Any successful company or factory within our known world is quite blatantly dependent on how its employed workforce and machinery work together to produce and deliver excellent output.
Similarly, our bodies are also dependent on how well our internal machinery works and the things we do to ensure that it continues to perform well.
One of the central systems that is almost always in work-mode and pivotal to our overall health and well-being is the gut, the digestive tract/system, or the gastrointestinal tract/system.
As the name suggests, this system is responsible for ensuring that everything we ingest is taken to the right place, broken down into nutrients/substances that our bodies can appropriately absorb, flush out of the body/system what isn’t essential or required by it, and a lot more.
What Exactly is the Gut?
A human’s basic digestive system comprises the mouth, esophagus, liver, gallbladder, stomach, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, colon, and rectum. These individual parts/organs perform in unison so our bodies may properly breakdown ingested foods and liquids so different parts/organs of our body may adequately consume the essential nutrients and substances from the entire mix.
In the simplest terms, the gut comprises all those parts, organs, processes, and functions that are activated and involved during the entire journey of food entering and finally exiting our bodies, i.e., from when it has been ingested to when it has been excreted.
Additionally, some other parts/substances like nerves, hormones, and other essential chemical compounds help smooth the digestive process within our bodies.
What Exactly is a Healthy Gut?
If you know a bit about what the gut is and what its main functions and roles are, you can also probably guess what a healthy gut is.
A healthy gut is nothing but a smooth and fully-functional digestive system within one’s body. This means that an individual who can consume foods, break them down, feed their body with all of the essential nutrients/substances contained within those foods, and then correctly flush out what is excessive or not required by their body is known as a person with a healthy gut.
Going a little deeper into the subject, what makes for a healthy gut at the core, is an abundance and overall balance of certain (healthy) bacteria and other substances capable of appropriately breaking down different types of foods and liquids into forms that can be appropriately absorbed/ingested within one’s body.
The main center for the essential bacteria found in the gut is known as the gut microbiome.
The Benefits of a Healthy Gut
A healthy gut is easily one of the most significant prerequisites to living a happy and healthy life. Some of the benefits of a healthy gut are as follows –
- It improves our overall immune system.
- It improves the body’s overall ability to absorb essential nutrients/substances.
- It helps us think better and make better decisions.
- Along with improving overall physical health, it also promotes better mental health.
- It curbs the spread of illnesses/diseases associated with an unhealthy digestive system.
- A healthier gut leads to a healthier heart.
- It reduces the chances of weight-related diseases like anorexia or obesity.
- It secretes optimum levels of happiness or feel-good hormones – dopamine & serotonin.
What Are Some Ways to Improve Gut Health?
Along with adopting a healthy gut diet that is tailor-made for you, gut health can be improved in the following ways –
- Try different types of probiotics like buttermilk or yogurt.
- Add certain Synbiotics (prebiotics & probiotics) to your diet.
- Consume more fibrous foods.
- Do not consume too much junk, fatty, or fried foods.
- Exercise regularly and focus on maintaining adequate levels of fitness.
- Eat an overall well-balanced and nutritious diet.
- Learn better and more effective ways of dealing with stress.
- Focus on getting better quality relaxation, rest, and sleep.
- Consume less alcohol and coffee.
Today, a growing majority of health and medical practitioners worldwide are taking the importance of a healthy gut in an individual’s well-being a lot more seriously. In turn, much of their practice now revolves around how one can and should focus on tending to their gut before jumping on to problems associated with its imbalance.
As we gear up to moving from the COVID-19 pandemic and towards a better and healthier life in the future, we advise you to keep your ears close to your gut, for it already knows what you need to do and how you need to do it.