them a useful tool for those with skin conditions.
4. Weight Management
Did you know your weight is affected by so much more than just calories? A controversial thought for many, but a freeing one if you've been stuck in a calorie mind-set for years. Continuous research has shown that imbalances in gut bacteria can contribute to conditions like obesity and metabolic syndrome. This is because the gut microbiome plays a role in regulating metabolism and energy balance.
By promoting a healthy gut microbiome with the advice above alongside avoiding too much sugar and processed foods, you can start to find more ease in your weight management.
5. Hormonal Balance
Hormones have a significant impact on a wide range of bodily functions, including blood sugar, blood pressure, metabolism, sex drive, sleep and so much more. But many don't know how gut health can impact hormonal balance. This is because the gut is responsible for metabolising and eliminating hormones from the body. When the gut microbiome is imbalanced, it can lead to hormonal imbalances and conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
When we focus on bringing balance back to the gut we often find hormonal balance follows, if not in full, then it leads the way to the next steps. Alongside the advice already listed for gut health, we should focus on getting enough fibre. Fibre helps keep things moving and stops stagnation in the digestive track. This helps the flow of hormones and prevents build up.
In conclusion, your gut health plays a crucial role in your overall health and wellbeing. By supporting gut health through nutritional therapy, you can improve mental health, immune function, skin health, hormonal balance, and weight management. Whether you're struggling with a chronic condition or simply want to improve your overall health, taking care of your gut is a priority.
If you're struggling with gut health or any of the above mentioned issues and you're done trying to figure it out alone, get in touch via the button below and let's chat about it!
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