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Gut Feeling: A Forgotten Key to Good Health

Bad bacteria? Not so much.

Before I tell you about your gut, I want to tell you about bacteria.

Let me start with a simple observation: Bacteria has a bad reputation. 

And don’t get me wrong: some of that is entirely deserved. You don’t want bacteria blooming on the marinated chicken breast fillet you’re searing on the BBQ as the extended family gathers for Grandpa’s birthday. You don’t want bacteria multiplying like rabbits in a small scratch on your legs that you got while enjoying the great outdoors. You certainly don’t want the bacteria that cause illnesses like pneumonia, meningitis, or Lime disease.

Bad bacteria deserve a bad reputation.

But it can be easy to forget that not all bacteria fall into this category. For the most part, bacteria exist out there in the world minding their own business. 

Even more importantly, bacteria play an active role in keeping you healthy.

Picture your gut or – to put it more precisely – your gastrointestinal system. For this, you’ll need an imaginary camera that can see right through your skin so you can see your stomach and your intestines. You’ll also need an imaginary microscope that can zoom in to see the millions of microorganisms that call your gut home. These are the bacteria, and when everything is in working order, they’re actively helping you stay fit and healthy. Collectively, we call this the microbiome. 

Even though the micro in microbiome means tiny, the influence your gut has on your overall health is enormous. The bacteria are micro, but their impact is macro. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, your gut – when it’s doing its job – is like a thriving CBD.

Picture a bustling city on a weekday morning, the sidewalks flooded with people rushing to get to work or to appointments. Now imagine this at a microscopic level and you have an idea of what the microbiome looks like inside our bodies.

When your microbiome is balanced and healthy, you will likely feel well and healthy. Your immune system will be better equipped to fend off threats. Your body will effectively absorb vital nutrients from your food. In fact, some scientists call the gut the ‘second brain’, because when it is filled with good bacteria it can gather, receive, and send important information around the body.

In short, we need to stop treating all bacteria like bad bacteria. We need to start celebrating bacteria for the heroes that they are.

Balancing bacteria

I’ve painted a very lofty picture of the bacteria in your gut. This is deliberate: we really do need to revolutonise the way that we picture bacteria.

But – and this is a big but – many of us, unfortunately, do not have a healthy balance of bacteria in our gut. 

Several things can lead to poor gut health:

  • You have recently taken antibiotics. Antibiotics are as close to a miracle cure as you can get. Nonetheless, antibiotics kill bad bacteria and good bacteria alike. The impact of antibiotics is indiscriminate; they can’t weed out the bad bacteria from the good. This is why after a course of antibiotics, your gut health is likely left in a state of disrepair. In this instance, supplements like inner health plus probiotics may be suitable for you.
  • Your diet is imbalanced. Humans like diversity. Things that stand out capture our attention, our imagination, and our interest. A world without difference is a world of blandness and bleh. Your gut is similar: it craves variety. Make sure that you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, reduce your intake of processed foods, and make fibre one of the stars of your team.
  • You have a food intolerance. Having a food intolerance can lead to undue stress on your gut and may cause further health issues. It’s best to speak to a trusted medical health professional about this, as they will be able to help you identify food intolerances and allergies and explain the impact of these on your overall health.
  • You are experiencing stress. Studies show that stress negatively impacts gut health. Occupational stress, for example, can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There is a growing body of research that shows that there is a strong connection between your gut, your emotions, and your overall health. Amazingly, this connection has a long history. A group of researchers into gut health note that the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates ‘described how psychosomatic disorders produce abnormal physical reactions due to stressful emotions.’ In other words, Hippocrates knew that the mind and the body were intrinsically connected. And we now know that this connection can be traced, for the most part, back to your gut.

With all this in mind, it’s no wonder that people increasingly ask how to balance their gut and ensure that the good bacteria in their microbiome are thriving. If you have considerable concerns about your gut health, it is best to discuss these with your doctor.

That said, it is worth considering how diet and lifestyle issues may be impacting your gut health — and therefore your overall health. A healthier diet can make a world of difference. You might also like to schedule in time for activities that reduce stress. One-off activities like getting a massage might help, but it can be more effective to think about regular, everyday practices like meditation, lowering your use of social media, or increasing the amount and quality of your sleep.

Products like Inner Health Plus probiotics can also ensure that your gut is filled with plenty of good bacteria. Inner Health Plus Probiotics contains colony-forming units that encourage the development of good bacteria in your gut. What is a colony-forming unit? Good question. It’s something that can grow into healthy bacteria — and in Inner Health Plus probiotics there are twenty-five billion of them. No, that’s not a typo. Twenty-five billion.

So, whether it’s through lifestyle changes, diet, or products like Inner Health Plus probiotics, let me make a humble suggestion: look after your gut and give good bacteria the praise it deserves.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3829457/

www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/microbiome/