At least 40 percent of people in the United States suffer from some type of digestive distress according to a recent report from the American Gastroenterological Association. For some, digestive issues only happen on occasion, and their symptoms are minor and short-lived. For many, though, digestive issues are an ongoing problem that can make everyday life challenging. In some cases, they’re far more than a mere hindrance—they’re debilitating.
Not all digestive issues are the same. They can range from occasional stomach and intestinal distress to chronic disorders like IBS, Crohn’s disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and recurring diverticulitis. One of the keys to keeping digestive problems at bay is maintaining optimal gut health. That means taking measures to help your body protect itself against those issues. Keep the following points in mind if you want a healthier gut and far less distress.
Why Is Gut Health Important?
Like many people, you may be wondering why gut health is so important. It’s actually significant for several reasons. For one, people who have a healthy gut don’t suffer as much from common gastrointestinal issues. Those might include the conditions mentioned above as well as stomach pain, intestinal cramping, bloating, frequent trips to the bathroom, constipation, or other types of general abdominal misery that so often accompany them. For those who live with such issues, that alone might be reason enough to strive for improved gut health. It’s only the beginning, though.
Better Overall Health
A healthy gut can contribute to better overall health. If the digestive system is working properly, it gradually moves food through the digestive tract, breaking it down and processing it along the way. Once broken-down food reaches the intestines, it begins to absorb into the body.
Then, the body makes use of nutrients from the foods eaten as needed. It transforms them into energy, amino acids that promote cellular regeneration, and a wide range of other compounds. Healthy digestion allows the body to take full advantage of the nutrients in the foods consumed for optimal wellness.
Many people may not realize this, but the intestines are crucial components of the body’s immune system. Your intestinal walls are designed to help block harmful bacteria and other microorganisms from making their way into the rest of your body. A healthy digestive system does its job properly, promoting heightened immunity. On the other hand, an unhealthy gut allows unpleasant microorganisms to permeate its walls, making you vulnerable to any number of illnesses.
Enhanced Mental Health
Studies also show that poor gut health can be a leading factor in mental disorders like anxiety and depression. Part of that comes from increased inflammation caused by digestive distress. At the same time, the intestines may send signals to your brain that trigger mental disorders or exacerbate their symptoms. Mental disorders also contribute to poor intestinal health. It’s a two-way street, but either way, intestinal and mental health are intertwined.
Maintaining Gut Health
Gut health is essential. It fosters physical and mental wellness from several perspectives. A healthy digestive system can safeguard you against illnesses, reduce the chances of suffering from mental disorders, and leave you with a more positive state of mind. It can also eliminate gastrointestinal discomfort that so often detracts from everyday life. Taking measures to protect your digestive system and ensure it works properly can be beneficial from both short- and long-term perspectives.
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