5 Unexpected Things Your Gut Microbiome Can Do
Have you ever thought about the countless microscopic organisms that live within your body? It might sound like something straight out of a science fiction movie, but it's actually a scientific fact! Your gut microbiome, which consists of millions of microorganisms, is constantly working behind the scenes to keep you healthy. In fact, it plays a crucial role in your overall well-being. Want to know more? Here are five surprising ways that your gut microbiome influences your health.
Regulate your emotional wellbeing
Have you ever experienced a rollercoaster of emotions, going from laughter to tears within a matter of moments? Or perhaps you've felt a sudden rush of anxiety that seemingly came out of nowhere. Believe it or not, your gut microbiome could be a major player in how you're feeling through a pathway known as the "gut-brain axis."
This ecosystem in your gut produces chemicals that your brain uses to regulate mood, including the infamous "happy hormone" serotonin which accounts for a whopping 90% of your body's supply. When the balance of bacteria in your gut is thrown off, it can lead to mood swings, anxiety, and even depression. So, taking care of your gut health with a healthy diet and probiotics can go a long way in promoting your emotional well-being. By nurturing a healthy gut microbiome, you can help regulate your mood, reduce the risk of emotional imbalances, and ultimately feel your best self.
Influence your body weight
Did you know that your gut bacteria may also influence your body weight? Surprisingly, cutting carbs or hitting the treadmill might not be enough if we overlook these tiny microbes because they hold a sizable influence on our metabolic processes.
Recent research has shown that the gut microbiota can directly affect our metabolism and body weight. It's a complex game of balance within our guts, where certain species of bacteria promote a lean physique, while other strains potentially stimulate weight gain.
So, how does this happen? Well, it largely depends on how these bacteria interact with our bodily functions and how they influence the absorption and storage of nutrients. Some bacteria are 'thrifty' and are adept at squeezing every single calorie out of the food we consume, leading to excess energy storage as fat. On the other hand, there are 'economical' bacteria that are not as effective at extracting energy from food, thus helping maintain a lean body mass.
Furthermore, gut bacteria can regulate hunger and satiety hormones, guiding our food cravings and dietary choices unknowingly. That's right, the cravings you have for that double-decker chocolate cake might actually be your gut flora calling the shots. So, it's not just about calories in and calories out, it's much more complex, with your gut bacteria playing a pivotal role in your overall weight management journey.
If you're trying to shed a few pounds, a personalised approach to a healthy gut could be helpful. Improving your gut health with probiotics, prebiotics, or a fibre-rich diet can significantly enhance your weight loss plan.
Enhance cognitive performance
Did you know that your gut microbiome doesn't just influence your physical health but it also plays a role in your cognitive functioning? That's right, a healthy gut can give your brain a significant boost! From memory retention to decision-making, several cognitive processes are associated with the gut microbiome. Any imbalances, also known as gut dysbiosis, can have a negative impact on your mental acuity, leading to brain fog, poor concentration, and reduced mental agility.
Influence your immune system
Did you know that your gut is home to up to 80% of your immune system? That's right! The gut plays a crucial role in building and regulating your immune system. The gut microbiome, which is a complex and diverse community of microorganisms that live in your gut, helps to train your immune cells to distinguish between harmless substances and harmful invaders. This is particularly important for dendritic cells and macrophages, which are responsible for detecting and destroying pathogens. The gut microbiome also produces a variety of molecules, such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), that assist in regulating immune responses.
Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is essential for building a strong and balanced immune system that can protect you from disease. There are several things you can do to support a healthy gut microbiome, such as eating a balanced diet rich fibre in the form of fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods; avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive caffeine; getting regular exercise; and getting enough sleep.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to boost your fibre intake is by including our Herbal Colon Cleanse Complex in your diet. Our Colon Cleanse tablets contain 8 active ingredients that can help boost your gut health and fibre intake. It's packed with fibre-rich and plant-derived psyllium husk, making it perfect for those looking to add some extra fibre to their diet.
Improve your sleep patterns
Studies have shown that the microbes in our gut produce a variety of biochemicals, including neurotransmitters. One such neurotransmitter produced by the gut microbiota is serotonin which is a vital chemical that regulates our mood, appetite, and sleep. It is also a precursor to melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle. When our gut microbiota is imbalanced, it can disrupt the production of serotonin and melatonin, leading to sleep disturbances. So, the bottom line? Nurture your gut bacteria for a restful night's sleep!
Riya Lakhani-Kanji MSc ANutr is a registered nutritionist and health writer with a special interest in plant-based nutrition. She has completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, and has developed a passion for writing about all things plant-based.