Important Terms to Help You Understand Your Gut Health
There’s a reason why everyone wants you to ‘do what your gut tells you to do’. Life choices aside, your gut does play a significant role in how your body functions and your overall health. Which is why it is important to understand its functionality and the technicality behind its importance.
Just like any other scientific term, those related to gut health can get pretty overwhelming to understand. Here are some of the common terminologies related to gut health and their meaning or importance.
The gut is the gastrointestinal tract or the long tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus. While referring to the gut, most people are pointing to the stomach and intestines.
Your body undergoes a certain process as it breaks down the food that can be used for various reasons, this process happens in the digestive system. It starts in the mouth and travels the length of the entire gastrointestinal tract. The process involves coordinating the movement of food and its conversion into nutrients that are vital for the functioning of your body.
Fiber is a nutrient found in carbohydrates, although it cannot be digested by the human body, it is an important element of digestion. Soluble fiber is responsible for lower glucose and blood cholesterol levels while non-soluble fiber is responsible for regularizing bowel movements and preventing constipation.
Bile aids in digestion and the absorption of fats. It has a green or yellowish color and is produced by the liver. It plays a vital role in removing unwanted elements such as excess cholesterol and hemoglobin from destroyed red blood cells.
Different from probiotics, prebiotics is a form of non-digestible fiber. Prebiotics act as fodder for probiotics and are vital for maintaining good gut health. Prebiotics essentially ferment in the gut and prove as a medium of increasing the overall health of the intestines. They are found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as well as breast milk.
You’ve heard this before, ‘Xyz is a probiotic food,’ but what does it mean? Probiotics are bacteria that line your digestive tract and absorb nutrition from the food that is passing through, hence are an important aspect of your digestive health. Factors like high alcohol consumption, smoking, stress reduce the effectiveness of probiotics while food items like kimchi and yogurt can boost and restore probiotics in your body.