Nutrition

Gut Health Importance and How to Improve It: Beginner’s Guide

Woman knows that good gut health is key.

Why is gut health so important? Gut health is of importance and a big part of our overall wellness. It’s essential to take care of your gut for optimal wellness, not just because it sounds cool. There are many things you can do to improve your gut flora, which will help keep your immune system strong and well, protect you against disease and infection, and help keep your digestive system functioning properly. So, let’s learn how to begin to heal and improve your gut, because gut health is so important to the key to your overall wellness. These gut health tips are perfect even for beginners.

How to Start Improving Your Gut Health For Beginners

Healthy and happy hands creating a heart for beginner's guide to gut health.

What is Gut Health?

Simply put, gut health is the health state of your digestive system. Your digestive health is important to your overall wellness, and if out of balance, which can lead to digestive issues and diseases. Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria and microorganisms. When you eat the wrong foods or eat the wrong combinations of foods, the balance of bacteria in your gut can be thrown off.

The Importance of Good Gut Health!

Gut health is the foundation of your health. Gut imbalance can lead to chronic illnesses and inflammation throughout the body. Stress causes poor digestive health, inadequate nutrition, and a lack of good bacteria within the body.

Why Gut Health is Important?

Gut health refers to the good bacteria in your digestive system that aid digestion and maintain a well immune system. Human microbiome is incredibly diverse, but studies have shown that bacteria are more prevalent in some populations. This is largely due to the way people live, as certain bacteria thrive on what they eat and can only be found naturally in certain environments, such as soil.

Hands holding digestive organs to show great gut health.

How Does Poor Digestive Health Affect You?

Many factors can cause gut health problems, so it’s important to look at the symptoms of digestive problems. So, what are signs of digestive problems? Poor gut health can present itself in many forms and lead to various health problems, including:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn and acid reflux
  • Sugar cravings
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Fatigue
  • Mental fog
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Skin conditions like dermatitis herpetiformis (DH)
  • Food allergies
  • Inflammation
  • Joint pain
Woman knows gut health importance to feel amazing.

Why is Digestive Health So Key in Preventing Diseases Within the Body?

Gut health is so important, because it affects the immune system and the way the body absorbs nutrients. In addition, it also affects mood disorders, weight, sleep, and various other factors. Some of those include:

  • Decreased immunity levels.
  • Higher risk of asthma and allergies
  • Increased risk factor for chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers.
  • The makeup of gut bacteria may play a role in weight and obesity.

What Factors Affect Gut Health and Healthy Microbiome Bacteria?

The bacteria have a tremendous impact on gut health in our gastrointestinal tract. Bacteria in our gut, known as the microbiome, help digest food and maintain good health. The gut microbiome also plays a role in the immune system, and is essential for many bodily functions, including energy production (metabolism) and brain function. Did you know that 70% of your immune system resides in your gut?

A healthy gut will contain diverse bacteria, which helps maintain general health and well-being. Like I mentioned earlier, specific types of bacteria in the gut can also lead to other conditions, including obesity. There are many ways to improve gut health: diet, supplements, probiotics/prebiotics, and lifestyle changes.  Probiotics can help improve diversity of bacteria.

Smoothie with chia and kiwi great for gut health.

Food, Diet, Environment and Gut Health

The food you eat has a significant impact on gut health. Kefir, yogurt, kombucha, fermented foods like homemade sauerkraut are all fantastic foods to include when you begin to heal your gut. Probiotic rich foods are not only important to create a healthy balance of bacteria, but also prebiotics. Prebiotics are food for the healthy bacteria within your body. Some prebiotic rich foods include raw asparagus, onions, banana, Jerusaleum artichoke, raw garlic, and dandelion greens.

Can You Improve Gut Health With Food?

Gut health can improve when you eat a plant-based diet, which includes whole grains, vegetables and healthy fats. In addition, gut health can be improved by avoiding processed foods, excess sugar and refined carbohydrates, as well as high-fat meat products including dairy.

Even our environment can also affect gut health. The type of medications can play a huge role in disrupting the microbiome. Medications, including over-the-counter painkillers and drugs used to treat acid reflux, diabetes and psychiatric conditions, can also affect gut health.

Antibiotics should be prescribed only when needed to fight bacterial infections, but should be carefully used due to the potential side effects. Antibiotics and antacids can decrease the levels of B12 in the gut, which can be problematic. The overuse of antibiotics can lead to gut imbalances called dysbiosis. It is always best to speak with your doctor first to see if taking antibiotics is the best route for your situation.

Can Poor Digestive Health Affect Your Mood?

Yes, there is strong evidence that poor digestive health from imbalances can lead to mood disorders including depression, anxiety, and fatigue. Gut health refers to the balance of good and bad bacteria in our microbiome.

Most of the bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in our bodies are found in our gut. They produce many of the chemicals that affect our mood. So to keep the gut-brain connection healthy, it is best to learn how to feed your gut microbiome with the proper diet. You can read more about the gut-brain connection here:

There are many ways to improve your digestive health, but the most important thing is getting started! Healing a gut takes time, commitment and consistency.

With this being said, if you’re only just getting started on improving your digestive health, you may not even know where to begin. Here are some tips to get you started!

Woman holding stomach from digestive health problems.

Gut Health Tips To Start For Beginners

1. TAKE A BEGINNER’S GUT HEALTH TEST

This is one thing I did, because I honestly didn’t know what my digestive health looked like – I just felt crappy all the time after eating certain foods. Specific blood tests at your doctor’s office or lab can tell you if you have a gluten intolerance, metabolic disorder, and more. I took a food sensitivity test and found that I was sensitive to certain foods I ate regularly, like dairy! You can learn how to improve your digestive health even without dairy. So, learning about your body’s tolerances is a great place to start.

2. TRY A LIGHT FOOD ELIMINATION TEST TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH SYMPTOMS

Whether you do any type of intolerance test, you can try simply eliminating the foods from your diet that make you feel bloated, or even send you running for the bathroom to see if it helps. Chances are, if it does help, you may be better off without them, and your gut will thank you later! Now, this doesn’t need to be permanent, and you don’t need to do this with ALL foods at once. Take it step by step, one by one, and see how your body adapts.

3. IMPORTANCE OF GUT HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS

There are many great supplements for digestive health out there! You can even go straight down to your local vitamins/supplements store to see what they’ve got, or do some beginner’s research online by checking out some of my past articles on gut health supplements. A little help goes a long way! A few articles to review are:

My 8-week digestive health program will help you get on track with a nutrition plan that works for you. Take advantage of this top rated program to begin to heal and improve your gut health today.

Join the Restore Your Gut Health Program here.

Let’s Begin to Heal and Improve Your Digestion, Because Gut Health is of Importance!

Did anything surprise you about the importance of gut health and how to improve your health even as beginners? Let me know in the comment section below.

In addition, I would also love to hear what you think, or take a photo and tag me @Eat_Your_Nutrition on Instagram. I love seeing your photos. #EatYourNutrition #LauraVillanueva

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Certified holistic nutritionist, nutrition and wellness author, weight and gut health specialist. I teach women how to discover effective ways to become the healthiest version of themselves.

My refreshing new approach to nutrition and healthy living has inspired many to make positive healthy lifestyle changes. The holistic nutrition blog focuses on the importance of a balanced lifestyle. Holistic living addresses the whole person's lifestyle, including physical, mental, social, and spiritual.

You can achieve a healthy gut, learn how to restore healthy gut flora by learning my healthy nutrition tips on my gut health holistic nutrition blog, recipes, and follow my healthy gut diet plans, guides, and programs. 

Holistic Nutritionist, Health & Wellness Coach & Gut Health Nutritionist

Hi, I'm Laura.
Your Healthy Gut Nutritionist!

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