Health is a multi-faceted goal, attained by actions on several fronts. One frequently overlooked aspect of health begins with your gut. According to Johns Hopkins gastroenterologist Gerard Mullin, M.D., “As we age, the natural cycles slow down and don’t work as well.” Although the likelihood of slowing down or problems with digestion, dental, and/or excretory systems increases with age, this is not something to be afraid of. Rather, it is something to be conscious of and work slowly every day for betterment of your health. Remember: Take care of your stomach, and your stomach will take care of you. In this brief overview, we’ll go over the three basic areas of gut health: stomach acid levels, bacteria ecosystem, and gut immunity.
Stomach acid is a strongly acidic combination of compounds (hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride)secreted by your stomach. It can be altered by uncontrollable factors, but unhealthy diet, smoking, and stress can exacerbate these alterations. So, it is recommended that aging adults pay careful attention to their intake of food and other substances. Filling your diet with a healthy assortment of high fiber foods and refraining from smoking are attainable goals to get yourself on the right track. The addition of a enzyme-probiotic supplement may be helpful as well, but please consult your doctor about what is right for you and your lifestyle, first.
The bacteria ecosystem refers to the collection of good bacteria, and gut immunity refers to the benefits gained by your immune system from a healthy bacteria ecosystem. So, your bacteria ecosystem and gut immunity work hand in hand to aid digestion and fight off infection. In order to help them help you, regular exercise (see our article on seated exercises), at least eight hours of sleep, and strong stress management are suggested to augment a well-rounded diet.