“Gut health” seems to be the new buzz phrase that can be found in almost every aisle in the grocery store, yet most people couldn’t tell you what those little bugs known as gut microbiota do in our bodies, let alone why they are so important for psychological and physical health.
Don’t be fooled — not all gut-health products are giving you what you really need to keep your body and mind in tip-top shape. Here, I will reveal why you should be spending time every day to ensure you're taking good care of your gut, along with the signs to look for when it's imbalanced.
The gut microbiome, as defined by molecular biologist Joshua Lederberg, is the totality of microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi and their collective genetic material present in the gastrointestinal tract. According to the Human Microbiome Project, the gut microbiome can be viewed as a “microbial organ” — one that is sensitive to environmental, dietary and host factors. Yes, you guessed it, your body is host to billions of microorganisms that rely on you for their health and well-being. And if they are mistreated, they will wreak havoc not only in your intestinal region, but will express their malaise through skin irritations, mood swings, psychological distress, metabolic disorders, obesity and even autoimmune disorders.