Let's be honest: for most people, their current lifestyle isn't conducive to full gut health . High levels of stress , few hours of sleep, unregulated eating schedules and higher-than-desirable sugar levels are common. Ultimately, all of this affects intestinal health and harms the microbiome .
Some say that the intestine is our second brain . Did you know that a large part of the immune system is found in the intestine? Around 2 to 3 kg of bacteria live there. If we don't eat properly, our entire body will feel it. General health is affected, particularly the immune system. Skin problems, weight fluctuations and changes in the ability to absorb nutrients arise. Fortunately, the human body is a wonderful machine that alerts us when something is not right.
5 Signs of poor gut health
1 – Unexpected weight changes
Losing or gaining weight unintentionally can be a sign that our intestinal flora is not happy. A weakened intestine impairs the body's ability to absorb nutrients, which could lead to unexpected weight gain. Weight loss can be caused by an excessive growth of bacteria in the small intestine (SIBO - Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth ).
2 – Gastrointestinal discomfort
Flatulence, abdominal bloating , constipation, diarrhea, heartburn… It is not normal to live with these signs of gastrointestinal discomfort on a daily basis. And it's also not normal to have irregular bowel function . If this is your case, quickly seek help from a professional specializing in intestinal health.
3 – Food intolerances
Food intolerance occurs when there is difficulty digesting certain foods and should not be confused with food allergy , which is an exaggerated immune response to a certain food.
The causes are diverse, but may be related to intestinal health , leading to digestion problems, pain, bloating, nausea and flatulence.
4 – Constant fatigue and sleep changes
Sleep disorders constitute a public health problem with varied causes. Much of the serotonin (the hormone that affects mood and sleep) produced in our body is found in the intestine. Therefore, if you are constantly tired and suffer from sleep disorders, be wary of your intestinal health.
5 – Preference for ultra-processed foods
A diet with high levels of sugar and ultra-processed foods considerably affects the intestinal flora. This imbalance further increases the desire for the sweet taste , creating a cycle.
Leaving aside aesthetic issues, health and well-being must be a priority. For this reason, try to include nutritionally dense foods in your daily life and favor a diet that is as natural as possible.
5 Actions to take now to improve your gut health
You already know the signs of poor intestinal health. The next step is to put into practice small steps that help to reverse the situation.
I remind you that it is in the intestine that a large part of our immune system is found. As such, I leave you 5 measures that you can start applying in your daily routine and that will improve your intestinal health .
1 – Chew calmly and maintain hydration
Chewing is crucial for regulating intestinal transit and aiding weight loss processes, as it contributes to increased satiety . Chewing slowly promotes complete absorption of nutrients , reducing gastrointestinal discomfort.
Furthermore, correct hydration throughout the day is essential to lead a healthy lifestyle, balancing the intestinal flora .
2 – Significantly reduce stress levels
Stress is the enemy of anyone who wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Among the countless ways to reduce it, I highlight meditation , outdoor walks and relaxing massages . You can simply take 15 minutes out of your day to do something that you really enjoy and that gives you pleasure. If you suffer from anxiety , try reducing your caffeine intake.
3 – Sleep better
It is essential to adjust your schedule and prioritize sleep quality . Poor sleep interferes with intestinal health, which further contributes to sleep disorders. A few minutes of meditation or a calming tea before bed can help. Seek advice from your doctor if you have difficulty regulating your sleep schedule.
4 – Confirm possible food intolerances
Gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain or bloating may be more extreme cases. It is imperative to pay attention to the signs that the body gives us and check the times of the day when symptoms worsen. This way, we are able to identify specific foods that may be contributing to such discomfort. Ask your nutritionist for help to find out exactly how to proceed.
5 – Make changes to your diet
The food supply is increasing and we live surrounded by products that are pleasant to the palate. However, the current diet is not suitable for stable intestinal health. Reduce your intake of ultra-processed foods and prioritize natural, little-processed foods with a smaller list of ingredients. A diet rich in fiber also contributes to a balanced intestinal flora. And don't forget to drink water !
Your intestine has a lot of influence on the health of your body , so take care of it! Make this your guide to always be alert and act promptly in the event of an imbalance.