What Is The Gut & How Does It Affect Your Body? | Activia UK
What is the Gut?
What is the gut, exactly?
While we casually throw around the phrase ‘gut feeling’, the term ‘gut’ barely gets any of the limelight it deserves. The ‘gut’ is really your entire gastrointestinal (GI) system, a group of organs that includes the mouth, oesophagus, liver, small intestine, colon and more. Oh, and not to forget that your GI tract is an impressive seven-metre tube that runs all the way from your mouth to your buttocks, playing a pivotal role in the digestion necessary to keeping you alive and kicking!
Most of what makes up these seven metres is your small intestine. The small intestine is quite the star of your GI tract. It’s where all your nutrient absorption happens. Whatever isn’t absorbed (and any stuff that your body can’t really use) is passed through to the large intestine, finding its way out in a “flush”.
So, what does the gut do?
Sure enough, the gut is important for digestion. But there’s way more to it than meets the eye. Let’s break it down to help you better understand the esoteric gut.
The inner workings
Imagine a delish meal. Feel that? Your mouth is watering – this is its own special way of prepping the gut to start breaking your foods down, in the mouth first. As the food makes it way down through the gut, it is first digested (with larger molecules of food being broken down into smaller ones for easier absorption) and then the nutrients are absorbed in your small intestine.
Have you ever realised that the food you eat to stay alive wouldn’t be of much use if its nutrients couldn’t be absorbed? Thanks to the intricate inner workings of the gut, the nutrients needed to keep your cells and organs running are released from your food. An unhealthy gut could easily derail your overall wellbeing by affecting your body’s ability to digest food and absorb nutrients.
When your body has difficulty digesting food, it can literally be a pain in the backside! This stress can disrupt your life and impact your inner wellness.
More than digestion
The gut has quite a few more tricks up its sleeve beyond digestion! Did you know that about 70% of your immune system is located in the gut? Your gut is lined by cells which secrete antibodies into the gut. So, keeping your insides healthy is key to staying safe from external germs.
If you care for more gutsy fun-facts:
a) Your gut releases 90% of the body’s serotonin;
b) It is home to about 100 million neurons which are in constant communication with your brain, and
c) 95% of all the microbiota in your body is located in the gut; this gut microbiota helps you derive 5-10% of your energy everyday.
Das ist gut!
So, what is your gut? To sum it up, your gut is a miraculous system of connected organs. The most commonly known purpose of the gut is to help you digest food and absorb nutrients. But there’s more that goes on behind the scenes! This is why it’s vital to keep the gut in good working order. How can you do that? It’s already a good start if you’re eating a colourful, varied and balanced diet every day.
Last but not the least, getting active and embracing a balanced lifestyle can also keep the gut happy, and that is good!
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