You probably don’t spend plenty of time considering your gut, unless it’s causing you discomfort. I certainly was not thinking about my gut when I was eating fast food and drinking sugary soda. But when it started causing me problems, I began to notice. We often concentrate on the things we see on the exterior, or consider heart health, or cancer prevention; the bad gastrointestinal tract does not get much attention. The gastrointestinal tract, or the gut, is connected to each part of your health. I hope with this in mind, you are going to start giving it a bit more love.
Here are a few reasons why. It’s the gate keeper for what enters your body. Allow me to give you a brief explanation of a few gut acts to help you better understand its significance. The gut runs the whole length of the body from the mouth to your anus. It works to digest, break down and absorb food. It’s truly thought of as outside of the body since it’s open to the outside environment at each end. This is, obviously, distinct from other systems in the body. Two areas where this gate keeper is keeping you healthy comprise the mucus layer and the tight junctions of the gut.
The mucus layer in the gut comprises immune cells and proteins with antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses and fungi. These both provide a protective coating against bacterial invasion. Moreover, there are tight junctions in the gut that allow for nutrients to pass but avoid larger molecules into the blood preventing inflammation which could occur in any region of the body from the gut to your joints into your mind.
Just one way to consider how a healthy intestine equals a healthy body is to deal with the importance of nutrients for cellular function. It’s a must for your body to digest and assimilate the food that you eat. This is the process of consuming minerals and vitamins and other elements from your food inside the gut. Two examples of nourishment for important cellular function include B vitamins required for energy generation, and antioxidant vitamins (vitamins C or E among several others) to protect against damage to your DNA.
Every whole food that you consume contains a large number of nutrients that allow your body to function optimally. Without not only ingestion, but absorption of these nutrients, dysfunction will appear. There are anywhere from 500 to 1,000 different species of bacteria in the gut. The intestine microbiome plays a part in a number of functions including vitamin digestion, growth of the immune system, synthesis of vitamins, storage of fat, and protection against infections. Though the human genome remains stable throughout life, the individual microbiome is influenced by your lifestyle and diet.
Research published in the journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice in 2012 affirms a high fat, high-sugar diet will significantly alter the composition of the intestine microbiome within 1-3 days. Sorry to say that reverting to the Standard American Diet on holiday or on the weekends might actually be impacting your healthy gut you nourish so well the rest of your days. And ultimately might be impacting the vital functions which are associated with a healthy gut microbiome. Do you recognize why you need to care? A healthy gut isn’t merely about not having stomach troubles. If your gut is out of balance, it is going to have an effect on virtually every system in your body. It is really that important.