How Your Gut Health Can Impact How You Age
Deep inside, your gut, otherwise known as the enteric nervous system (ENS), links the bodily functions of digestion, mood, and overall health. In fact, countless studies have shown, even from ancient times, that most diseases start in the gut.
As a healthy adult, the bacterial ecosystem or “microbiome” unique to your gut is usually well balanced. Individuals with serious digestive disorders or diseases like IBD or IBD may need more hands-on help with regulating it. But as we age and take more antibiotics or change our diets, so does the probiotic makeup of the gut. When it comes to changes in your gut, here is nothing more impactful than your lifestyle.
So – how can we regulate our gut? By making sure it has the right tools to A – digest the food we eat properly, and B – making sure we keep the gut balance.
There are 4 key ingredients that will get you on the right path: omega-3 fats, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and fiber!
Studies show that people who eat at least 25 to 35 grams of fiber every day are less likely to experience occasional constipation and other digestive issues. A high-fiber diet has also been linked to healthy weight management and heart health. Sources include fruit, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fiber supplements.
Probiotics are the friendly bacteria in your digestive tract that work to support a balanced internal environment and promote good digestion and immune health. Sources include fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, tofu, tempeh, miso, and fermented vegetables, along with a daily probiotic supplement.
Omega-3 fats such as EPA and DHA help nourish and support the cells of the colon to promote optimal digestive health. Sources include salmon, mackerel, and sardines. You can also find them in leafy green vegetables and fish oil.
Digestive enzymes are found in raw foods and help the body digest food and absorb needed nutrients. In doing so, they also help prevent occasional gas, bloating, and indigestion. Plant-based enzyme formulas are effective over a broader range of pH levels in the body. Sources include raw whole foods supplements.
Although the studies and buzz surrounding the gut microbiome, it is important that seniors and their caregivers recognize the serious implications that diet and gut health have on the entire person!