"All diseases begin in the gut."
Hippocrates got it right, all disease does begin in the gut. The health of your gut can determine your overall health and whether you are or will become chronically ill. The gut is home to a microbiome, where about 80 percent of our immune system is located, and it is also where about 90 percent of our serotonin lives. The microbiome is the environment in which trillions of bacteria live. Those bacteria communicate with the rest of the body and the type of bacteria your gut houses are what determines your overall health. In fact, we are only about 10 percent human as we are made up of 90 percent bacteria and the other 10 percent are our cells.
There are good and bad bacteria and we actually need both types within the microbiome to maintain balance. Ideally, a ratio of 85:15 (good:bad) is the goal. The good bacteria is responsible for assisting in many digestive functions like nutrient synthesis and elimination of toxins. These bacteria are also important for mental health as the gut has a clear line of communication with the brain via the gut-brain axis. We have neurotransmitters both in our brain and in our gut and they communicate with one another. The type of conversations they have are determined by the information we provide them. The information we provide them comes from what we consume and the environment we are exposed to.