You’ve got trillions of tiny guests living in your tummy. Do you know what they are doing in there? Enjoy these 7 Tips For Better Gut Health!
Why is it important to focus on gut health?
The gut and digestive system are very complicated parts of the body. There is good reason to believe that gut health affects our sleep, mood, metabolism, mental health, immune system and much more. In fact, half of our immune system is in the GI tract. The different microbes that live in our gut are numerous, and all contribute to a balanced and healthy life. If the ecosystem inside our gut is disturbed, then it will reflect in our own health. If we were truly aware of how bad some of our choices were for our gut health, we might think twice before indulging in bad habits.
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How can I tell there’s a problem?
1. Stomach Pain
Bloating, diarrhea, heartburn, acid reflux, excessive gas can all be signs that your internal balance is off usually due to not being able to properly process the food you’ve eaten.
2. Sugar Cravings
When you eat foods with a lot of refined sugars, or processed foods, it develops bad bacteria in the gut. The bad bacteria actually start to thrive off the sugar, and causes you to want more of it, which becomes a downward spiral of health issues that starts with inflammation.
3. Poor Sleep
The body’s production of serotonin is located in the gut. Serotonin is responsible for getting good sleep, and if it’s out of whack, can cause you to develop fatigue, and insomnia.
4. Skin Problems
If you gut can’t digest properly, it will begin to leak. This will release certain proteins into the bloodstream. They will eventually reach your skin, and cause an irritation that can lead to breakouts, rash, and eczema.
What Can I Do To Improve My Gut Health?
1. Exercise For Gut Health
With movement, comes increased blood flow, metabolism, and functioning of the GI tract. This means food is processed better, and waste eliminated more efficiently.
2. Manage Your Stress
Stress releases cortisol into our bodies, and causes us to increase levels of inflammation. Sometimes stress can be overwhelming, and you’ll need to incorporate some regular practices of well-being into your daily routine. Meditation, reading, going for a walk, spending time with your dog, whatever makes you happy and gets your mind off things for a bit.
3. Get Better Sleep
Sounds obvious right? But its not always easy getting a good night’s sleep. Electronic devices in our faces 24/7, high stress levels, poor food choices. It all adds up. Find out what’s causing you problems and work to mitigate it. We need around 7-8 hours of good quality sleep per night in order to function properly. Try a sleep mask, blackout curtains, or a white noise machine to help.
4. Try Probiotics and Prebiotics
Our gut health depends on the good bacteria being present. Without them, our insides get out of whack, and we experience digestive issues and inflammation. Add some living food to your diet such as yogurt, fermented food such as sauerkraut or probiotic supplements. Prebiotics act as food for the healthy bacteria to consume and grow from.
5. Eat Healthier
Fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy carbohydrates are a good start. We want to avoid all the processed foods that contain additives, refined sugars, simple carbohydrates which can easily spike your blood glucose levels, and cause inflammation.
6. Eat More Fiber
Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes are all shown to provide the level of fiber required to help bind to and flush out toxins in the GI tract before they have a chance to cause problems in the gut.
7. Chew Your Food
Sometimes when we are hungry, we tend to scarf down a meal like its our last. This is bad for our gut because we are hampering the first stage of digestion, which is chewing. Chewing our food allows the stomach to properly process and break down the nutrients more effectively.