Gut Health 101
Most of us know by now that your gut plays a major role in our overall health. From the gut-brain connection to the gut being associated with immune health, many people believe it is the center of what drives our bodies’ overall health.
Your gut (gastrointestinal tract) contains approximately 100 trillion microorganisms weighing in at about 3 pounds. These microorganisms are considered bacteria that live in your gut to aid in food breakdown and keeping your internal ecosystem balanced.
Here at Purely Elizabeth, we create a lot of our products with gut health in mind and believe taking care of your gut should be a main priority when it comes to what you’re feeding your body. When it comes to gut health, there’s a lot of information out there and lots of products claiming to aid in gut health, but why exactly is gut health so important?
What is the Gut Microbiome?
Your gut is made up of trillions of microbes (microorganisms) that are often referred to as the gut microbiome. These different microbes can be classified as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microscopic living things that find a home in your gut.
Each microbe in the human gut plays a different role in the body. Most of these microbes play a crucial role in your overall body health.
Together, these microbes function as an extra organ in your body and work cohesively to balance all the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that communicate with the brain to help maintain general health and well-being.
How Your Microbiome Affects Your BodyFrom the moment you are born, your gut microbiome is already working it’s magic. As you grow up, your gut microbiome begins to diversify and becomes home to more and more different types of microbial species.
These microbial species become crucial in multiple ways and affect your body when it comes to:
- Overall Digestion: The microorganisms in your gut help to break down the food you eat and also how it gets absorbed into your body.
- Helping Your Immune System: The bacteria that lives in your microbiome is largely responsible for your immune health. Your gut microbiome communicates with your immune cells to help control how your body responds to and fights infection.
- Helping Control Brain Health: New research has suggested that your gut microbiome may affect the nervous system and in turn, affect brain function and overall brain health.
- Lowering the Risk of Diabetes: New research has also suggested that your gut microbiome may help to control your blood sugar levels which can affect your chances of developing type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
It’s clear that your gut health is extremely important to a variety of different areas in your body and interestingly enough, what you eat can greatly affect your gut bacteria and the diversity of bacteria it has.
How to Support Your Gut Health with Food
The good news about gut health is that it can be largely affected by what you eat. Eating foods that contain probiotics and foods that are considered superfoods can help fuel your body with an abundance of microbe-fueling nutrients.
So, how do you get probiotics into your diet? There are a variety of ways you can easily add probiotics into your daily diet:
- Consuming Fermented Foods: When certain foods are fermented, they are preserved and create beneficial enzymes, B vitamins, and numerous strains of probiotics. The fermentation process also helps break down foods to allow them to be in a more digestible form. Some popular fermented foods include kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, miso, kombucha, and vinegar, just to name a few.
- Taking a Probiotic Supplement: Supplementation is always very personal to the individual and it’s hard to give a blanket recommendation to suit many different people however, there are certain things you can look out for when looking for a probiotic supplement. We suggest looking for a probiotic supplement that has a variety of different kinds of strains, a high CFU number (the number of bacteria strains contained in the supplement), price (look for the best supplement in your price range but don’t feel like you need to break the bank), and make sure you are always paying attention to expiration dates so your bacteria doesn’t become ineffective.
- Products already containing probiotics: With health and wellness being a huge lasting trend in many industries, a lot of food companies have taken it upon themselves to add probiotics and other healthy ingredients into their products.
One product Purely Elizabeth is particularly proud of is our Probiotic Granola. Our delicious probiotic grandola is certified organic and gluten free with no fake sugars (coconut sugar only!). This grandola also contains our special probiotic boost: GanedenBC30 which is a patented strain of probiotics that is both non-GMO and vegan.
Another Purely Elizabeth Product we love that is rich in probiotics is our Vanilla Almond Butter Ancient Grain Granola Bars. These bars are also made with GanedenBC30—a new strain of probiotics that survives in the baking process. In addition to this great probiotic boost, our bars are baked with coconut oil and coconut sugar so you don’t need to worry about fake sugars used to give our bars their sweet taste.
The Bottom Line
The biggest thing to remember when it comes to gut health and your gut microbiome is that it’s never too late to make improvements to your overall gut health. Whether you add a probiotic supplement into the mix or work on eating foods that are fermented to aid in natural probiotic consumption, your gut controls so much of your body’s internal ecosystem and should be taken seriously.
Here at Purely Elizabeth, we value the health and wellness of all our consumers and that starts from the inside. We believe in feeding our bodies with only the best ingredients possible that are not only healthy for us, but also taste amazing as well!
We wish you a happy and healthy gut for years to come!