The human gut bacterial ecosystem, also known as gut microbiome, gut flora, or gut microbiota, would refer to the biological community of microorganisms residing in the human digestive tract or gut. While the bacteria in our digestive system belong to various groups in differing quantities, they work together, each playing an crucial part to help digest food, prevent infections, boost immunity, and even influence behavior and mood.
Taking care of our gut microbiome is then imperative for a good overall health. So how can we create balance in our microbiome? There are simple ways to improve our overall health through or gut microbiome. But first, so as to be able to improve our gut health, we need to know what causes an unhealthy and imbalanced gut.
External Factors Affecting Gut Health – Environmental Pollutants
There are external and internal factors and conditions that influence the way our gut microbiome function, contributing to our overall health and wellbeing. When it comes to external conditions and factors, numerous research have discovered that environmental pollutants go into the body through various pathways and are able to find their way into the gut. The internal environment of our body could have an effect on the way our gut microbiome responds. These pollutants could change the structure of our gut microbiome which could lead to a gamut of disorders affecting nutrient absorption, energy metabolism, or how our immune system functions.
On Food Additives and Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials are called Nanoparticles or NPs. These are microscopic materials that many manufactures today put in our food, nutritional products and cosmetics. They’re not active ingredients, but helper ingredients. They are able to enter the human body by ingestion, inhalation, or penetration through the skin.
These new environmental pollutants can be found in several dietary supplements, medications and cosmetic products. There’re concerns on safety as well as how these environmental pollutants make up gut health. It is likely that NPs could influence our gut microbiome via oral and no—oral means.
Food additives, on the other hand, are ingredients that are placed in processed foods in order to prolong its shelf-life. They are found to influence the gut flora as well as the intestinal tissue integrity in a negative way. It is then imperative to check food labels so as to know what is in the products. But, it is much better to consume more whole, fresh foods that don’t have these unhealthy and damaging additives.
Restoring And Supporting Gut Health
There are various factors that could affect gut health, like food intolerances, diet, hormones, stress, sleep, lifestyle and medications. All of these has an effect on the way our body is able to digest food as well as eliminate waste. To help restore and support gut health, here are a few simple ways
- Take prebiotics and probiotics
- Eat whole foods, lots of vegetables and fruits, and fibre-rich foods
- Cut back on artificial sweeteners and sugar
- Have adequate regular sleep routine
- Have some exercise
- Avoid alcohol or drink in small quantities