Did you know that 80% of the immune system resides within the gut? Or that having unhealthy gut bacteria can cause a number of physical and mental health issues including type 2 diabetes and depression? It is no coincidence that the gut is located in the center of the human body because it truly does act as a control center for the rest of the body. Maintaining healthy gut bacteria is actual an essential part of being a healthy individual. Without a healthy gut, the well-being of both the body and mind are compromised.
Physical and Mental Health Issues
As I mentioned above, there are a number of issues both physical and mental that can occur when the gut is not balanced with healthy bacteria. Some physical conditions include but are not limited to, obesity, weak immune system, and even more serious conditions such as hypertension and arthritis. Mental health issues include anxiety and depression. In today’s world, it seems as though anxiety and depression are becoming ever more prevalent. Certainly, some individuals do experience chemical imbalances in their brains which result in these conditions, but I cannot help but wonder if some individuals induce these conditions based on their lifestyle choices. Studies conducted on mice have shown that when they are given diets high in refined sugars, they experienced behavioral issues which mimicked anxiety and depression in humans. So much of the foods and drinks available to us are loaded with sugars and or artificial sweeteners, in fact it can be really challenging to avoid them. However, it is important that we understand just what a detrimental effect over-consumption of food and drink which lack nutritional value can have on both our body and mind alike.
So how do you ensure that your gut bacteria is in fact healthy? Probiotics. Probiotics are present in all fermented foods and drinks including things such as yogurt, keifir, and kombucha. Most of these things you can find just about anywhere, so access to them is not limited. Another good source of probiotics is in a supplement form. You can find a quality probiotic supplement at any natural grocery/health food store. It is really important to maintain proper gut health. Below I attached a couple of links which detail some interesting facts about gut health and why it is important to be conscious of it. It is actually quite simple to make sure you have a healthy gut, and both your body and mind will thank you for taking care of your gut.