If you’ve spent any time following health and wellness trends, “gut health” will be a familiar term to you. Your “gut,” or digestive tract, is surprisingly important for your immune system. Good gut health means you have a healthy balance of bacteria and other microorganisms, also known as “gut flora” or “microbiome.” If your gut health isn’t so good, you could be vulnerable to a variety of unpleasant diseases and conditions.
We’re learning more about how gut health impacts overall health all the time. It doesn’t just impact your immune system. Gut health also directly impacts heart and brain health and improves mood. Sensibly, you’ll also have an efficient digestive system that pulls out the nutrients you need and keeps your body going.
With so much at stake, it’s important to know how to maintain a healthy gut. There are several ways you can affect your gut health both directly and indirectly. Direct influence can include modern interventions such as IV Therapy in Century City. For more insight on how you can maintain gut health, follow these eight handy tips and tricks.
1. Get Moving
Exercise helps with weight management, brain health, strengthening your bones and muscles, disease resistance, and just making it easier to do your day-to-day activities. Activity can help your bowels in general but also help with irritable bowel syndrome. Exercise is so vital to gut health that it impacts it regardless of diet. Longer sessions of aerobic exercise make the most difference to gut bacteria diversity and performance. Visit Outlook Idea to learn more about fitness and other useful tips from experts.
2. You Are What You Eat
While exercise can improve gut health independent of diet, that isn’t a reason to slouch on your eating habits. Most people know that refined sugar and processed foods are among the worst you can consume; better choices include fiber, lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs. Your gut flora loves variety, so prebiotic foods such as artichoke and asparagus will do you good.
3. Take Your Time
Eating a heaping pile of food once a day is a great way to overwhelm your gut. A better option is to have several smaller meals throughout the day. This will improve your metabolism and stabilize your blood sugar levels. Be sure to chew your food thoroughly, too. It will be easier on your gut and aid in nutrient absorption. You’ll also feel less bloated after eating.
4. A Gut Feeling
If you’ve felt so anxious that you get butterflies in your stomach, you already know that the mind-body connection for stress is strong. Anything you can do to get your stress under control is highly recommended. Even just making time for a daily walk will make a difference. You can also try journaling, yoga, meditation, massage, or even just a hot bath. Avoid chronic stress if possible; the effects can be seen for months or years.
5. Bio Boost
We’re not talking here about feel-good supplements that don’t truly benefit you. Probiotics and prebiotics are both influential for gut health. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, while prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that the probiotics ferment. Both are important for balancing your microbiome. Both can be found in many common foods, but consult a doctor before taking them as supplements.
6. Fiber Feast
Eating more fiber is a commonly suggested health tip, and for good reason. Most Americans only consume about half the fiber they need, and their gut health suffers for it. Adequate fiber helps reduce metabolic disorders, reduces inflammation in the bowels, and increases probiotic bacteria. Fiber can be found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, and fermented foods such as kimchi, yogurt, and kombucha.
7. Soak It Up
If you are what you eat, you’re equally what you drink. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, so this is not something you want to skimp on. Some of the main benefits of staying hydrated are improved physical performance, energy levels, brain function, and metabolism. It also helps gut health by preventing constipation, which can be one very noticeable side-effect of not drinking enough water.
8. Sleep It Off
Much like water, most Americans aren’t getting the sleep their bodies need. 35% aren’t even getting 7 hours a night. Sleep is vital for giving your body the rest it needs to recover and heal itself. An upset stomach can impact sleep, but the reverse is also true: poor sleep can throw off your gut flora and lead to obesity and metabolic disorders. Avoiding sugary foods, caffeine, and alcohol will help with sleep.
It’s no exaggeration to say that your gut is the foundation of your health. There’s so much at stake, yet many people still ignore how important it is. Even worse, a healthy microbiome isn’t even all that difficult to achieve and maintain. These eight tips can help you get going in the right direction for a happier, healthier gut!