Brand SpotlightYour Healthy Family


Your Healthy Family: Your gut is key to your overall health

Posted at 8:27 AM, Feb 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-06 08:27:40-05

If you're trying to get your health on track, dietitians say your gut is key. There are multiple ways to improve your gut health.

When you think of you gut, you may think of digesting food, but it does so much more than that.

“Gut health is important because it harnesses 80% of our immune boosting cells. So most of our immune system is in our gut. Our gut is responsible for digesting food, and gut health can also affect our brain health and mental health," Cleveland Clinic Registered Dietitian Julia Zumpano said.

How do you know if you have poor gut health? Zumpano said some of the more obvious signs are things like heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. She said there’s no quick fix for improving gut health; It takes time and requires a change in diet. But it doesn't have to be intimidating. Zumpano recommends slowly eliminating inflammatory junk foods that feed the bad bacteria in our guts, and instead, eating more fruits, vegetables, fiber, and probiotics.

“Fermented foods are also very helpful, so like kimchi, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, yogurts, those are all good sources. In some cases, you could benefit from a supplement, but we really want to try to clean up the diet and provide good foods that are going to support that healthy gut first," she said.

She also said stress can also impact gut health, so finding ways to de-stress is important. She said exercising can help with digestion, too.