6 AUGUST, 2018

Gut health is about way more than just digestion. The effect it has on our overall happiness and wellbeing is underrated. The gut is where the body makes most of its serotonin, the ‘happy’ hormone; it’s also home to the most nerve endings outside of the central nervous system, and to 80% of the immune system. Cultivating a thriving microbiome (the living ecosystem of bacteria living in and on your body) is one of the most important facets of maintaining a balanced, productive and happy life. Your body’s friendly flora can support you in all of your endeavours by:

  • Supporting a strong immune system. Gut bacteria teach your immune system’s cells the difference between a foreign substance and the body’s own tissues, a critical process that determines how and what your immune system responds to, and that helps to prevent autoimmune disorders. And fewer sick days means more time to be productive.

So what can we do to support a flourishing microbiome?

  • These are indigestible plant fibres that nourish and promote good bacteria growth. Raw garlic, raw or cooked onions, legumes, leeks and leafy greens are just some examples.

And perhaps most importantly,

  • Practice diaphragmatic breathing exercises and meditation. Chronic stress can have a profound effect on the gut, disrupting and even disabling our microbiome. As Emeran Mayer, author of ‘The Mind-Gut Connection’, says, ‘we have this fascination with healthy diets, but people forget that unless you’re in the right state of mind, the benefit of eating well is greatly reduced. Chronic stress can actually remodel our gut cells.’ Techniques like breathing and meditation are one of the simplest things you can do for your mental and physical health.

Originally published at



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