Confused About Gut Health? -Here’s a Little Refresher to Help!

A woman standing before some food

Over the course of the last few years, the term gut health has become increasingly trendy. Perhaps, this is not surprising given the fact that no one really wants to talk about dieting or weight loss. These have become less “sexy” topics, which might explain why gut health has become a more popular term. But trendy topics concerning gut health go well beyond simple weight loss or dieting strategies. On any given day, social media users are likely to see dozens of ads and videos promoting some unusual remedies. And even if these are gut-health myths, they attract millions in the process. This highlights just how many people appreciate the importance of gut health today.

Part of the problem is that fact that there’s no way to know what’s gut-health myths and gut-health facts. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate supplements, so it has little to say in the matter. As a result, we are left to rely on some social media influencer’s testimonial about their recommendations. Recent videos have touted the gut-health benefits of aloe vera juice, olive oil, and even coconut oil. Others encourage sweet potato soups and bone broth. Unfortunately, it is far from clear that these help with gastrointestinal health… and in fact may cause harm. Regardless, the importance of gut health to our holistic wellness certainly demands our attention.

(Check out this list of top ten holistic health gurus that Project Bold Life has put together for you!)

Checking In On the Nation’s Gut Health

There’s a reason why so many have come to recognize the importance of gut health currently. The main reason pertains to a progressive increase in gastrointestinal problems. As you are likely aware, developed nations throughout the world continue to struggle with obesity epidemics. Likewise, conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and diabetes continue to rise in occurrence. Many people also have less severe problems like diarrhea and constipation, which can be just as cumbersome. In total, it is estimated that 40% of the population struggles with some type of gastrointestinal ailments. This explains why so many are willing to considering odd remedies even if they are gut-health myths.

The importance of gut health is clear and finding relief for gut health problems is needed. But it’s similarly crucial that we consider the underlying causes of these gastrointestinal issues. Most experts in the field believe the rise in gastrointestinal conditions relates to the increase in processed and packaged foods. For instance, emulsifiers and preservatives are known to damage our gastrointestinal lining. Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to unhealthy microbes in our microbiome. It’s therefore not a deficiency in aloe vera juice or olive oil in our diet. Instead, it’s about artificial chemicals and substances that are detrimental to our wellbeing. These gut-health myths are therefore not the answer.

Recommended Diets for a Healthy Gut

While social media fads and gimmicks might be intriguing, these gut-health myths have yet to be proven. Therefore, more sound strategies should be pursued, especially given the importance of gut health overall. Were you aware that gastrointestinal wellness and a healthy microbiome is linked to many other bodily systems? In fact, your gut contains roughly 80% of your entire body’s immune system! Also, poor gut health has been linked to a number of illnesses including those involving the nervous system and the heart. This stresses the importance of gut health in your pursuit of holistic wellness. Because of this, it’s important to consider diets that are much more likely to work based on existing science. In the long run, you’re likely to be much better off.

With this in mind, there are several gut health dietary strategies that can help. Both soluble and insoluble fibers in your diet promote a healthy microbiome and lead to better gut health. Soluble fibers can be found in apple skins and oatmeal, which promote a healthy gastrointestinal lining. Insoluble fibers are present in whole grains, nuts and legumes as well as leafy vegetables. These promote proper bowel motility and function. And fermented foods can also help create healthy bacteria along the gut lining for better health. Kombucha, yogurt, kimchi, and kefir are healthy foods in this category. Numerous studies show that these dietary strategies are effective and not gut-health myths.

Other Strategies for Positive Gut Health

When it comes to promoting gastrointestinal wellness, healthy dieting is the most important strategy. But that’s not the only thing that promotes gut health overall. Because gut function is linked to many other organ systems, it pays to take good care of yourself. That not only means eating foods designed to promote a healthy microbiome but also other wellness activities. Specifically, getting adequate sleep and exercise are also important things to consider. In fact, physical activity can help with digestion, and sleep allows opportunities for healing. Indeed, the importance of gut health in promoting wellness is substantial. But the importance of a healthy lifestyle supporting a healthy gastrointestinal system is also essential.

Gut-health myths abound when it comes to listing causes of various intestinal problems. But a major cause that isn’t one of these gut-health myths involves stress. Stress manifests itself in a number of ways, but consistently, stress negatively affects the gastrointestinal tract. Understanding that most of our immune system is in our gut, this is perhaps not that surprising. Therefore, doing things to reduce and better manage stress serve as important strategies promoting gut wellness. Naturally, sleeping well, eating healthy foods, and being fit are great techniques for stress reduction. But meditation and various relaxation techniques can also promote better gut health by reducing stress. Adding these to your health and wellness routines is therefore a good idea.

(What happens when you meditate for over 365 days straight? Find out here.)

A Little Goes a Long Way

Knowing the importance of gut health, many assume they must be “perfect” in order to realize a healthy gut. Fortunately, however, our gastrointestinal system is highly resilient and tolerates slip-ups every now and then. Missing a few workouts, losing sleep, and indulging in some sweets won’t rock the boat. Those who suggest this to be the case are actually perpetuating different kinds of gut-health myths. As long as you make the effort to eat well and lead a healthy lifestyle, chances are you will enjoy positive gut health for some time to come. These are much more likely to be effective than many of the gut-health myths being touted in social media today.

 

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About the Author

Through timely and thoughtful articles, the book Project Bold Life: The Proven Formula to Take on Challenges and Achieve Happiness and Success, and other media, we deliver engaging content that educates, motivates and inspires you to live a Bold Life.
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