Gut Check-up

By Jiahui Healthcare 2021-12-28 17:06:16

The gut influences an amazing array of bodily functions, from the elimination of toxins and waste to mental health.

But that’s just the beginning, the gut is more important than most people realize. Below are five things you probably didn’t know about gut health protection.


The gut-brain connection

Have you ever felt so anxious that your stomach hurt, to the point of feeling “butterflies”? The connection between feelings and the gut is more than metaphorical. The brain has a direct influence on the stomach and intestines. This connection is also a two-way street, with signals going from the brain to the gut and the gut to the brain.

For example, the small intestine is responsible for producing 95% of the serotonin in your body. Low serotonin levels are associated with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. If you’re feeling down, changing your diet can help improve your mood.


Prebiotics are just as important as probiotics

Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain good bacteria that help your body function. Prebiotics are the fuel for these bacteria and include foods like whole grains, bananas, greens, onions, garlic, soybeans, and artichokes. Prebiotics are valuable because they help maintain a balance in your microflora.

Negative side effects from the consumption of probiotics and prebiotics are rare, so most healthy adults can safely include them in their diet, with the caveat that those considering taking probiotic and prebiotic supplements should consult their doctor first.


Your gut doesn’t like processed food

You’ve probably heard that whole foods are generally preferable to processed foods, but did you know that processed foods can actually cause inflammation in the lining of your GI tract? Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting itself against “invasive” threats, and it’s exactly how it interprets things like high fructose corn syrup, processed meats (bacon, sausage, beef jerky, etc.), or artificial trans fats (fried fast food, margarine, packaged cakes, etc.).

Instead, eat whole foods such as unprocessed meats, fruits, and vegetables.


Your gut needs sleep too

The relationship between the gut biome (the bacteria, archaea, and fungi that live in your digestive tract) and sleep is not yet fully understood, but research suggests that poor sleep can have a negative impact on gut health.

This means that whenever possible, you should try to get more sleep. More sleep also lowers cortisol levels and means your gut has more time to repair itself.


Take your time when you eat

The next time you eat, take the time to chew your food properly. Chewing signals to your body that it’s time to start the digestive process, and chewing slowly gives it a head start. Slow chewing has other benefits, such as consuming fewer calories, absorbing nutrients better, and lowering stress levels.

If there’s one thing you can take away from this article, it’s the importance of gut health and the massive impact it can have on your overall health. If your gut doesn’t feel right, even after following the advice above, please talk to a gastroenterologist for medical problems of the digestive tract and glands, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colorectum, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.


Dr Lu Xia, Director of GI Services

Dr Lu Xia is a member of the Chinese Society of Digestive Diseases of Chinese Medical Association (CMA).

Jiahui Health
Address: 689 Guiping Road

Tel: 400 868 3000