Understanding Your Gut Health

Updated on November 5, 2018

Image: medicalnewstoday.com

Your body is composed of intricate systems, each playing a variety of roles to ensure your well-being. The abdomen is responsible for breaking down the food you ingest and absorbing the nutrients which are responsible for energy production. The gut works behind the scenes and is hugely responsible for keeping your body in good condition. It is also responsible for eliminating toxins and waste from the body. Notably, more than 65% of your body’s immune system is in the gut. Therefore, the importance of the abdomen cannot be overstressed.

What Is The Gut?

Gut refers to portions of the alimentary canal (digestive tract) including the stomach, intestines, and the anus through which you excrete the waste.

Pointers To What Is Happening In The Gut

There is an excellent connection between a healthy gut and good overall health. Most poor health symptoms can in one way or another trace back to the stomach. There are specific pointers to what goes on in the gut.


When you go to the bathroom, it’s imperative that you turn around and take a look at it. It’s an excellent indicator of your gut health. Of interest are the stool’s texture, colour and smell. The right poos are smooth, sort of like sausages. They shouldn’t be hard or lumpy. Neither should they be squishy.

With regards to the colour, brown is the right stool colour. White and black stool colours are alarm bells. There is also the smell; if you’re getting foul smells when you poo, it is an indicator that something is wrong. Furthermore, beware of mucus in your stool. The slime is part of your stomach or colon lining and having it in your poo is a definite indicator that something is off.

There is also the question of how often you poo. Bowel movements vary from one person to another. Some ‘go’ thrice a week and have done so all their life. Some go thrice in a day, and it’s the norm. What you will need to look out for is a deviation from your normal routine.

General Practices For A Healthy Gut

Your alimentary canal is composed of trillions of bacteria that are called microbiome. They help in digestion, absorption of nutrients and regulation of your immune system. Keeping these microbiome ‘happy’ is critical to promoting gut health and gut relief. A perfect balance of about 85% good microbes and 15% bad ones supports healthy living. Their balance is vital. This balance is hugely affected by certain environmental factors including what we eat, stress etc.

Some practices for healthy microbes and by extension, gut

• Take a diet comprising more of whole foods, plant-based fibre as well as fermented foods rich in probiotics.

• Avoid taking unnecessary medications including antibiotics.

• Be active and eat lots of prebiotics which nourish the good bacteria in your gut.

• Take probiotics; these have the effect of replenishing the good bacteria you might have lost.


As our understanding of the gut grows ever so often, we are now getting to understand how critical a role it plays in our overall well-being. Make an effort to promote a healthy gut and you’re sure to have healthful days.

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