Muscle Sport Magazine

How Your Diet Impacts Your Gut Health

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It’s crucial to live a healthy lifestyle nowadays, especially that the world is in the middle of a COVID-19 war. Even seemingly healthy- looking individuals can contract the virus and other disease-causing microorganisms. 

While you might have an idea that your diet impacts your digestive system health, it’s a good idea to know how it works. In this article, you’ll learn how your diet can affect your gut health so that you’ll be more informed about the best dietary options and tips to help you in maintaining good health.

  • Nutrient Processing Starts With The Gut

Digestive or gut health is heavily influenced by your diet, which also reflects your overall health. The food you eat is the source of nutrients and other dietary substances, like fiber, which your cells, tissues, and organs need to function properly.

Dr. Ruscio, a neurologist and digestive health expert, helps people understand the impacts of gut health by providing the right tools to his avid readers. When you equip yourself with the right dietary information, your actions, such as your eating habits, food choices, and decision-making become more productive and positively geared toward better health.

Here’s how nutrients are absorbed in the digestive system:

  • Mastication

The teeth, gums, and other oral cavity structures are in-charge of the mastication or chewing and grinding of food. The bolus of masticated food passes through the esophagus down to the stomach for the next stage.

Problems in the oral cavity, such as tooth decay or gum disease, can be caused by the types of food and beverages you consume. High-sugar food, like sweets, sodas, and desserts, can cause dental problems, leading to mastication issues. If food is not properly masticated, there’s a chance of indigestion, wherein the stomach experiences difficulty dissolving food.

  • Breaking Down Of Food

The stomach is a tough digestive organ with very strong muscles, containing enzymes that break down food further. This organ is a temporary storage pouch for the food, emptying contents to the small intestine. 

The gastrointestinal tract plays a vital role in food intake and appetite control. Because the stomach tells the brain when it’s full, the type and bulk of food you eat affects your hunger and satiety. Choosing the incorrect food can pose gut problems, like indigestion.

  • Nutrient Absorption 

Mostly, nutrient absorption occurs in the small intestine. Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals are obtained from broken down food and are absorbed by the intestinal mucosa through the finger-like projections called villi. 

The final stage is the elimination process that happens in the large intestine, in which unprocessed residues of digestion are rid of through the process of defecation or bowel movement.

  • Probiotics Protect The Gut

Including probiotics in your diet can help protect your digestive system. Probiotics are good bacteria often found in fermented food, such as yogurt, pickles, kefir, and Koren’s all-time favorite, kimchi. Also, brewer’s yeast is an excellent source of probiotics that aid digestion and maintain good cholesterol levels.

Probiotics consist of good bacteria, keeping the body healthy by fighting off too much bad bacteria.  With probiotics included in your diet, you can prevent the risk of developing the following digestive system problems:

  • Constipation

According to a study, probiotics, particularly Bifidobacterium, can help soften tools and increase the number of bowel movements by 1.3 weekly. Hence, probiotics can help prevent constipation.

  • Colic

Probiotics promote a healthy intestinal microbiota landscape, preventing and relieving colic symptoms. 

  • Crohn’s Disease

Include natural probiotic food sources to your diet to help reduce intestinal inflammation and immune system problems.

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Probiotics can help improve overall IBS symptoms, such as gas and pain. Lactobacillus plantarum can help alleviate diarrhea from IBS. The desired effects are usually experienced after eight weeks of probiotics intake. 

  • Lactose Intolerance

Evidence suggests that probiotics help alleviate lactose intolerance signs and symptoms, increasing lactose hydrolysis in the small intestine and the dairy product. 

  • Ulcerative Colitis

In ulcerative colitis, the colon and rectum are inflamed, causing small ulcerations, pus, and bleeding. Probiotics serves as a barrier in ulcerative colitis, lining the bowels so that bad bacteria won’t reach the intestinal wall. Also, probiotics change the makeup of your gut microbiome, with good bacteria balancing out the bad, decreasing inflammation and calming the intestinal reaction.

  • Diet Affects Appetite, Hunger, And Satiety

Satiety refers to the absence of hunger, and hunger motivates food consumption. Hunger is perceived when your body recognizes the need to consume more food which then sends a signal to your brain to eat. These sensations are partly controlled by the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that also has something to do with regulating blood sugar, certain body hormones, and digestive system functions. 

On the other hand, appetite refers to the desire to eat food. Your appetite can be influenced by different factors which dictates the amount and the type of food you want to eat or your cravings. 

Check the following sample scenarios how your diet can affect your gut health in terms of appetite, hunger, and satiety:

  • Too Much Carbs Lead To Gut Issues: When you give in to your cravings and eat too much carbohydrates, your digestive system can suffer. Even eating small amounts of carbohydrates can cause poor digestion, fatigue, bloating, fatigue, abdominal cramps, and heartburn. It can also cause carbohydrate intolerance, affecting how the digestive system metabolizes carbohydrate properly.
  • Dangers Of Fasting: Many people choose to undergo fasting as a part of their diet regimen in an attempt to lose weight quickly. However, fasting may pose some dangers. Aside from disrupting sleep and causing stress, it can also lead to dehydration, heartburn, and reduced stomach acid. Digestive enzymes digest food and destroy bacteria. Reduced levels may compromise your gut health. 

Conclusion

Your diet greatly impacts your digestive health. The types of food and beverages you consume affect the amount of vitamin, minerals, and other nutrients your body takes. Nutrient deficiencies and weight problems could be a result of poor diet, affecting metabolism and gut health. Increasing intake of nutritious food and probiotics can help strengthen your immune system to promote better gut health.

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