If you are feeling depressed right now, your gut bacteria may be to blame. Research has linked poor gut health to bad mood, weak immune system, poor mental health, weight gain and many more surprising conditions.
Not all bacteria in your gut are bad. Your gut contains good bacteria that are very beneficial. And when you increase that good gut bacteria, it helps destroy the bad bacteria.
You probably know that changing your daily habits and eating probiotic-rich foods can help improve your gut health and foster that beneficial bacteria, but a healthy gut has more benefits than you may realize. Here are the surprising benefits of a healthy gut.
BENEFITS OF A HEALTHY GUT
1. Boosts Energy Levels
Eating nutrient-dense foods is not enough to boost your energy levels. Unless you have a healthy gut, your body will not absorb as many of the nutrients from the foods you eat. Maintaining a healthy gut helps the body absorb more nutrients and as a result, provide you with more energy.
In this study, researchers found that athletes performed better and experienced less fatigue after taking probiotic supplements. Luckily, you don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy the benefits of a healthy gut.
2. Improves Brain Health
Which body part has been nicknamed “the second brain”? If you guessed the gut, you are right! Research shows that there is a very strong link between the gut and the brain.
Gut bacteria help produce serotonin, the feel-good hormone. Low levels of serotonin increase risk of depression. Improving gut health can also help prevent mood disorders.
3. Makes it Easier to Lose Weight
If you thinik that eating less and moving more are all it takes to lose weight, think again.
Poor gut health can cause overeating and obesity, according to research. Boosting good gut bacteria prevents overeating and make it easier to lose weight.
In fact, animal studies show that normal-sized mice gain weight (without overeating) when given gut flora from obese mice.
4. Improves Cholesterol Levels
According to this study, gut bacteria has an effect on triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels. The results of the study show that the gut microbiome can improve triglycerides, HDL, and BMI by up to 6 percent.
5. Improves Oral Health
Your mouth and throat – aka the oral cavity - are full of bacteria, and even though they may not have a huge impact on your health, they can cause bad breath, tonsillitis, and sore throat.
Increasing good bacteria in your oral cavity can help keep your mouth and throat healthy. Tests show that using probiotic lozenges can increase good bacteria in the mouth and throat.
6. Prevents Excess Estrogen
Certain bad gut bacteria interfere with the processing of hormones. For instance, an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase has been shown to reactivate estrogen in the gut, which results in excess estrogen.
Luckily, research shows that taking probiotic supplements helps reduce the activity of beta-glucuronidase.
7. Strengthens the Immune System
Gut bacteria support the immune system in so many ways. They prevent pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract from getting into the body, reduce inflammation, and produce antibacterial substances that fight bacteria that cause infections.
Eating probiotics can strengthen your immune system. This study suggests that Acidolphus, which is found in yogurt, can help prevent diseases.