How important is Gut Health

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

A lot of attention and credit is given to face masks for being the reason that fewer people have become sick since the start of the pandemic. While masking up and staying home, many folks have also started cooking at home and eating less processed and fast foods. So the question is, how important is gut health when it comes to overall health? Dr. Vikki Petersen, certified clinical nutritionist, chiropractor and certified functional medicine practitioner, shares the following three reasons why keeping your gut healthy is imperative to overall health, especially during the pandemic.

Reason #1: Gut Health Strengthens Your Immune System
Your gut affects so many systems, but chief among them is your immune system. Eighty percent of your immune system is housed in your gut. Therefore, a poor diet resulting in inflammation and imbalanced gut bacteria will severely weaken your immune system’s ability to protect you from a variety of infections and toxins. Conversely, a healthy gut will empower and strengthen your immune system, “Teflon coating” you from infection.

Reason #2: Your Energy and Mood Levels Will Get a Boost
Serotonin is mostly produced in your gut, explaining the gut-brain, gut-mood connection. Imbalanced serotonin results in depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate and more.

Reason #3: Weight Loss Becomes Effortless
Metabolism is dictated by many factors but good digestion and assimilation of your nutrition is key. Your gut bacteria, when healthy, will cause good absorption and modulate the hormones that create satiety so you do not feel hungry or crave bad food. A healthy gut actually “wants” and “craves” good food, while an unhealthy one drives you to junk food, sugar and thus leads to weight gain.

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