Meditation's Impact on The Gut Microbiome + Gut Health

Meditation's Impact on The Gut Microbiome + Gut Health
Photo by Mattia Faloretti / Unsplash

Meditation has a direct positive impact on overall gut health. It plays a beneficial role in the gut-brain axis. Meditation combats and releases stress, alleviates digestive issues, and promotes a healthier gut microbiome and gut-brain axis. Our ability to handle stress, genes, and diet impact overall gut health. Meditation has the ability to positively alter over 1,000 genes and suppress bad genes. It is able to suppress the gene NK-mB that is known to inflame the immune and gastrointestinal systems. Meditation influences the cultivation of beneficial microbes, which control neurotransmitters, such as, serotonin in the gut-brain axis. Communication along the vagus nerve is also enhanced through regular meditation.

Meditation also activates the parasympathetic response, “rest and digest,” which alleviates digestive issues, maintains a healthy gut barrier, and reduces inflammation. Our ability to handle stress greatly impacts our overall gut health. Being able to control stress is very important. Chronic stress directly inhibits normal gut activity by changing the speed of digestion, increasing intestinal permeability and increasing gastric secretions and inflammation. Chronic stress also contributes to remodeling of gut cells and dysbiosis of gut microbiota, which can lead to weight gain, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and brain fog.

Mindfulness meditation and breathing are two of the simplest practices we can do for our health. It can be done twice a day, once in the morning and once at night to promote a relaxed state and heal the body. Communication between the gut, brain, and microbiome is best maintained with a daily meditation practice. Yoga provides cardiovascular exercise, movement, breath work, and meditation. Mindfulness exercise, yoga, meditation practices all boost gut microbiome diversity, immune function, mood, and functional health.

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