Your gut has recently been described as your 2nd brain. It is also the organ that is responsible for the digestion of the food you eat, for absorbing the vital nutrients that are released during digestion and helping the body excrete toxins and waste.

Saying that, your gut has a big job and for it to function healthily depends on many factors. The bacteria that lives in your gut must be in balance for you to be healthy.

Too many of the wrong factors (like parasites, yeast or bad bacteria) or not enough of the good ones (like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria), can lead to serious damage to your health like chronic skin issues, autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and chronic intestinal problems like bloating, excess gas and indigestion. Optimal gut balance begins with your diet, which directly affects that balance. Make sure you eat a diet with lots of fiber, healthy protein, healthy fats and probiotic rich foods such as live-yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut or home-made fermented vegetables. Try to also keep sugar intake to a minimum to avoid the growth of bad bacteria and fungi like candida.

Lack of sleep and chronic stress also contribute to gut imbalance. In fact, the latest research shows that your gut flora listens and becomes influenced by your thoughts and feelings. So be sure to get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep, eat well and remember to practice your favorite stress reduction activities daily.