Your gut isn’t just responsible for food digestion. Having a healthy gut can make the rest of your body function better, and you’ll feel like you are in excellent condition too. You have a range of fungi, viruses and bacteria in your gut, and those all make up your microbiome.
Balance is the order of the day, too many harmful microbes, and you will be at risk of inflammation and disease. Healthy gut bacteria, do what it says on the tin. They keep inflammation low, help protect you from various diseases and might even have an impact on your mental health.
So here are some tips for you to improve your overall gut health.
Many studies support the use of probiotics. They can help to restore gut bacteria to the right levels. You can opt to have something like a probiotic drink, or you can eat some food that is known as ‘live fermented’. Researchers consider these foods to play an important part in our gut health.
- Sauerkraut – the probiotics here are the cabbage and salt
- Sourdough bread – unlike some bread sourdough starter is referred to as ‘alive. The probiotics here are the flour and water starter.
- Lacto-fermented pickles – the saltwater brine and the vegetables are the probiotic food ingredient here
- Yogurt and cheese – milk, cream and other dairy products
Increase Good Bacteria Naturally
You need to have a healthy dose of dietary fibers every day. This will help your gut pretty quickly. The dietary fibers are called prebiotics and will work with other foods to promote healthy gut flora.
The probiotics mentioned above thrive on prebiotics. Here is a list of the non-digestible carbohydrate foods that can help.
Most diets include a lot of meat, fat and refined sugars which will know the balance off.
So have a look at your diet on a regular week, and the chances are you aren’t getting nearly enough prebiotics. This will reduce our healthy gut bacteria and will increase weight gain, chronic inflammation, and metabolic problems.
Gut Loving Foods
Stress has a significant impact on your whole body. Your gut included. It is essential to know that your microbiome doesn’t just have an impact on your intestines, it has a big impact on your other organs – including your brain. So if you are stressed, your gut will feel it too and has been shown to reduce the probiotic bacteria like lactobacillus.
People who typically aren’t very active don’t have the most diverse microbiome. So it isn’t just what you put into your body, it’s what you do to it that counts too.
The typical diet is heavy in fat and sugars. This can be a disaster for our gut health. Glucose and fructose are added into many foods, and consuming too much can increase the risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. As well as leaving your gut disturbed in general.
Less sugar is one of the quickest ways to have less bad bacteria in the gut. Takeaways, processed foods, and fizzy drinks tend to have a lot of sugar in them.
You should note that the sugar in those foods and the sugars in edible plants are not the same. The complex carbohydrates in a plant-based diet are essential for your gut bacteria to thrive.
Unfortunately, they aren’t the answer at all. They are better than sugar, but they don’t contribute to the health of your intestines at all. Some sweeteners can increase the blood sugar level and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
So if you have a sweet tooth, then skip the sugars and sweeteners and go straight for fruit.
Your gut runs on the circadian rhythm of your body. This internal clock tells everything in your body what they should be doing and when. And your gut microbes follow that schedule too. So if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you are likely to see an increase in weight gain and a poor diet. The imbalance will drive cravings and the want of snacks. As well as increasing the stress levels, and we know that upsets your gut too.
For a better night’s sleep, try listening to sleep stories on the Calm app. They can help you relax. You might also want to consider a better nighttime routine. So that every day you hit your bed at roughly the same time.
Rest Your Gut
There are a few schools of thought on fasting. However, the 12-hour rest you get with sleep can be enough for your gut to heal and relax. Digestion is an abrasive activity and making sure you have those long stretches of nothing to digest can really help out.
So there you have a few easy ways that you can improve your gut health, and therefore improve your overall health too. Simple and positive changes like having some more fibre in your diet, and some extra sleep!