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Our guest post this week from Lifeway discusses the importance of a healthy gut and some of the many factors of our health that the gut microbiome plays a role in as well as some of the lifestyle and nutrition choices that can affect what our individual microbiomes look like.  I hope you enjoy the post below filled with some great information on this up and coming area of health research!

Our guts are full of bacteria — anywhere from about 300 to 500 species. These bacteria form an ecosystem of genes that contains 10 times as many cells as in our bodies. The mix of microbiota in the gastrointestinal tract is exceedingly complex, changes over the course of one’s life, and forms a microbiome that is virtually unique for every individual. What we eat and drink affects the quality of the mix of our gut bacteria, which in turn has a major impact on our overall health.

With that in mind, it’s time for a gut check. The infographic below, How Gut Health Affects Your Overall Health, may provide a few surprises. Even people who haven’t spent much time studying gut health will realize that too much “bad” bacteria in the gut is liable to cause stomach pain or constipation. But as the infographic illustrates, gut health has an impact on physical and mental health extending far beyond that. An insufficiency of “good” bacteria can cause or contribute to such issues as chronic fatigue, weight gain and food intolerances.

A nutritious diet with foods containing healthy microbiota, as well as probiotics and prebiotics, contribute to a healthy gut. If you are looking for a better understanding of gut health, and motivation to make positive changes in your diet, please continue reading. 

Graphic created by Lifeway Foods.

Wishing you a happy and healthy week ahead,

Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN

Denver’s Dancing Dietitian

A Taste of Health, LLC

“Improving Quality of life one bite at a time”