Everything you need to know about gut health

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The scientific evidence has never been stronger that the microbiome truly is a “second brain.” Your gut and mind are in constant communication, sending more messages to each other than you do to your best friend.

This year, via new research and interviews with experts, researchers found out how gut health can impact weight gain and sleep—and how factors like the birth control pill and FODMAP foods impact the microbiome.

In case you lost track, rounded up here are the 10 most interesting, health-effecting discoveries related to gut health from the last 12 months.

Keep reading for the most important gut health news of 2016.

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Photo: Pixaby
Photo: Pixaby

1. The health of the bacteria in your gut can affect how well you sleep at night—and you have the power to boost it.

Photo: Pixabay

2. Hormonal birth control like the pill can mess with your gut health.

Photo: Foodies Feed

3. New research shows that getting enough fiber in your diet may be even more important in maintaining a healthy gut than previously thought.

sad woman
Photo: Stocksy/Vera Lair

4. Depression can be a major cause of digestive distress (while anxiety is more related to skin issues).

fodmap foods
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5. If you’re suffering from regular bouts of bloating, high-FODMAP foods could be to blame.

microbiome weight gain study
Photo: Unsplash/Brooke Lark

6. Rapid weight gain associated with yo-yo dieting may happen because of changes to the microbiome.

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Photo: Pexels/Unsplash

7. A reason to soak up the sun (responsibly): New research shows a link between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and vitamin D deficiency.

Photo: Stocksy/Alita Ong

8. Not all probiotics are created equal, and there are steps you can take to make sure you’re ingesting one that will really benefit your gut.

Paleo salad
Photo: Stocksy/Cameron Whitman

9. For many, going Paleo changes their life for the better in countless ways, but for some, the trendy diet can cause serious bloating and general digestive distress.

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Photo: Pexels/Unsplash

10. The mind-gut connection is crazy powerfuland it’s possible to calm both via a simple strategy.

This is your four-step plan for avoiding bloat during the holidays. Need some food inspo? These are the most surprising items wellness influencers stocked their fridges with this year

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