With the increasing popularity of Kombucha, sauerkraut, and probiotics in supermarkets, it’s evident that gut health is a topic on everyone’s mind. And rightfully so. Recent studies show the significance of good gut health on overall wellbeing. Despite this, consumers still lack proper understanding on the subject.
The bacteria in your gut can either propel or hinder your quest for good health. Yet, most people remain oblivious to the impact that lifestyle factors and nutrition have on their gut bacteria.
What are the signs that indicate poor gut health? How can we improve our gut flora?
These are important questions, and we’ve got the answers.
6. Improve Your Gut Health: Stay Hydrated
Water is essential for good health as it maintains a smooth flow of nutrients and waste products throughout the body. Apart from that, it plays a major role in supporting your gut health.
Staying hydrated is key to improving your digestive system. Experts suggest drinking at least two liters of water per day or more if you exercise regularly. Like insufficient fiber intake, inadequate water intake can significantly slow down your digestion.
A simple trick to ensure you are getting enough water is to monitor the color of your pee – it should be clear all day long. By staying adequately hydrated, you pave the way to a healthier, more efficient digestive system.
5. Improve Your Gut Health: Get Moving
Scientifically, exercise alters your gut microbiota. Remarkably, the gut microbiome underwent significant alterations after only six weeks of exercise. Unfortunately, the gut makeup returns to normalcy after exercise is discontinued. Why is this relevant? Inactivity is a leading cause of constipation. Encouragingly, exercise boosts blood flow to vital organs, including all muscles such as those in your intestines. Therefore, it’s recommended to make exercise a regular part of the daily routine by walking, dancing, or strength training for 30 minutes minimum per day.
4. Improve Your Gut Health: Drink Less Alcohol
Alcohol consumption carries serious health risks. Besides being addictive and highly toxic, it affects both physical and mental wellbeing. One of its lesser-known side effects is its impact on gut bacteria. Even moderate alcohol consumption damages the gut lining and impairs absorption of essential nutrients.
Recent studies demonstrate that alcohol can significantly disrupt the gut microbiota, particularly in cases of alcohol abuse. Alcohol consumption inflames the digestive system and increases the risk of bowel cancer. To protect your health, it’s best to avoid alcohol whenever possible. On the occasion that you do indulge, moderation is key.
For those adamant about imbibing, red wine offers a potential benefit. Its polyphenol content may in fact protect gut bacteria when consumed in moderation.
3. Improve Your Gut Health: Get Enough Sleep
We often besiege our modern lives with distractions that can derail our sleep, leading to a gamut of health issues. From chronic fatigue to a weakened immunity, even teeth-grinding, insomnia or a lack of proper slumber can wreak havoc on our well-being.
When we do not get enough rest, we may also make poor dietary choices, compensating with sugary foods as we try to stay alert. It may also tempt us to skip our regular workout the next day, perhaps trying to make up for the lost hours of sleep. However, this can initiate a downward health spiral.
Given this, it is essential to acknowledge the close association between our gut and sleep patterns – a relationship often overlooked in the bustle of life. While many of us may believe we can function well with less than the suggested 7-8 hours of sleep per day, truth remains that a dearth of proper rest can leave us struggling to perform optimal tasks.
For those of us striving to thrive in various areas of life, an investment in quality sleep cannot be overstated. We must prioritize our slumber if we aim to function at our finest – a goal that can only be achieved with restorative rest.
2. Improve Your Gut Health: Limit Processed Foods
Maintaining a healthy diet is vital for gut health. Consuming high amounts of carbohydrates and soda is associated with gut trouble, while diets rich in fruits and vegetables promote better gut health.
To heal the gut, it’s essential to eradicate foods that make you feel sick, leaving you feeling low on energy. Often, these foods hide in prepackaged products. Always read ingredients and prefer whole, unprocessed foods.
Minimizing processed and fried foods is crucial since they slow down the digestion process. A diet low in fiber and high in sugar and processed food nurtures harmful bacteria and yeast in the gut while disrupting the delicate intestinal ecosystem.
1. Improve Your Gut Health: Eat Your Probiotics
Probiotics are a relatively new field of research, but they seem to offer significant health benefits. However, taking them consistently is key; infrequent use holds little value.
These beneficial bacteria are especially helpful in maintaining healthy immune function and reducing respiratory infections, making them a valuable addition following antibiotic treatment or during winter.
The best way to get the proper daily dose of probiotics is through supplements. These provide a measured dose and identifiable species of bacteria that are beneficial to your health. If supplements aren’t your thing, no worries – fermented foods like natural yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, kefir, and kombucha are all excellent sources of probiotics. They’re preserved using an age-old process that not only boosts the food’s shelf life and nutritional value but also provides our bodies with a healthy dose of gut-friendly bacteria.
Adding fermented foods into your diet can improve your gut health in as little as 2-4 weeks, as the probiotic strains colonize your gastrointestinal tract.
Implement these six steps to achieve a healthier gut today. It may take some effort to change your habits, but the payoff is worth it: a cleansed, nourished, and healthy body. If you have any questions or tips, feel free to leave us a comment below!
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