This blog was written by Kelly Springer MS, RD, CDN, learn more on her website
Did you know your gut health has a vast impact on your overall physical health, immune response, risk for chronic conditions, and mental health? Your gastrointestinal, or digestive, tract is the largest part of your digestive system. It is made up of a series of organs. This includes your esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Every nutrient you take in (carbohydrates, proteins, fats) is broken down and absorbed through this system, then shared with the other system as needed. Those nutrients are then used to fuel the body’s various biological cycles and processes. There are more than 100 trillion microbes inside of your body. Yes, I said trillion. Most of them live inside of the small and large intestines. This is better known as your gut microbiome and it plays a role in your body’s ability to digest food, metabolize nutrients, respond to viruses and bacteria, and reduce inflammation. There are links between gut health and the immune system, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders such as type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, and cardiovascular disease. A higher level of diversity in gut bacteria, especially good bacteria, is an important indicator of the health of your gut microbiome and its response to your other system. However, the body can also respond poorly to foods and their enzymes, proteins, or chemical compounds. This can affect gut bacteria. Other signs of poor digestion or more serious concerns with your gut health can include digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and heartburn, sleep disturbances or fatigue, mood or emotional states, or even high occurrence of infectious illnesses.
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Bull, M. J., & Plummer, N. T. (2014). Part 1: The Human Gut Microbiome in Health and Disease. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 13(6), 17–22. · Photo: https://www.technologynetworks.com/immunology/articles/diet-and-the-gut-microbiome-what-do-we-know-366744