Gut Health: Why It Matters

Ever really wonder what happens when you eat? Your digestive system is complex and has an impact on your overall health. Every time you eat, food takes a trip through your digestive system, and bacteria in your digestive tract helps to turn food into nutrients for your body.

An unhealthy balance of bacteria may cause symptoms like gas, diarrhea, heartburn, bloating and constipation as well as diseases like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

“Your gut microbiome includes bacteria that can influence your health and risk of disease,” said Jan Dowell, registered dietitian at Memorial’s Weight Loss and Wellness Center. “It’s important to have a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria.”

Support your overall gut health by incorporating some of these tips into your routine:

  • Reduce stress. Practice techniques to help you relax and avoid activities that cause you stress.
  • Strive for quality sleep. Sound sleep is beneficial for your gut and overall health.
  • Drink enough water. You should drink at a minimum eight 8-ounces glasses of water each day and sometimes more based on your activity, height and weight.
  • Eat healthy foods. Avoid foods that cause you gastrointestinal distress, add enough fiber to your diet, eat foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics, and eat a healthy overall diet.

“Eating a healthier, more nutritious diet is beneficial to your gut health,” added Dowell.

Need nutrition counseling?

Memorial Weight Loss and Wellness Center offers nutrition counseling to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.