5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Gut

The ability to enjoy our food is central to the human experience. 

Nobody wants to go through feelings of pain and discomfort accompanied by bloating and gas. While these can be triggered by many different things, both are a sign that your gut health may be in need of a little extra love. 

Did you know that ancient civilizations believed that the gut was an extension of the brain? Although many scoff at this ancient wisdom, advances in research have shown that there’s a reason people say to ‘trust your gut.’ 

Our gut health impacts our mood, digestion, immunity, and overall health. There’s a lot to learn when it comes to the gut microbiome. That’s why we’ve identified five things you might not yet know about your gut! 

For more expert insight on how to improve your gut health, be sure to check out our podcast episode with award winning gastroenterologist, Dr. Will Bulsiewicz. 

Your gut is the control centre for human biology

Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, believed that all health begins in the gut. Two-thousand years later, we recognize the truth in this through our learnings about the human gut microbiome.  

By adulthood, this microbiome has developed into an incredibly complex ecosystem. Over 100 trillion microbes, bacteria, yeasts, viruses, and archaea delicately interact with one another to support our digestive system, as well as our entire being.

Our gut microbes have been described as a control centre for human biology. Our microbes produce dozens, if not hundreds, of chemicals that contribute to our health outcomes. They regulate our appetite, blood sugars, inflammatory processes, and metabolic health. 

In our journey to better gut health, our gut microbes are our crucial allies. They rely on us, and we depend on them for optimal wellbeing. 

Your gut thrives on fibre-rich foods

Since our digestive system cannot break down fibre, the human body has brilliantly outsourced the task to our gut microbes. Through the supply of fibre-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, beans, and unprocessed plants – we boost the production of what are called Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA). 

Here are just a few of the benefits of SCFAs: 

  • They help to produce hormones that regulate our appetite and control our blood sugars. 
  • A gut starved of SCFAs can lead to what’s known as leaky gut, which drives inflammation and can lead to problems such as heart disease. 
  • SCFAs interact with our immune system daily, preventing an overactive immune system, which can help support conditions like Crohn’s disease. 

Sadly, nearly 90% of adults do not consume enough fibre. A diet high in animal products and processed foods has been shown to cause bloating, constipation, and poor gut health. High consumption of ultra-processed foods wreaks havoc on microbiome diversity. 

If you want to avoid bloating, constipation, IBS, leaky gut, and other digestive related issues, a high-fibre plant based diet can ensure your gut microbiome flourishes.

Your gut appreciates movement and rest

At Happy Pear, we like to think of our gut microbiome as our little pet. Yes, you read that right. 

Just like your family pet needs a proper diet, rest, and exercise –  so does your gut! 

If you know anything about us, you know we always prioritise daily movement. We love a beautiful ‘swimrise’ on Greystones beach with our community and can fit a yoga session in even the snuggest of spaces. Daily movement and a healthy exercise routine are key to our overall health and energy levels. 

Recent research even suggests that when comparing the microbiome of non athletes to professional rugby players, the rugby players had a stronger and more diverse microbiome. Frequent and regular exercise is really beneficial for gut health – so get moving! 

As important as movement is in our lives, so is sleep! Sleep is such a crucial factor for our overall health, but yet it’s often one of the first to be compromised with busy schedules. 

Sleep deprivation can lead to overeating processed foods that are higher in fat and sugar and low in fibre. These foods typically trigger uncomfortable feelings of bloating and constipation. Additionally, sleep deprivation has been linked to reduced microbial diversity. 

So, keep your gut happy by getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night! 

Your gut loves the great outdoors

Did you know that people who live in the countryside tend to have healthier and more diverse microbiomes than city residents? An oversantised indoor lifestyle is not the best for our microbial health. Instead, get outside as much as possible! If you can’t make it out of the city, spend some time in local parks – or even your backyard!  
Connecting to the earth, or grounding as it’s often referred to, can have amazing benefits for your wellbeing. Spending time in nature exposes us to more bacterial biodiversity, which in turn can help us to create a more diverse microbiome and even improve our immune system.

Your gut craves plant diversity

For years, a team of researchers attempted to discover what defined a healthy microbiome. In their work, they uncovered that the #1 predictor is the diversity of plants in your diet. 

The study highlighted that individuals who ate more than thirty different plants per week unlocked incredible benefits of fibre-loving bacteria in the gut microbiome. Unfortunately, due to the Standard Western diet – fewer than 1 in 250 people are achieving that goal. 

If you’re familiar with our gut health recipes, you’ll have already noticed that each has a plant score. This is an easy way to keep track of the diversity of plants in your diet. Whether it be a bean, green, or wholegrain –  try them all! Your microbiome will thank you. 

Why Gut Health Matters

We all want to live happily and in good health. One of the best ways to boost our health, strengthen our immune system, and optimise digestion is to cultivate a healthy gut.

Our gut microbes are key contributors to our health, and we can work in partnership with them. When the gut is happy and healthy – the feeling is often mutual. 

If you’re looking to heal your gut and reclaim your health, we’re here to help. It’s no coincidence that the lifestyle for a healthy gut looks a lot like what we’ve been sharing with our Happy Pear community for more than eighteen years. 

If you want to learn our five secrets to optimise your gut health and reduce constipation and bloating, be sure to check out the Gut Health Revolution course on our app. Plus, gain exclusive access to simple, fifteen minute meals to heal your gut, along with all of our other favourite Happy Pear recipes in one place! Start your seven-day free trial today! 

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