You’ve probably heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” at some point. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet, you get several benefits, such as a boosted immune system, stronger bones and a lower risk of heart disease. On the contrary, when you eat unhealthy foods, you are more susceptible to health problems, such as obesity and an increased risk of cancer.
The bottom line is, improving your gut health boosts your health and lowers disease risk.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, your gut health is all about your gastrointestinal, or digestive tract, the largest organ in your digestive system. The digestive system comprises several connected hollow organs from the mouth to the anus, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.
Whenever you eat or drink, your digestive system breaks it down into nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, etc.) as it works its way down your digestive tract.
These nutrients help fuel your body to keep you alive. The microorganisms, or gut microbiome, in your small and large intestines, are responsible for breaking down and using those absorbed nutrients for your health.
According to a 2019 review from Current Pharmacology Reports, there are several benefits of a healthy gut microbiome.
A healthy, balanced gut microbiome improves overall health by:
There’s ongoing research to determine how the gut microbiome affects other body parts, such as the brain, heart, liver and lungs.
If your gut microbiome is out of balance, you can experience mild to serious symptoms that require medical attention.
Common symptoms of an unhealthy gut microbiome include:
The Mayo Clinic reported that small intestine bacterial overgrowth arises due to an imbalance in microorganisms. With SIBO, there’s an increase in bacteria not typically found in the small intestine.
The condition often occurs from surgery or disease and can slow down food and waste products traveling through the digestive tract.
Symptoms of SIBO include the following:
Other GI conditions linked to an unbalanced gut microbiome are:
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention from your health care provider.
You'll need to improve your gut health to lower your risk of GI conditions and feel more healthy inside and out.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, here are some tips for boosting your gut health:
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Taneia Surles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.