We all think that we know the key to good health. A decent diet and regular exercise, right? Well, while these are certainly important aspects of good health, to say that they are the be-all and end-all would be an oversimplification. The fact is that one of the most important aspects of our health is also amongst the most neglected… And that’s our digestive / gut health.
Image by Pixabay
Why we neglect this crucial aspect of our health is unclear. Perhaps it’s because we can’t see our digestive organs… But we can certainly see and feel the results of poor digestive health. Bad gut health can have a prodigious knock-on effect on the rest of our body and manifest in some very unpleasant ways. The good news is that it’s easy to rectify. Instigating some sensible dietary changes (and sticking to them) is usually all it takes to right the ship. Plus, there are subscription box services like Erbology.co which make it easy for you by sending you a range of gut-healthy snacks, oils and powders.
A healthy digestive system means that in the very least you can be sure that your body is getting the most from the nutrition with which you provide it. Fail to look after your digestive system, however, and you could notice a wide range of adverse effects…
Poor gut health has been linked to a wide variety of skin ailments. Among those most commonly experienced are psoriasis, eczema, rosacea and acne. We tend to treat skin problems by throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the surface, spending a fortune on skin serums and treatments. Instead, we should focus more on treating our skin from within.
Our sleep is an extremely important and yet chronically overlooked aspect of our health. When we don’t get enough sleep it can not only make us cranky, irritable and emotionally volatile, it can also impair our cognitive faculties, make it harder to recover from illness and injury and make us feel altogether yucky and horrible.
The bad news is that poor gut health is never conducive to a good night’s sleep. The microbiome in our gut is referred to as the second brain and it produces and releases many of the same sleep-influencing neurotransmitters that the brain does. Things like dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin are all produced in the gut as well as the brain. Thus, poor gut health inevitably leads to erratic sleep.
When we consider that the gut is in fact the second brain, it doesn’t take much of a leap in logic to figure out that poor gut health can impact upon mental health. When the delicate balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is upset this can lead to imbalances in the brain resulting in mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and decreased cognitive function. If you want to manage your mental health, you need to start by thinking about your gut.
By taking care of our digestive system we can sidestep some potentially serious health issues while also reducing our risk of even more serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes.