The Health Advocate

by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

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A good diet promotes good health and proper function of the body, which can help to avoid illness. But science is learning new details about how the body functions and the elements that can best promote health. Science is learning that the trillions of microorganisms that make up the “microbiome” of the human intestinal can have a direct and significant effect on both your physical and mental health.

Understanding the Microbiome

The human intestinal system is the natural home to a vast range of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungus. When an individual is healthy, these microorganisms live in balance and perform a number of functions in regard to normal function of the human body. Each person has his or her own combination of microorganisms that is determined by their unique DNA. Some of these microorganisms are helpful, and some are harmful. But they remain in balance when a person is healthy. Illness, poor diet or use of antibiotics can upset the normal balance of these microorganisms, which can lead to health problems and other issues.

How Intestinal Flora Can Affect Your Health

Because these microorganisms are connected to the function of normal body processes, any upset in their natural balance can lead to problems. They are responsible for breaking down toxic substances found in food, providing digestive enzymes and producing substances for absorption of vitamins and minerals. Without these essential processes, the body cannot function properly and illnesses can develop. But it’s not only your physical health that is affected by the amount and type of intestinal flora. Research has also found a link between gut health and mood that suggests mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, may also be connected to the gut microbiome.

Improve Your Gut Health and Enjoy Better Health

Even small improvements in your diet can cause rapid changes in the microbiome. Eating fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles, miso and kefir can improve your intestinal microflora. Some evidence finds that these dietary changes can protect against conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, immune system disorders and even some types of cancer.

Easy Ways To Improve Gut Health

For those who cannot eat foods that promote health intestinal bacteria, you can still take action to improve your diet with high-fiber foods and complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, barley, sweet potatoes and beans. Supplements such as Prescript-Assist Probiotics can support intestinal microflora to improve health.

A growing body of evidence suggests maintaining good intestinal health can have a significant impact on your overall health. If you make the necessary daily changes, you can help to avoid a number of health problems and enjoy better function and mood.

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