Yes. Yes it is.
Bacteria live throughout your body, but the microbiome in your gut plays a
VERY important role in your overall health- especially your digestive & immune system.
There are roughly 1,000 species of bacteria & most of them live inside of your intestines.
Your gut flora helps control how your body's immune system responds by communicating
with immune cells how to respond to an infection.
They also break down the foods that you consume & ensure that you are absorbing all of the
nutrients.. but these things are only possible if you have healthy gut flora in the first place.
SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE HEALTHY GUT FLORA:
- Minimal gas or bloating
- Going number dos 1-3x per day
- Overall consistent bowl movements - Clear skin & minimal flares of eczema, arthritis or autoimmune conditions
- A lack of food intolerances
- Good quality sleep - You're not getting sick every month
SYMPTOMS THAT YOUR GUT FLORA MAY BE OUT OF BALANCE:
- Inconsistent bowl movements
- Gas or bloating
- General body fatigue
- Acne or eczema breakouts
- Mood swings or irritability
- Requiring "help" to go to the bathroom (Caffine, constipation pills)
- If bowl movements are hard to pass or watery in consistency
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Food intolerances
FOODS & FACTORS THAT CAN NEGATIVELY IMPACT YOUR GUT HEALTH:
- Antibiotics & NSAIDS can throw off your gut bacteria. If you are prescribed them, be sure to add in some fermented foods or probiotics
- Not getting enough sleep every night
- Chronically high stress levels - A diet consisting of high sugar, dairy, red meat, gluten, breads, artificial sweeteners, GMO's & highly processed foods
- Too much alcohol
- Overdoing it on the pro- & probiotics
- A lack of regular physical activity
HOW YOU CAN HEALTHFULLY SUPPORT YOUR GI SYSTEM:
- Drink lots of water & aim for 100-120 oz. per day
- Lots of veggies & foods high in fiber
- Probiotics or a greens supplement (Opti-Greens 50 from 1st Phorm is my FAV.)
- Add in fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, miso & kefir
- Aim for 8 hours of sleep per night
- Limit stress levels (Consider taking up meditation or a yoga class?)
- Add in bone broth to support & help heal your gut if you had digestive problems (Love the kettle & fire bone broth from thrive market)