Maintaining a Healthy Gut: The 3 Ps Explained

Posted By Author on November 20, 2023

Gut health plays a leading role in overall wellness, tied to digestion, nutrient absorption, and disease prevention. Keeping your gut in tip-top condition not only boasts benefits to your GI tract, but helps maintain a healthy immune system, heart, and more.

Gut Health and Intestinal DiseaseHere at Charleston GI, we know that understanding your gut can be tricky, so we’ve made the science simple! Our GI specialists near you will provide everything you need to know, including the dietary changes needed to keep your gut functioning at its finest!

Read on to learn more, then contact our Charleston GI doctors today to schedule an appointment.


Your Gut Microbiome and You 

Many patients are surprised to learn that their gut is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Known as the microbiome, this collection of beneficial bacteria directly influences your health in a number of different ways. For instance, it impacts digestion, immunity, heart, and brain function, and more. 

Cultivating a healthy microbiome begins from the very start, in fact. As you grow, bacteria develop and diversify – and in the long run, the more variation, the better.

Here are a few ways that a healthy gut influences overall health: 

  • Controls the central nervous system 
  • Impacts immune system function
  • Digests fiber and absorbs nutrients 

While a healthy gut will boast plenty of perks, an unhealthy one can have the opposite effect. Intestinal disease, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are often linked to an unhealthy gut microbiome.

Gut Health and Intestinal Disease 

When your body’s microbiome becomes unbalanced, a condition called gut dysbiosis, some unpleasant GI symptoms may result. You might experience bloating as well as abdominal discomfort, likely due to an excess of gas and chemicals produced by microbes.

Watch for these common signs that your gut’s microbiome may be out of balance:

If you are experiencing prolonged symptoms, there’s no need to suffer in silence! Consult a GI doctor near you to find relief today.

The 3 Ps: Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Polyphenols

While there’s no shortage of complex GI lingo, there are only a few terms that you need to know. The three Ps are a great place to start, especially if you’re focused on improving your digestive health. While they may sound similar, there are some key differences worth noting. Here we’ve compared prebiotics vs. probiotics vs. polyphenols.

Probiotics: These foods contain live microorganisms that promote good bacteria growth. These bacteria are naturally found in the body, but your diet impacts the levels of both good and bad bacteria. If your diet is lacking, probiotic supplements can help.

Prebiotics: These foods provide fuel for microflora, a collection of bacteria in the gut. These often dietary fiber-rich foods also encourage a healthy balance of bacteria.

Polyphenols: These micronutrients are found in plant-based foods and beverages, often high in antioxidants. They help reduce the risk of various diseases and have many health benefits.

Top 10 Best Foods for a Happy and Healthy Gut 

Because the food you eat impacts the bacteria found in your gut and aids in disease prevention, making nutritious choices is undeniably important. Fruits and vegetables are a good source, so check out these foods with probiotics and prebiotics:

  1. Sauerkraut (and other fermented foods, like fermented soybeans)
  2. Yogurt 
  3. Artichokes
  4. Onions
  5. Raspberries
  6. Garlic
  7. Bananas
  8. Watermelon
  9. Asparagus
  10. Beans and legumes

Here at Charleston GI, we recommend finding a gastroenterologist before making any drastic dietary changes. Our board-certified specialists can help customize a plan based on your needs – and there’s no referral needed!

Questions? Contact Charleston GI Today! 

When it comes to understanding the biology behind your gut health, our GI doctors are here to help! Equipped with specialized training and state-of-the-art tools, our team is committed to providing a higher standard of caring – close to home!  

We have four convenient Charleston area locations to choose from, in West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, and Carnes Crossroads.

Charleston GI doctors are ready 5 days a week to offer you medical relief. There’s no referral needed, so schedule your appointment at Charleston GI today!

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