When faced with a major decision, we frequently hear the phrase “trust your instincts.”Our “gut instinct” is an intuitive sensation or vibe that we obtain from a variety of sources, including our life experiences and wisdom. Our truegut, on the other hand, is far more powerful; it is linked to overall health, disease, and even mood, and it is influenced by almost everything we do.
The Gut Microbiome Is in Charge
There are billions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses in your gut microbiome, the majority of which are healthy and useful. The microbiota is a collection of bacteria that reside in and on the human body, whereas the microbiome refers to the entire set of genes found inside these microbes. Microbial genes have a big impact on how the body works. Your genes, geography, health state, stress, diet, age, gender, and everything you touch all have a role in determining your microbiota and microbiome. Because such elements change so much, the microbiome composition is continually altering. Although bacteria make up the majority of microbiota, viruses are the most prevalent inhabitants. Viruses are often thought to be destructive, however, this is not always the case. The viruses found in the stomach infect gut bacteria cells, however, they are not always harmful. Instead, they enjoy a mutually beneficial partnership. Viruses have the ability to quickly convey beneficial genes. If you introduce new bacteria to your gut through diet or probiotics, viral cells can assist the bacteria to thrive by transferring genetic code (Neu and Rushing, 2011). The microbiome is so important to the body’s functions that it functions as an organ, influencing aging, digestion, immunity, mood, and cognitive function. The importance of the microbiota on mental health has also been discovered through research. The gut-brain axis (GBA) is a complicated linkage between the stomach and the brain, and there may be a link between poor gut health and depression. To regulate brain chemistry and mediate stress response, anxiety, and memory, the microbiome interacts with the central nervous system (Carabotti et al., 2015).
A strong immune system and lower levels of chronic inflammation are aided by healthy, balanced gut flora. Obesity, asthma, allergies, and autoimmune illnesses such as celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis have all been related to an unhealthy microbiome. Chronic inflammation is increasingly being considered a fundamental cause of cardiovascular disease, type2 diabetes, and several cancers.
Clostridium DifficileEnteritis can be cured with a fecal transplant.
To repair the intestinal microbiomes, people with the hospital-acquired disease Clostridiumdifficile enteritis (C. diff.) have begun to get excrement transplants from healthy people. This startling yet highly effective treatment has been demonstrated to be more than 90% efficient in healing individuals with C.diff., an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Fecal transplants are particularly effective because they instantly restore beneficial bacteria into the colon. It’s like taking the most potent probiotic on the planet.
Gut Check for Athletes
Irish researchers recently looked at the impact of the microbiome on competitive athletes. Physical activity may promote healthy gut bacteria to thrive, according to the study, which involved40 Irish rugby players from the national side. The study demonstrated that an athlete’s microbiome is poised for tissue repair and aids in the high rate of cell turnover seen in elite sports, shedding new light on how physical fitness enhances gut flora (Barton et al., 2017).
Gut health equals happiness.
Many of these gut microbiome discoveries are stunning and unexpected, however, the next section is not. How do you encourage and preserve gut health? How do you establish and maintain a diverse and stable population of gut microbes? It’s straightforward: Eat well and get some exercise. Consume a variety of fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and pulses (beans and lentils), which are high in “prebiotic” fiber. This is a form of dietary fiber that passes through the small intestine without being digested but is fermented by the bacteria you want in your colon. You can also take a probiotic supplement and eat fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir (unsweetened).
Almost every aspect of a healthy or unhealthy existence appears to be determined by the stomach. As a result, it is more crucial than ever for us as health and fitness professionals to do everything we can to ensure that everyone we lead toward health is combining sensible eating patterns with regular physical exercise rather than picking one or the other. It’s also critical to keep educating clients to make better health decisions about sleep, stress, and other areas of healthy living.