Throughout my life, I have heard about the importance of having a healthy gut. Whether it was through doctors who tried to help me, my parents, or even through television, honestly I still have that colon health bit from Fairly Odd Parents stuck in my brain after all these years. There is no escaping hearing about how we all need to do specific things to keep our guts healthy. It can be confusing to figure out what exactly this means and how to fix it. According to Medical News Today, “gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract…maintaining the right balance of these microorganisms is vital for physical and mental health, immunity, and more.” 

What does an unhealthy gut look like?

Bad breath

This is something people may or may not be familiar with. One thing that could be from an unhealthy gut is the way your breath smells. If you have bad breath often it could be because you have less than optimal-flora, according to Be Pure. When the ratio between good and bad bacteria is off this can lead to bad breath. 

Anxiety and depression

Having an unhealthy gut is one “part of the reason micronutrient deficiencies affect mental health,” states Be Pure. The larger part of this is that stomach issues lead to people not being able to absorb certain nutrients. An unhealthy gut would actually stop someone from receiving what their body needs, and it has a big effect on the body’s ability to produce serotonin and dopamine because a majority of those hormones are created in the gut. If someone is dealing with anxiety, depression, or moodiness, they may want to get their gut checked.

An upset stomach

One of the more obvious ways you may realize you have an unhealthy gut is through how your stomach is feeling. If you are continually bloated and unsure why or you find yourself dealing with constipation often, pay attention to these red flags. When someone does have a healthy gut they have fewer problems actually processing food and eliminating waste, according to Health Line. Some people may not realize their upset stomach is an ongoing problem but if it is then consider going to your doctor and getting things checked out.

How can you improve your gut health?

Eat less sugar and sweeteners

This is not something anyone wants to hear but it can have a huge impact on gut health. If you eat too many artificial sweeteners it can lead to an imbalance in gut microbes. When there is an imbalance in microbes then you’re at risk of dealing with all the things that come with an unhealthy gut. Of course, this does not mean you have to cut artificial sweeteners out of your diet completely but it does mean cutting back wouldn’t hurt. 

Take probiotics

At a certain time in every person’s life, it seems as though you start hearing about probiotics more and more often. That’s probably because there are numerous kinds and because of the positive health benefits. Probiotics actually boost the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Some probiotics also come with other benefits. For example, probiotics that have mood+ on the front also promote emotional well-being and relaxation, along with digestive balance. Before deciding to use probiotics contact your doctor and see what’s right for you. 


Everyone knows exercise is an important part of staying healthy. Through studies, it was actually found that athletes had a larger variety of gut flora, according to Medical News Today. Another positive aspect of working out is the fact that it can help the body process food and eliminate waste, something that’s needed for anyone struggling with an unhealthy gut.

Although coronavirus has been the talk amongst the health community for the past couple of months.

Pandemic or not, having a healthy gut is necessary for your body to be healthy overall.

Don’t forget that. 

  • Carol Wright

    Carol Wright is a recent graduate of American University where she received a BA in Journalism and a minor in Business and Entertainment. She is also the founder and Editor in Chief of Nyota Magazine. Nyota focuses on featuring emerging stars in the areas of music, fashion, and culture. When she’s not writing you can find her rewatching New Girl on Netflix.