As a nature-loving adventurer, you probably like to keep up with things like your exercise and face care habits, along with your diet. After all, you’re likely aware that the things you put in your body (and on it) matter. While maintaining a balanced diet can give you a whole heap of awesome benefits, did you know it can also lend your gut a much-needed helping hand? If you’re wondering why that matters – well – the truth is that your gut is key in supporting and regulating crucial body functions and keeping your systems strong and running healthily.
To learn more about why men’s gut health matters, along with foods for gut healing and some of the worst foods for gut health, keep reading:
The Inside Scoop on Men’s Gut Health
Before we answer those questions, let’s explore the premise behind men’s gut health and foods for gut healing. Basically, when people are talking about gut health, they’re alluding to the overall well-being and functionality of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes your stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), and other associated organs.
Interestingly enough, you have about 200 unique species of bacteria, viruses, and fungi living in your digestive tract at this very moment. Before you get weirded out about your gut microbiome, studies have shown that having many different kinds of bacteria in your gut may help reduce the risk of conditions like diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriatic arthritis.
The Gut Microbiome and Your Health
While your gut is a very complex system, its importance to your overall health is significant, to say the least. Through extensive studies, scientists have found links between men’s gut health and:
- The immune system
- Autoimmune diseases
- Endocrine disorders
- Cardiovascular disease
- Mental health
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Dry Skin
- Aging Skin
What Factors Affect Men’s Gut Health?
According to experts, there are a lot of factors that can affect the balance of your gut microbiome and overall gut health, such as:
- Diet: The foods you eat play a significant role in shaping your gut microbiome. A diet rich in fiber, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods can support the growth of gut-friendly bacteria. On the other hand, diets high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and processed foods may cause some trouble for your gut.
- Antibiotics and Medications: Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, which means they also rid your gut of beneficial bacteria. Meds like proton pump inhibitors and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like Aspirin) can also impact your gut health.
- Stress and Mental Health: Stress and mental health can influence men’s gut health through the gut-brain axis, which is a way for your gut and brain to communicate. These things can also change your gut bacteria through stress hormones and inflammation (AKA not ideal).
- Physical Activity: Exercise has been connected with a more diverse and healthy gut microbiome. Physical activity, like hiking or catching giant waves, can support digestion, reduce inflammation, and balance your gut, leading to better overall health.
- Age: As you grow throughout life, your gut microbiome changes; age causes it to easily shift in balance, which means as you get older, paying attention to foods for gut healing becomes even more of a necessity than it already is.
- Infections and Diseases: Gastrointestinal infections, chronic diseases, and conditions affecting the gut (like irritable bowel syndrome) can all temporarily alter the balance of your gut. Some may even lead to long-term imbalances.
- Alcohol and Smoking: You likely don’t need us to tell you about the health issues that an over-use of smoking and alcohol can cause. But did you know that they can also change your gut’s composition and function? As with most things, moderation is key!
Similar to fingerprints, everyone’s gut microbiome is unique with these factors varying from person to person. By trying to live a healthy lifestyle, which includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and good stress management, you can promote and maintain the integrity of your gut. If you have any specific concerns about men’s gut health, try chatting with your doc.
Signs of an Unhealthy Gut
An unhealthy gut can put a damper on many of life’s great experiences as it’s known to cause things like painful bloating, gas, and diarrhea. I’m sure we can all agree that those three things sound like a bad time, which is why learning the ins and outs of men’s gut health is so vital.
Here are some notable signs of an unhealthy gut to keep an eye out for:
- Reoccurring digestive problems may suggest an imbalance in your gut. These issues can include persistent bloating, gas, heartburn, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and/or constipation that lasts for an extended period.
- If you’ve recently developed a food intolerance to a dish that’s always been your favorite or you’ve just noticed a few food sensitivities that you’ve never had before, then you may have a gut issue. Symptoms range from nausea to bloating to trapped gas.
- Have you had any significant or unexplainable weight loss/gain? This could be a sign that your gut is having a problem absorbing nutrients or your gut microbiome is out of whack and could use some balancing (more on this below).
- As an adventurous spirit, you probably rarely feel fatigued, letting Mother Nature pull you in all directions happily. But if you’ve noticed a bit of tiredness after a good-quality sleep, then your gut-brain axis may be suffering, causing your energy levels to plummet.
- Skin conditions – think acne and psoriasis – have been linked to gut problems. Inflammation and imbalances in your gut can show themselves to the world through the skin with blemishes, dry patches, and the conditions mentioned above.
- Do you deal with frequent colds, infections, or illnesses? Maybe you just feel like your immune system isn’t up to par. These things could all be due to an unhealthy gut microbiome, which can indeed wreak havoc on your immune system.
- Mental health is a convo we don’t have a lot as guys, but the stage is finally opening for us to share our experiences, emotions, and thoughts free of judgment or stereotypes. However, if you’ve noticed your mood weighing you down lately (anxiety, depression, brain fog, mood swings), your gut may need some extra care.
- While carbs and sugar are two of life’s greatest gifts, excessive cravings for these two things can be a sign that you have an overgrowth of certain types of gut bacteria, which could be causing an unbalanced microbiome.
Men’s Gut Health and the Best Foods for Gut Healing
Without a doubt, food is one of the best things in the world, and it’s responsible for fueling your body, which is pretty cool if you ask us. But did you know what you eat has direct benefits for your body and skin? Kind of like how skincare keeps your skin vibrant and young-looking, eating good-for-you foods can ensure your entire body (skin cells, gut, and all) stays in tip-top shape.
Some foods for gut healing are:
- Fiber-Rich Foods: Fiber is essential for promoting a healthy gut microbiome. It acts as a prebiotic, providing food for beneficial bacteria to thrive. Foods high in soluble and insoluble fiber include whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice), legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), fruits (berries, apples, pears), and veggies (broccoli, carrots).
- Fermented Foods: Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, which are live beneficial bacteria that can keep your gut microbiome balanced and healthy. These foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and pickles.
- Bone Broth: Bone broth is rich in collagen and amino acids that support your gut lining integrity and reduce inflammation, which is needed for your overall skin health.
- Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe your digestive tract. In fact, it's often used to alleviate nausea and promote digestion.
- Turmeric: Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can support your gut health.
- Garlic and Onions: Ahh, the best cooking duo. Both of these foods contain prebiotic compounds that feed beneficial gut bacteria and promote their growth.
- Leafy Greens: Dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that support your gut and skin health.
- Berries: Berries – specifically blueberries – are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber, which can have a positive impact on your gut health.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), flaxseeds, and walnuts, have anti-inflammatory effects that can benefit the gut by diversifying your microbiome.
- Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are high in fiber and can help promote regular bowel movements while providing prebiotic benefits.
- Coconut-Based Products: Coconut oil and other coconut-based products contain medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that can strengthen your gut and protect against inflammation.
- Protein-Rich Foods: Lean sources of protein, such as poultry, fish, and tofu, provide essential amino acids that support your body’s tissue repair and healing, thus contributing to a healthy gut microbiome.
What Else Can You Do for Men’s Gut Health Besides Just Eating Foods for Gut Healing?
Use High-Quality Face Care From MOX
Did you know that similar to the gut-brain axis, you also have a gut-skin axis? "The gut and skin enjoy a constant dialogue via what is known as the gut-skin axis," says Carla Oates, a gut health expert. She explains that recent studies have linked the appearance of the skin to a healthy gut, which means fostering a good gut health routine is vital for a youthful look.
Why not jazz up your face care routine while you’re at it? At MOX, we believe that you deserve high-quality skincare that’s as strong as you are. This is why our products are formulated by a Pharmacist and Nutritionist, who uses his expertise to infuse each product with vitamins and other good-for-you ingredients like Squalane, electrolytes, and lipids to exercise your skin.
The MOX Daily Face Care Kit, which is full of five-star reviews, features the Multi Nutrient Serum and Peppermint Cleanser. Our Multi Nutrient Serum is clinically proven to build collagen, improve strength, and increase moisture, while the Peppermint Cleanser removes surface dirt without disturbing your skin’s good-for-you natural oils and feels like a burst of freshness.
Grab the MOX Daily Face Care Kit here to experience strong, skin-fueling face care. And don’t forget to eat foods for gut healing because – say it with us, guys – men’s gut health matters.