Gut health is one of the most important components for living an optimal lifestyle. As you may know, there are trillions of bacteria in our gut that help us digest food and absorb vital vitamins and nutrients. When these bacteria are healthy, we live healthier lives. However, unhealthy or imbalanced can lead to chronic diseases like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis (UC). This blog post will give you ten tips on how to improve your gut health.
What is Gut Health?
Gut health is a term that has been used more and more in recent years. But what does gut health mean? Essentially, it's the balance of bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms living inside your digestive tract – also known as your microbiome. When this delicate symbiosis gets thrown out of whack due to things like stress or poor diet, it can result in digestive issues like bloating and diarrhea.
Why Should We Pay Attention to Our Gut Health?
If you're experiencing digestive issues, then your gut health might need some attention. The state of our guts affects the way we digest and process food and how well we absorb nutrients and fight off disease-causing bacteria. With that in mind, our gut health can affect us both physically and emotionally. With an estimated 80% of the immune system located in the digestive tract, we need to pay attention to its functioning if we want it to fend off harmful bugs and diseases.
The digestive tract is where nutrients are absorbed. If it's not working properly, then the body won't be able to absorb all of these nutrients, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition over time. This could also cause a weakened immune system as well as skin conditions like acne or psoriasis due to decreased nutrient intake. If we don't absorb all of these nutrients, then our brains may not be able to function as well as they should either, which could cause brain fog or irritability if the nutrient deficiency is severe enough.***
Signs of Healthy And Unhealthy Gut
Signs of Healthy Gut:
- A lack of bloating after meals
- No gas or burping that smells bad, especially in the morning when you wake up
- Normal bowel movements
- No loose stools or diarrhea
- Normal stool consistency and color
Signs of Unhealthy Gut:
- Bad breath
- Unexplained irritability or mood swings
- Feeling tired after eating certain foods, especially high-carbohydrate meals
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea that lasts more than a few days
- Chronic gas and bloating
How To Improve Gut Health?
When it comes to how to improve gut health, following are the ways you can do the same:
Eat Prebiotic fiber-Rich Food
Fiber is known to promote regularity and can help you get rid of constipation. Prebiotic fibers, which are indigestible carbohydrates found in many plants, help your good gut bacteria thrive. These bacteria ferment prebiotic fiber in the gut and produce a fatty acid called butyrate, which is thought to maintain intestinal health.
Gut health foods that contain a high amount of prebiotics include:
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Garlic (choose the raw variety)
- Dandelion greens
- Wheat bran & oat bran
- Oat bran
- Whole meal bread, pasta, and rice
- Rye & buckwheat (kasha) cereal
- Legumes (dried beans and lentils)
- Nuts, seeds & their butter
Eat Probiotics and Digestives
Probiotics and digestive enzymes help improve gut health by increasing nutrient absorption, improving digestion speeds, and reducing inflammation. Probiotic capsules are available in drugstores, but getting probiotics benefits from food provides a wider range of strains to support your body's needs.
Good digestive foods that contain probiotics:
- Yoghurt and kefir of all types, including goat's milk yogurts and cheeses. Look for the words "live cultures" or "contains active cultures" on the label.
- Buttermilk, sour cream, and cottage cheese.
- Kombucha (a fermented black or green tea drink)
- Sauerkraut & pickled vegetables like beets, cabbage, mixed greens, and carrots.
- Tempeh, miso & natto
Consume Less Sugar
A diet high in sugar has been shown to have a negative effect on the gut microbiome. Sugar is known to feed bad bacteria and yeast, leading to an overgrowth of these organisms that contribute to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Avoid Unnecessarily Antibiotics
One of the most important risk factors is the overuse of antibiotics. We are constantly being told to avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, but why? Antibiotics will not only destroy 'bad' bacteria causing your gut health to worsen, but they can also cause you problems with yeast infections and nutrient deficiencies - neither of which we want.
Research shows that exercise can help reduce inflammation and improve gut function. It's important to include time for physical activity in your daily routine, but if you already have an established workout plan, make sure not to ignore it during this time of discomfort because the digestive system needs all the support it can get.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation can lead to a decrease in good bacteria. This is because, during sleep, your body's hormonal system restores itself by releasing human growth hormone, which regulates cell reproduction and regeneration. Studies show that getting enough shut-eye can help you maintain healthy levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and serotonin (a mood regulator), two factors linked with a healthy gut.
Drink Enough Fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids is a must to avoid constipation and the formation of bowel stones which can lead to an infection or even cancer in some cases. The majority of people drink enough water, but not everyone stays hydrated throughout the day. This helps your digestive system to get rid of toxins by allowing your bowel movement to move through easily.
Stress has been shown to cause gut dysbiosis, leaky gut, and inflammation. It can also damage the intestinal lining of your intestines, leading to permeability or "leaky gut," which allows particles that are not supposed to pass through into your bloodstream, where they trigger an autoimmune response (inflammation). As well as damaging your intestinal lining, stress also lowers stomach acidity, which means that food is not properly digested and can ferment in the gut leading To bloating.
Consume Homemade Food
Instead of consuming pre-packaged food, opt to make your own at home. This way, you are able to eliminate any potential ingredients that may cause additional harm in terms of gut health.
Building this habit of creating gut-friendly foods is a great way to improve your overall health and wellbeing since it can also help decrease your risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Drinking alcohol is never beneficial to gut health. When you drink, your liver takes over the job of metabolizing toxins and other harmful substances in the body, diverting resources away from maintaining a healthy digestive system. Alcohol can also irritate an already-sensitive stomach lining or cause ulcers by inhibiting proper digestion.
Your gut is the pathway to your health. It's important for people of all ages and genders to consider their stomach issues to get on track with good wellness habits that will help them feel better overall.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the signs you need probiotics?
Suppose you are suffering from frequent diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and other digestive problems. If you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and/or inflammatory bowel disease, your doctor is likely to recommend the best probiotic supplement. Probiotics have been known to help with chronic fatigue syndrome as well.
How do I detox my gut?
Eating healthy food along with consuming gut supplements can help you to cleaning gut. Swisse Daily Digestive Probiotic is among the effective tablets that you can consume for detoxification. This probiotics for women and men can be taken without worrying about any side effects.
What are the best natural digestive enzymes?
Several natural digestive enzymes can help with the digestive process. Oranges have an enzyme called pectinase, which is great for digesting protein. Papaya contains an enzyme known as papain, which helps digest proteins. Pineapples have a special enzyme called bromelain, which helps break down protein.
What happens to your gut when you start taking probiotics?
The balance of good bacteria and yeast in your gut is very delicate. Taking antibiotics can upset the natural balance, which causes poor digestion and other health problems. These gut health supplements will restore that balance by providing the 'good' bacteria that play an important role in maintaining overall wellbeing.
Can you take probiotics and digestive enzymes at the same time?
Yes, you can take probiotics and digestive enzymes at the same time. They are two different supplements that work well together.