Previously we talked about What is the Gut Microbiome
and briefly touched on the how an imbalance of too many bad microbes in the gut can negatively impact your overall health and wellness.
Research tells us that an imbalanced gut is linked to a higher risk of health concerns like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and immunity. Let’s take a deeper look at how and why this happens:
Gut health plays a crucial role in the body’s disposition to obesity.
Your body needs specific ‘good’ bacteria in your gut to break down fibre into short-chain fatty acids, which are vital for the process of regulating fat metabolism. This means that having a healthy gut microbiome can aid in improving fat burning and reducing fat storage in the body.
You've surely heard of the old adage that 'the way to a man's heart is through his stomach'. Well — that might be proven true for both men and women! Gut microbiome has been found to have an effect on heart health as well.
In 2015, a study was done on how a healthy gut microbiome promotes 'good' HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.2 This is important because good levels of HDL cholesterol and triglycerides may reduce the risk of heart disease.
What’s more, certain gut bacteria like Lactobacili were found to be helpful when taken as probiotics to regulate and improve the health of the gut microbiome.
70% of the immune system lies in the gut! So, it’s no surprise that the bacteria in your gut play a big role in determining how your body responds to infection. By strengthening your gut microbiome, you can strengthen your immunity overall and be resistant to common colds, flus, and stomach upsets.
As with obesity, a healthy gut microbiome may help prevent or at least better manage health conditions like Type 2 diabetes. This is due to the presence of specific microflora and bacteria that regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance.
So, you’ve heard of all the ways your gut microbiome can affect your health. The question now is – how do you cultivate a healthy gut microbiome?
It’s easy! Start with these 4 easy steps to improve gut health
Vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre… and did you know leafy greens also have a specific sugar that fuels the growth of healthy bacteria?
That’s right! The fibre and other nutrients from vegetables feed the good microbes in the gut and help them grow and multiply. Thus, increasing the number of good microbes to balance your gut microbiome.
An easy way to keep up with your fibre intake is to take a fibre supplement like the Nutrilite Mixed Fiber Powder. It comes in convenient stick packs and contains a unique blend of soluble fibres that promote better bowel movements and a healthier gut!
Processed foods and sugars don’t just have an effect on cholesterol and fat. They cause an imbalance in your tummy, which explains why there’s always a rumble after a pitstop at your favourite fast food restaurant or mamak! Of course, it is always wise to regulate your intake of all foods, but it is important to be mindful of how much junk food goes into your belly.
Certain gut bacteria like Lactobacili are helpful when taken as probiotics to regulate the microbiome. Fermented vegetables are an especially good source of probiotics, so look out for things like kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles!
Can’t eat kimchi every day? Not to worry, that's why supplements like prebiotics and probiotics are so important to include in your daily supplement intake routine. They help cultivate and increase the population of good microbes in your gut.
But be warned, not all probiotics are made equal. A good probiotic should ‘arrive alive’ and ‘stick to your gut’ to fill your gut with good bacteria and prevent bad bacteria from flourishing – just like the
Your gut health has a major impact on your sleep patterns and vice versa. Recent studies suggest that gut bacteria may influence our sleep patterns as an unhealthy gut microbiome can result in reduced serotonin and dopamine levels. Serotonin and dopamine are important neurotransmitters that play a role in how long and how well you sleep. Low serotonin levels are linked to insomnia and disturbed sleep.
On the other hand, lack of sleep can increase stress which affects the gut. This can lead to digestive issues such as bloating, inflammation and increased risk of obesity. So, getting enough quality sleep has a powerful influence on your ability to manage your weight and improve your health.
Fu, J., Bonder, M. J., Cenit, M. C., Tigchelaar, E. F., Maatman, A., Dekens, J. A., Brandsma, E., Marczynska, J., Imhann, F., Weersma, R. K., Franke, L., Poon, T. W., Xavier, R. J., Gevers, D., Hofker, M. H., Wijmenga, C., & Zhernakova, A. (2015). The Gut Microbiome Contributes to a Substantial Proportion of the Variation in Blood Lipids. Circulation research, 117(9), 817–824.
Bezirtzoglou, E., Stavropoulou, E., Kantartzi, K., Tsigalou, C., Voidarou, C., Mitropoulou, G., Prapa, I., Santarmaki, V., Kompoura, V., Yanni, A. E., Antoniadou, M., Varzakas, T., & Kourkoutas, Y. (2021). Maintaining Digestive Health in Diabetes: The Role of the Gut Microbiome and the Challenge of Functional Foods. Microorganisms, 9(3), 516.