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Gut Health: Why it's Essential For a Healthy Brain and Body

If you think gut health involves only digestive issues, think again. Research shows that gut health is the key to having a healthy brain and body.

So, could the state of your gut affect your mental and physical health? Potentially...YES!

A graphical image of human intestines and intestinal bacterial with text that reads microbiome.

How the Gut Microbiota Affects Mental and Physical Health

Roughly 100 trillion microbes live in the gastrointestinal tract. These microbes are essential for the digestion and extraction of nutrients. They may play a significant role in overall health.

Beneficial gut bacteria typically outnumber the harmful kind, keeping the microbiome balanced. But if the composition of the "good" and "bad" bacteria becomes unbalanced, a condition called dysbiosis, it can lead to digestive problems and negatively affect your mental and physical health.

A graphical image of three interconnecting circles that contain cartoon images of specific aspects of gut health with text that reads gut health. Mental health, metabolic health, immune health.

Mental Health Disorders

Mental health issues linked to poor gut health include: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

Physical Health Conditions

Physical health conditions associated with an unhealthy gut include: (6)

  • Digestive issues like excessive gas, bloating, and stomach pain
  • Digestive tract disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, and GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
  • Metabolic diseases like insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
  • Elevated setpoint weight, leading to weight gain and obesity
  • Reduced immune function
  • Food allergy
  • Chronic heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • HIV
  • Cancer

So, as you can see, having a healthy gut is crucial for mental and overall health.

A graphical illustration of the vague nerve and its pathway through the human body and its organs, including the brain, lungs, liver, spleen, kidney, and intestines with explanatory text. Explanatory text is described below.

Explanatory Text

Vagus nerve. Brain. Pons, Medula Oblongata,, vagus nerve, superior ganglion of vagus nerve, inferior ganglion of vagus nerve, pharyngeal branch, laryngeal branches, lungs, cardiac branch, pulmonary plexus, liver, stomach, esophageal plexus, spleen, celiac plexus, kidney, colon, small intestine.

End Explanatory Text

How Gut Health Affects MORE Than Digestion

A healthy gut affects more than just digestion. The gut microbiome is home to trillions of bacteria that help to regulate the immune system, produce hormones, and aid in the digestion of food. A healthy gut contains a diverse range of bacteria that can help protect against disease and improve overall physical health.

The reason gut health affects overall health is nothing short of astounding! It involves the enteric nervous system (ENS) and the vagus nerve. 

The ENS often called the “second brain”, is composed of approximately 100 million nerve cells lining the gastrointestinal tract. These cells send messages to the brain and several other significant organs via the vagus nerve.  

Thus, it can influence mental, physical, and psychological functions!

These messages are bidirectional, meaning the brain and body communicate with the ENS. Thus, beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiota can influence all aspects of your health. 

Scientists estimate that a whopping 70% of the immune system resides in the gut.

An image of a woman sitting on a couch and holding her abdomen in pain.

How to Improve Gut Health

You must restore gut health to think, feel, and look your best. Here are a few scientifically validated ways improve gut health.  

Reduce Stress Levels

Stress has been shown to affect the composition and function of the gut microbiome. Research suggests it can make the gut lining more permeable, allowing harmful substances to leak into the bloodstream and triggering an immune response. (7)

You can never eliminate stress from your life, nor should you want to. However, stress can motivate you to complete a project and achieve your goals. It's that unnecessary chronic stress you need to reduce.

Fortunately, there are several ways to manage stress levels.

  • Meditate
  • Learn yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates
  • Take leisurely walks around the block a few times per day
  • Do slow, deep-breathing exercises
  • Practice progressive muscle relaxation exercises
  • Get regular physical activity
  • Practice an attitude of gratitude
  • Get a pet
  • Take up an enjoyable hobby
  • Laugh more (Studies show that laughter reduces stress hormone levels)

Eat a Better Diet

The right type of diet has many gut health benefits. 

For example, the foods you eat can encourage or inhibit the growth of healthy bacteria, which can improve every bodily function.

An image of a display for fresh produce in grocery store, including tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and bell peppers.

A gut-healthy diet includes:

High-Fiber Foods/Prebiotic Foods

Eating a high-fiber diet supplies your body with various nutrients regulates bowel function, and leads to the production of short-chain fatty acids and other essential postbiotic metabolites.


The helpful bacteria in your lower colon ferment the soluble fiber you consume and then excrete postbiotics like butyrate. Experts believe that the health benefits attributed to probiotics come from postbiotics.

Most fiber foods contain both types of fiber -- soluble and insoluble -- so you don't have to worry about finding a highly soluble source. You should be good to go if you eat various fiber foods.

Some great prebiotic food choices include:

  • Nonstarchy vegetables, i.e., kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, artichoke, asparagus
  • Oats
  • Beans, lentils
  • Bananas
  • Dried peas
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Whole grains, i.e., quinoa, brown rice
  • Wheat bran
  • Oranges
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods will increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Therefore, fermented foods are, by definition, probiotic foods.

Some great fermented food choices include:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Yogurt
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Kefir
  • Natto

Reduce or Eliminate These Foods…

Try to reduce or eliminate foods that spur gut health problems. These foods destroy beneficial gut bacteria while feeding harmful intestinal bugs:

  • Heavily processed foods like potato chips, donuts, cookies, and almost all pre-packaged foods.
  • Sugar
  • Starchy carbs like white potatoes and white rice.

Do You Need to Take Probiotic Supplements?

Probiotic supplements are popular and prevalent today.

According to Grand View Research:

"The global probiotics market size was valued at USD 58.17 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% from 2021 to 2030. The market is driven by the growing consumer inclination towards preventive healthcare in conjunction with the development of efficient probiotic strains." (8)

So, their popularity isn't going to wane anytime soon. However, they usually contain just a few strains of good bacteria. 

Plus, the digestive system often destroys them before they reach the large intestine defeating the purpose. The solution?

Take Viscera-3™: The Gut Healing Powerhouse!

Why is fiber so good for your health? It feeds good bacteria. When bacteria eat fiber, they excrete POSTBiotics. 

Experts believe that POSTBiotics are responsible for most health benefits of high-fiber diets.

Viscera-3™ contains what Harvard researchers call the "optimal" POSTBotic, TRIbutyrate. 

It bypasses the bacterial fermentation process and goes right to work, promoting effective digestion, supporting a healthy brain, reducing inflammation, and improving overall health. 

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