Thinking about all of the little creatures living in our gut can feel quite strange. But, the little life forms, also known as microorganisms, co-exist with us in our gut and help us in many ways! In return, we must know how to feed our bodies the right things to not only nourish them but to achieve health longevity for ourselves.
Understanding the importance of the relationship between our gut microorganisms and our overall health is an important step in achieving health longevity. Below is some background information on how gut health relates to aging, and how seniors can improve their gut with better food and lifestyle choices.
Since we were born, our gut microbiome, the home for our gut microorganisms, has been growing and is continually shaped as we age. Each person has their own unique microbiome! Composed of trillions of microorganisms, our gut microbiome helps us:
Our gut microorganisms, made up of mainly bacteria, populate the small and large intestines because the bacteria do not like the harsher, more acidic environment in the stomach. As a matter of fact, the further down the digestive tract that you travel, the more microorganisms will be found.
But, an unbalanced gut microbiome can lead to obesity, inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, and overall immune system problems. A healthy gut has a great impact on how the body functions!
As we age, we can experience changes to our gut bacteria because of diet changes, functioning of our digestive system, medication, and a decline in our immune system. These factors can contribute to an increase in infection and just general fragility of the body. Scientists have seen less diversity in our gut microbiome as we grow older but that does not necessarily mean a decline in our overall health.
Some studies have shown that healthier, more active adults have a more complex gut microbiome than less healthy adults. In fact, adults with more varied bacteria took less medication and had better overall mobility than adults with less complex guts. A more diverse gut biome helps us fight off disease and improve overall health.
Knowing how to keep our gut microbiome healthy and happy is the first step in improving our gut health. Luckily for us, we can alter our gut microbiomes and make them a better environment for those good bacterias. Here are some other ways that we can keep that gut happy!
TIP: Always check with your doctor before making any major food changes if necessary!
TIP: Strenuous exercise isn’t necessary! Do what’s comfortable for you and make alterations as needed to your routine.
Any step that we can take to help our gut and body function better is the best foot forward in creating a better life outlook. Helping maintain or create a happy environment for our microorganisms in our digestive tract will not only make them energized, but it will help us in the long run, too!
If there are any questions about your gut health, you can always reach out to a nutritionist or medical professional to help create plans and next steps. Let’s begin making our gut microbes happy!