What is Gut Health?

Art in the shape of a human stomach with teal spheres in the background shaped like gut bacteria

Article at a Glance

  • What is gut health and why does it matter?
  • What happens when your gut isn't healthy?
  • Is your gut healthy? Here are some warning signs it might not be.
  • How can you help your gut if it isn't perfectly healthy?
  • Download our Free guide to fixing your gut in 30 days

Your gut matters. That’s because it’s home to trillions of bacteria that affect your health. And when you take care of your gut health, you feel better — from the inside-out.

Specifically, we’re talking about the balance between various microorganisms in your gut (aka your microbiome). Your gut includes your mouth, esophagus, stomach and intestines.

Life is a constant balancing act for your gut bacteria. You want to keep your microbiome in harmony. That means nourishing the good guys so they can stay healthy and thriving, and avoiding junk that fuels the bad guys (looking at you, sugar and stress).

The bottom line: Having a healthy gut means you have a healthy gut microbiome.

What happens when your gut isn’t healthy?

Picture of gut bacteria

Your gut bacteria play a role in your entire body. When your gut isn’t healthy, it can affect everything from your weight to your mood. You already know some of the symptoms, like upset stomach and bloating. But other symptoms might surprise you — like fatigue and sugar cravings.

That’s because your gut communicates with everything from your immune system to your brain. When you eat food that supports healthy, thriving, beneficial gut bacteria, everyone operates in happy harmony. But when you tip the scales the other direction, your whole body notices.

The bottom line: Your gut health matters because it affects your entire body. When your gut microbiome is out of whack, it can affect your quality of life.

Is MY gut unhealthy?

Trust your gut — literally. You can tell a lot about your gut health just by paying attention to the way you feel. Do you sometimes deal with constipation, bloating, upset stomach and food cravings?

Even if you feel like you eat a lot of plants and not a lot of sugar, modern life can affect your gut in more ways than one. Stress, poor sleep, antibiotics and even travel can all affect your microbiome.

Here are some possible signs of an unhappy gut:

  • Weight changes
  • Upset stomach
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Skin irritation
  • Food sensitivities
  • Gas or bloating
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating

The bottom line: Trust your gut. Talk to your doctor. And take steps to nourish your good gut bacteria so the bad guys don’t take over.

Person slicing an avocado

How do I help my gut?

The most impactful way to change your gut bacteria is to change what you eat. That means filling your plate with nutrient-dense whole foods (e.g., vegetables and healthy fats) and cutting back on the high-sugar, processed stuff.

On top of that, you can help your gut and get things back in balance by following these tips:

Lower your stress

Among other bad side effects, stress triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals that can do a number on your gut bacteria.[1]

Meditation, exercise and getting better sleep will go a long way toward helping you manage your stress levels.

Pro tip: Combat oxidative stress and support your body’s healthy inflammation response with Bulletproof Curcumin Max.

Man doing yoga on a yoga mat to lower his stress

Sleep better

Losing sleep changes your gut bacteria and may make it more difficult to manage your weight.[2] Having trouble getting to sleep? You’ll love Bulletproof Sleep Mode. You can also check out our tried-and-true sleep solutions.

Woman sleeping with a smile on her face

Add prebiotics and probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria you can take to supplement your body’s natural gut bacteria supply. Prebiotics feed probiotics so they can do their jobs. You want both in your diet, and you can get them in fiber-rich foods, vegetables and supplements like Bulletproof InnerFuel. Learn more about how InnerFuel helps you manage your gut bacteria.

Broccoli and Cauliflower on a cutting board as an example of prebiotics

Clean up your diet

Limit processed, fried and high-sugar foods. Eat a variety of plants, specifically dark leafy greens, to fuel a healthy gut microbiome with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Up your intake of high-quality protein and fats, specifically omega-3s.[1]

Pro tip: Bulletproof Omega Krill Complex is full of omega-3s, plus astaxanthin and olive fruit extract for bonus heart, skin and antioxidant benefits.

A handful of kale to represent clean eating and a balanced diet

Eat slowly, and drink more water

Chew. Your. Food. It sounds simple, but eating slowly can support digestion and help you absorb more nutrients out of your food — which means more gut goodness out of all that broccoli. While you’re at it, drink more water throughout the day: It’s an easy way to support your digestion because water is necessary to keep stool soft and bulky.

Pro tip: Stay hydrated, fuel up with MCT oil and get a boost of essential B vitamins all in one go with Bulletproof FatWater.

Woman carrying a water bottle

Determine if you have a food intolerance

If you have symptoms like cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rashes, nausea, fatigue and acid reflux, work with a functional medicine GI specialist (a doctor who specializes in the digestive system) to identify trigger foods.

A variety of foods including fruits, nuts, veggies and cheese

The bottom line: Don’t wait. It takes time to help your gut, and now is the perfect time to get started.

Your gut affects your entire body, and you’ll be surprised by how good you feel when things are back in balance.

Ready to get started?

Try our free 30-day guide to fixing your gut.

Download Gut Check

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22314561

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3619301/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5751248/