Do you battle sugar cravings, skin issues, brain fog, irritability, unplanned weight fluctuations, fatigue, insomnia, or digestive issues? These can all be signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut known as dysbiosis. The condition of your gut not only affects digestion it impacts overall health.
Health comes from within. More than 500 species of microorganisms that support GI function live inside your intestines! This bacterial makeup of your gut is known as the microbiome. Inside of us live a trillion microorganisms that make up our gut microbiome. When your gut is healthy and your microbiome is in a state of balance you feel and look your best. Microbial balance is a key part of supporting optimal health.
This same microbiome is responsible for the functioning of your immune system, helps regulate metabolic processes, synthesizes nutrients, and impacts gastrointestinal functions. The microbiome is established at birth but can be altered over time by food intake, stress, and certain medications.
Signs that your gut is “off” or you are experiencing dysbiosis include:
Digestive symptoms like heartburn, halitosis (bad breath), indigestion, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation are all signs that your gut is off balance. The scientific name for this imbalance is dysbiosis.
Mental health symptoms like anxiety, mental fog, depression, and chronic fatigue.
Outer physical signs like acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, dark circles under the eyes, dandruff, and atopic dermatitis.
Ways to take care of your gut and keep those microbiomes healthy:
Food, water, and even nutritional supplements play a role in supplying the needs of our internal microbiome.
Focus on eating wholesome natural foods
High-fiber foods like whole grains create a desirable environment for healthy guts by altering the PH of the stomach. The Standard American Diet does not provide the recommended 25-30 grams of daily fiber.
Fruits and vegetables such as asparagus, artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, greens, berries, broccoli, avocados, and bananas all contain prebiotics that feeds the microbiome's good bacteria.
Lean protein sources: lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, and legumes
Omega 3-rich fats - mackerel, salmon, cod liver oil, walnuts, chia seeds, herring, and flaxseeds.
Eat probiotic rich foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and kefir.
Hydrating liquids include water and herbal tea. A general guideline is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds you need approximately 75 ounces of water daily.
Good restful sleep allows the body to rejuvenate and repair.
Getting adequate restful sleep helps with stress management too
According to scientific studies, exercise independently influences the composition and functional capacity of the gut microbiome.
Adults should be active for at least 150 minutes per week.
Exercise is a good stress management technique
Vitamin D - many people are vitamin D deficient. If you have a vitamin D deficiency it is crucial to correct it.
Probiotics – specific strains help with specific issues. Talk to your healthcare provider or registered dietitian for recommendations
L-glutamine – helps repair and strengthen the intestinal wall.
Bone broth – provides anti-inflammatory properties offering relief of digestive distress and easy-to-digest nutrients.
Digestive enzyme support – Ideally your body produces digestive enzymes that help break down and digest your foods, but there are instances when digestive enzyme support is needed.