What’s happening in your gut? A lot, it turns out.

The trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that make up your microbiome play a huge role in your overall wellbeing. Your heart health, immune system, and mental health are just some of the beneficiaries of a balanced microbiome. Here are some of the surprising ways your gut health helps you.

1. Heart Health

Your microbiome isn’t just about crunching fiber and pushing out waste. It also plays an important role in heart health. One study, published by the National Institute of Health, found that a healthy microbiome actually supports good HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. That can help you fight heart disease. It can also help reduce bad cholesterol numbers in some people.

2. Blood Sugar Control

Whether you are pre-diabetic or diabetic, it’s good news to hear that balancing your gut health can also help to regulate blood sugar levels. If you are at risk of type 1 or type 2 diabetes, a healthy, diverse microbiome can help to keep the number of unhealthy bacterial species low, helping to minimize risks in those with type 1 diabetes. It can also help your body to digest sugars in your bloodstream, reducing the instances of high spikes.

3. Brain Health

Your brain relies on your gut in more ways than you may realize. Take a closer look at a few examples:

  • Some good bacteria in the gut can help produce more effective communication between neurotransmitters in the brain. This can help to increase serotonin levels, helping you to feel better.
  • Healthy bacteria can also help to balance mental health disorders in some people, boosting depression and anxiety. The use of probiotics, for example, can help to reduce instances of depression, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

4. Seal Out Leaky Gut Syndrome

When you have a good gut balance, it helps prevent leaky gut syndrome, a condition in which the walls of the intestines are weakened so much so that bad bacteria enter the bloodstream. When this occurs, it creates numerous high-risk scenarios for your health. That may include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Autoimmune diseases of all types

When you eat probiotics, a healthy diet, and reduce intake of sugar, your gut biome works at its best. It is able to ensure nutrients reach your cells and organs properly while also minimizing the impact of disease. If you have not thought much about your gut healthy lately, now is the ideal time to take a closer look at how you can improve gut health to stimulate good health throughout your body.