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Jan 24, 2024 9:11:00 AM | holistic health Why Boosting Your Gut Health Will Help You Thrive

Boost your overall well-being by prioritizing your gut health. Discover the profound impact of a healthy gut microbiome on your well-being.

This article highlights the critical role of the gut microbiome in overall health, emphasizing its influence on immune function, mental well-being, and disease resistance. It advocates for a balanced diet, the inclusion of fermented foods, and a holistic approach to nurture the gut microbiome, which is essential for physical, mental, and emotional health.

Why Your Gut Health is the Foundation of Wellness

In the intricate ecosystem of the human body, the gut reigns as a silent hero, orchestrating a symphony of functions that extend far beyond digestion. Recent scientific discoveries have illuminated the profound impact of gut health on overall well-being. The gut, often termed the "second brain," houses trillions of microbes that play a pivotal role in shaping our health.1 Understanding and nurturing this complex microbial community is increasingly recognized as fundamental to our vitality. Let's delve into why boosting your gut health has emerged as a cornerstone of wellness.


The Gut Microbiome

Deep within our intestines lies a bustling metropolis of microbes, collectively known as the gut microbiome. This dynamic community comprises bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms, operating in harmony to maintain equilibrium. Research, as cited in the National Library of Medicine, underscores how this microbiome profoundly influences various aspects of health, from immune function and mental health to metabolism and disease resistance.2


Immune Resilience and Beyond

The gut consists of 70-80% of the immune cells which are profoundly influenced by the gut microbiome. Thus, a robust and diverse microbiome bolsters immune resilience, aiding in the fight against infections and diseases. The National Library of Medicine reports that an imbalance in gut bacteria, known as dysbiosis, has been linked to autoimmune disorders, allergies, and inflammatory conditions.2 By nurturing a healthy gut environment, individuals can potentially fortify their immune responses and improve their overall health.


The recent discovery of the gut microbiome has elucidated important information on overall health at the physical, mental, social and emotional levels. And, of importance, the role of nutrition in maintaining the health of the gut microbiome is crucial. Indeed, a balanced and diverse diet supports the growth and maintenance of a thriving community of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract. Nutrients from various foods serve as fuel for beneficial bacteria, promoting their growth and activity. Thus, a well-nourished gut microbiome contributes to digestive health, nutrient absorption, and the synthesis of certain vitamins which, in turn, facilitate immunity and the gut-brain axis for improved health.  — Dr. Janet Ludwig, ACHS’s Dean of Integrative Health and Nutrition


The Connection Between Gut Health and Mental Wellness

Beyond its role in digestion, the gut wields surprising influence over mental health. The gut-brain axis, a bidirectional communication system between the gut and the brain, plays a pivotal role in regulating mood, cognition, and behavior. Studies referenced by the American Medical Association suggest that an imbalance in gut bacteria could contribute to mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.3 Nurturing a diverse gut microbiome might thus pave the way for improved mental well-being.



Cultivating Gut Harmony with Fermentation

One powerful method to support gut health is through fermentation. The ancient practice of fermenting foods not only preserves them but also enhances their nutritional value. As discussed in the ACHS blog A Delicious Kefir Recipe for Gut Health, fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are rich in probiotics—beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut environment. Integrating these foods into one's diet can aid in replenishing and diversifying the gut microbiome.4 


The Critical Role of Nutrition in Gut Health

So, how can one embark on the journey to bolster gut health? The American Medical Association recommends adopting a balanced diet abundant in fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.3 These dietary fibers serve as nourishment for beneficial gut bacteria, fostering their growth and diversity. Additionally, minimizing the intake of processed foods and excessive antibiotics may help preserve the delicate balance of the gut microbiome.

The paradigm shift in understanding the profound impact of gut health on overall well-being marks a pivotal moment in integrative healthcare. As illuminated by scientific research, cultivating a flourishing gut microbiome emerges as a cornerstone of wellness. By nurturing this intricate ecosystem through dietary choices, incorporating fermented foods, and embracing a holistic approach to health, individuals can pave the way toward a vibrant and resilient life and thrive.

In the intricate interplay between gut health and overall wellness, lies the power to transform our health outcomes. The quest for optimal health begins within—the nurturing of our gut—the cornerstone of our vitality.


Incorporating holistic nutrition into your daily life involves embracing a personalized approach that aligns with the unique needs of your individual well-being. At the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS), we advocate for a holistic perspective on health, emphasizing the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and spirit. While there are general principles of holistic nutrition that can benefit everyone, such as prioritizing whole foods, sourcing nutrients from food, choosing local and organic options, and maintaining balance and moderation, it is essential to tailor these principles to your specific health goals. Our online courses delve beyond conventional nutrition topics, focusing on the synergy between food fundamentals and the holistic triad. By emphasizing planning, intention, and the enjoyment of meals, you can seamlessly integrate holistic nutrition into your daily routine, promoting overall well-being and vitality.


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This content is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.



1 Margolis, K. G., Cryan, J. F., & Mayer, E. A. (2021, January 22). The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis: From Motility to Mood. NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8634751/

2 Zhang, Y.-J., Li, S., Gan, R.-Y., Zhou, T., Xu, D.-P., & Li, H.-B. (2015, April 2). Impacts of Gut Bacteria on Human Health and Diseases. NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425030/

3 Ibid.

4 Bull, M. J., & Plummer, N. T. (2014, December 13). Part 1: The Human Gut Microbiome in Health and Disease. NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566439/

5 Berg, S. (2023, March 17). What doctors wish patients knew about improving gut health. American Medical Association. https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/what-doctors-wish-patients-knew-about-improving-gut-health

6 American College of Healthcare Sciences. (2015, September 23). Fermentation and Gut Health | achs.edu. American College of Healthcare Sciences. https://achs.edu/blog/2015/09/23/fermentation-and-gut-health/

American College of Healthcare Sciences

Written By: American College of Healthcare Sciences

ACHS's mission is to lead the advancement of evidence-based, integrative health and wellness education through experiential online learning and sustainable practices. This includes sharing helpful, informative, holistic healthcare articles on the ACHS Health and Wellness Blog.