Is your gut happy and healthy? Our digestive tract, or medically known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is often underrated. Digestion is a mainstay of our overall well-being, which plays a crucial role in the optimum function of other bodily processes. Food intake on that account rests solely on our decisions to aim for healthy menus and eating habits. With a wide array of food items available in the market; we might be stacking our carts with the wrong choices. Take GMOs for example.
What is gut health first and foremost?
The gut is composed of the stomach and bowels as defined. Most of the nutrient absorption takes place in the small intestines to be distributed throughout the body. But it’s more than just the process of breaking down and taking in. Recent studies introduced the idea of “the microbiome” and how its homeostatic conditions affect gut health. Unfavorable food choices will always be a determining factor of what transpires within.
What is GMO Food?
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are plants and animals, even microorganisms engineered in laboratories involving genetic concepts to add, remove or switch traits from 2 related or unrelated organisms to improve plant growth and food quality. Simply put, they are manipulated artificially and don’t occur naturally. Intentions to do away with chemical exposure, reduction of undesirable characteristics and increasing the ability to resist mechanical damage have been the core objectives of this science. The number and commercial availability of GMOs have grown substantially over decades, and it’s always best to educate ourselves its benefits, risks and downside in consuming them.
How GMO Affects Our Gut Health
There are two ideas we can look into. Firstly, your gut’s microorganisms are different from the rest of your family in the household despite eating the same meals. Perhaps you’ve already heard of the “good” and “bad” bacteria for a better representation of things. Some nutrition experts and recent studies explain that the presence, diversity and quantity of these bacteria exemplifies a healthy gut state. Otherwise, signs and symptoms of microbiome imbalance or absence are stomach pains, diarrhea, gas or bloating and nausea to name a few. Due to the artificial manipulation of GMO foods, health issues that may arise cannot be eliminated. There are other probable consequences we could expect such as not acquiring the targeted nutrition and allergic reactions. Some staple GMO produce that went through countless trial and error experimentation yet are now readily available (that we might have consumed for years, clueless) in the United States are corn, squash, soybeans, papaya, and many more.
Secondly, GMOs may contain proteins to withstand insect damage by attacking their gut, boring holes. Similar receptors have been found in the human gut, which poses a concern for some. Although more research has to be done to prove such claims and you would rather be safe than sorry, opt for natural, buy organic.
Ways to maintain a healthy gut
Eat limited portions of red or processed meat, dairy and sweets. If you are aiming for a high-fiber diet, it’s essential to do this slowly but surely, not rushing into it. Not readying the body will increase the chances of bloating, and we wouldn’t want that. The American Heart Association recommends 25 to 35 grams of daily dietary fiber intake. Sadly, most adult Americans meet only half of the recommended amount, an average of 15g a day. Incorporate and increase servings of fruits and vegetables, cheap bulk nuts, and grains to compensate the unaccounted fifty per cent. Research details cranberries, organic macadamia nuts, broccoli, mangoes and cherries are proven to be gut-friendly.
On a different note, probiotics can aid in digestion, fight off disease-causing bacteria and further help nutrient and vitamin production. Natural fermented food sources from yogurt to cruciferous vegetables have proven benefits more than we think.
As mentioned earlier, gut health equates to overall wellness. Here are several habits that we shouldn’t ignore:
· Drink plenty of water. Commercial beverages shouldn’t be a substitute to elemental water. Nothing else can flush those unwanted solutes in the body and aid in bowel mobility.
· Get enough Zzzs. When you get to achieve 6 to 8 hours of sleep, not only do you feel great, your gut works well too!
· Exercise. Believe it or not but a simple 30-minute walk can improve the composition of gut bacteria.
· Less Stress. Hormones can decrease the flow of blood and oxygen to the stomach, which may cause gut bacteria imbalance, cramping, and inflammation.
GMO foods still have a long, scrutinizing process to undergo to gain acceptance and favor most notably to consumers. Big thanks to US regulations and law, we are able to check labels and identify bioengineered products. All the same, achieving a healthy gut should be our top priority since it is the primary health and wellness player. Again, when in doubt, choose organic products and free yourself from worries. We guarantee that the options are limitless. We really enjoyed putting together these knowledge tidbits for you. Happy tummy for a happier you!
This Guest Post is written by Ann Gaspin.
Ann Gapasin is a health and fitness writer that writes mostly about gut health and nutrition. She’s been in the industry for 3 years and counting.