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Knowledge about the importance of our gut microbiome is increasing. This is good. The gut microbiome has a profound effect on our overall health. Your gut health is a key indicator of your health in general. Let’s take a look at the importance of a balanced gut microbiome and the steps you can follow to improve it. 

 

What is the Gut Microbiome? 

Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microscopic living things are collectively called microorganisms or microbes. Trillions of microbes live inside our intestines and on our skin. The majority of intestinal microbes are referred to as the gut microbiome.  

Indeed, there are more bacterial cells living in your body than human cells. Scientists estimate that there are about 30 trillion human cells that comprise a human being. However, they also estimate that the microbiome has over 40 trillion bacterial cells. It’s a weird thought, but you are more bacteria than human. 

In addition, the human gut microbiome contains approximately 1,000 species of bacteria. Most of them are beneficial to our health and perform necessary functions. Others are harmful and can cause disease and inflammation. 

If you stacked these microbes onto a scale, they would weigh about 2 to 5 pounds, which is about the weight of the human brain. They function as an additional organ and are key to your overall health. 

 

What is Gut Health? 

Good gut health happens when the good bacteria are in balance with the bad bacteria and yeast in your gut. Keep in mind that 80% of your immune system is in the gut. A majority of your body’s serotonin is located there as well. An unhealthy, unbalanced gut negatively impacts your immune system and hormone balance. Many times, this is how autoimmune disorders begin. 

An unhealthy gut can lead to issues like chronic inflammation, chronic illness, and chronic fatigue. You may experience symptoms like joint pain, brain fog, diarrhea, constipation, and gas. An unhealthy gut can impact your brain health as well. 

 

What Factors Can Lead to an Unhealthy Gut? 

The most common factors contributing to an imbalanced microbiome can include: 

  • Long-term use of antibiotics and antacids. These kill the good bacteria in the gut. In addition, they decrease B12 in your gut, which impacts brain function, energy levels, and cell production. If you need antibiotics, talk to your doctor about taking a probiotic as well. 

  • Stress: This increases intestinal permeability (leaky gut), creating an imbalance of more harmful than good bacteria in the gut. 

  • Poor nutrition: Most people eat processed food and sugar, which can harm the beneficial bacteria in your gut and contribute to or cause inflammation throughout the body. 

 

What are the Symptoms of an Imbalanced Microbiome? 

An imbalance microbiome can result in issues like gas, constipation, bloating, and diarrhea. It can lead to autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s Disease, Type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. Brain fog, headaches, poor concentration and memory, fatigue, chronic pain, trouble sleeping, and issues with cravings or bad moods are also symptoms of a poor microbiome. 

 

How Can I Improve My Gut Health? 

You can be proactive about your gut health. Begin by managing stress, getting good sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising. One of the most important steps to healing your gut is to eat properly and consider a supplement. Read on: 

 

Foods to Eat for Gut Health 

Diet and gut health are very closely linked. Stay away from high-fat foods, processed foods, and foods high in refined sugars to maintain a healthy microbiome. These items promote the growth of harmful bacteria while killing beneficial bacteria. In addition, add these to your diet to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria: 

1. High-fiber foods 

High-fiber foods such as legumes, beans, peas, oats, bananas, berries, asparagus, and leeks have shown a positive impact on gut health in numerous studies. 

 

2. Fermented foods  

Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, tempeh, miso, and kefir are great dietary sources of probiotics. Their benefits on the gut microbiome are well studied. 

 

3. Garlic and onion 

Studies show that garlic and onion have positive effects on the immune system as well as offer anti-cancer properties. These are closely linked to the primary functions of the gut. 

 

4. Collagen-boosting foods 

Collagen-rich foods such as bone broth and salmon may be beneficial to overall health and gut health specifically. Add mushrooms and good dairy as well. 

 

Supplements for Gut Health 

Adding a prebiotic or probiotic supplement may be a great way to improve gut health. Prebiotics provide “food” meant to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria. Look for high-quality supplements and keep in mind that if you are experiencing a bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), you should not take probiotics.

 

Gut Hero (coming soon!) is designed to get your microbiome back on track and bring you relief from irregularity, bloating, and cramping. Made with a combination including anti-parasitic herbs, anti-viral caprylic acid from coconut oil, and anti-inflammatory mushrooms, these capsules will help you flush your system of whatever is holding you up, and then keep everything running more smoothly long term!  

 

Final Thoughts 

Healing your gut takes dedication, consistency, and some simple steps. Eat healthy foods and manage your stress to take the first step on the path to recovery. Add in Soul Gut Hero and probiotics for additional help towards a balanced microbiome.