You may have heard the term leaky gut thrown around lately. Although the term has been around for a while in the ‘alternative’ fields of medicine, it’s becoming accepted by more and more doctors. It’s clear that leaky gut can lead to more serious issues if left unattended.
Probiotic foods help ‘seed’ the gut, adding beneficial bacteria, which helps keep ‘bad bacteria’ in check, aids digestion and keeps nutrient absorption humming. But, probiotics are only part of the story. There’s another ‘biotic’ in the gut-supportive mix, namely the less talked about prebiotics. These are plant fibers that feed the beneficial bacteria (like, for example, the lactobacilli and bifidobacteria) in the gut – and they are essential to your gut health.
There are any number of belly-based ills that can make life very uncomfortable. Ailments like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS or all of the above can, in addition to making you feel lousy, interfere with your body’s ability to get nutrients to where they’re needed, negatively impact your mental and emotional well-being and set you up for serious health problems down the road. One possible underlying cause of all this unhappiness? SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Trouble is, medical professionals often overlook it or misdiagnose it.
An out-of-rhythm lifestyle can throw off the gut and your sleep. And an out-of-rhythm gut can throw your entire life off-kilter – and screw up your sleep to boot. Conversely, good gut health can facilitate good sleep. So, the better you tend to your gut, the easier it will be to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Digestion is one of those routine bodily processes you probably don’t pay much attention to. That is, until ills like bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation rear their ugly head. While some people just try to ride it out, frequent gastrointestinal distress isn’t ‘normal.’ Rather, it’s your body’s way of telling you that your digestion needs some TLC.
A happy, trouble-free gut is the key to keeping your entire body healthy, and never more so than when we’re (still) in the midst of a pandemic. The stronger and more resilient your gut is – and the more harmoniously balanced the trillions of bacteria that live there -- the better your heart, brain, immune system and just about every other part of your body will function.