There are many benefits to a healthy gut. A healthy gut diet promotes a better mood, sleep, and weight management. There are trillions of microbes that live in the gut, and their health is of utmost importance. Keep reading for 12 benefits of a healthy gut diet.
1. Improved Immunity
Having a healthy gut diet helps with digestion and with immunity. Immunity has been vital in these last two years of Covid. Diets high in grains, legumes, fruit, and vegetables increase the gut microbiota, thus increasing its ability to fight infections.
2. Weight Management
A healthy gut microbiome will keep weight controlled. Studies show a strong link between gut microbes, obesity, and type two diabetes. People need to do as much as possible to avoid eating processed foods and eat more fiber and fermented food.
3. Better Mood
The vegas nerve carries signals from the digestive system to the brain and back. It is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, and is responsible for mood, digestion, and stress response. Studies show that gut bacteria make 95% of the body’s serotonin. The gut also makes neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, GABA, and dopamine. Antidepressants work by increasing serotonin. Therefore, improving the gut microbiome could also improve mood.
4. Improved Sleep
Sleep suffers when the gut microbes are out of balance. The research found that gut microbes influence serotonin, which is essential in the sleep-wake cycle. People with a better balance of gut microbes tended to sleep better and feel more rested each night.
5. Healthier Bones
Many scientists think that an imbalance of gut flora is a factor in osteoporosis and bone loss. Research found that bone loss was lower for people who took a probiotic than those who did not. Scientists believe gut microbes can increase bone mass and improve osteoporosis by reducing bone reabsorption.
6. Digesting Breast Milk
Bifidobacteria is one of the first bacteria that grow inside babies’ intestines. These bacteria digest the healthy sugars in breast milk necessary for growth.
7. Digesting Fiber
Some gut bacteria digest fiber. They also produce short-chain fatty acids, which are necessary for gut health. Fiber can help manage weight, diabetes, risk of cancer, and heart disease.
8. Improve Brain Health
Research shows that the gut microbiome may affect the central nervous system. The central nervous system controls brain function. Therefore, having a healthy gut can also help produce a healthy brain and nervous system.
9. Healthier Heart
The gut microbiome may also affect heart health. Studies show that healthy microbiomes help promote “good” HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Some unhealthy gut microbiomes produce trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). TMAO causes blocked arteries, which may cause heart attacks or strokes.
10. Control Blood Sugar and Decrease Risk of Diabetes
Diversity of gut microbiome can help control blood sugar, thus affecting type 1 and 2 diabetes. Studies show that the level of unhealthy bacterial species increases before the onset of type 1 diabetes.
11. Improved Skin Health
Gut bacteria affect overall skin health. Women with seasonal allergies who took probiotics while pregnant reduced their babies’ risk of eczema by 30%.
12. Improved Women’s Health
Being pregnant and taking birth control can affect overall gut health. A lack of good bacteria can lead to UTIs and yeast infections. Adding probiotics can improve gut health and prevent the overgrowth of these microorganisms.
Gut health plays a role in overall health. Keep the gut healthy by eating whole and fermented food and staying physically active.