“All disease begins in the gut” might sound like a new medical breakthrough, but it’s actually a theory that’s a few thousand years old. Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician deemed the ‘father of medicine’, was the first to note it  and thousands of years later it’s being shown he wasn’t far from the truth.

While we do associate gut and digestive health together, we often overlook its importance when it comes to immunity. In fact, 80% of our immune system is located in our gut. The gut is your body’s first line of defence between you and anything harmful you swallow. The truth is, we swallow bacteria everyday and probably in every meal we eat, because no food is perfectly sterile. We have good bacteria in our gut to thank for not being sick 24/7, and the balance between good and bad bacteria is the secret to our immune health.

The gut is sometimes termed as the ‘second brain’ because of the profound effects it can have on our mood. When your gut is irritated or inflamed, usually because it is overloaded with processed or chemical filled foods to digest, signals are sent to your brain and central nervous system to trigger mood changes. People suffering with IBS, coeliac disease, or other gut sensitivity issues are also more likely to develop depression or anxiety. Moreover, 90% of our body’s serotonin (the happy hormone) is made in the gut, and any disturbances will affect the production, which in turns affects our mood.

Ever considered a connection between your digestion and the condition of your skin? With an unhealthy gut comes more inflammation, which can impair the integrity of your skin to fight bacteria and contribute to acne development. This is why probiotic supplements are often a very effective and safe treatment for acne.

It turns out our digestive health is important for more than just controlling bloating and stomach issues. The good news, with a bit of time and commitment, it is possible to completely turn over your gut health. Read more about how to improve your gut health with food here.