Gut health is of major importance for our overall wellbeing because it correlates with the brain and it also breaks down the food we consume, which is later turned into vital nutrients. If you have missed the first part, where we explain everything about the importance of our gut, click here to learn more.
Expensive prebiotic supplements shouldn’t be your go-to option when you experience gut problems. The good bacteria your body requires don’t have to come from pills. In fact, consuming healthy food can impact the amount of “good” bacteria we have in our digestive system, and a healthy lifestyle can lead to improvements in health that pills cannot.
Today we investigate further into the topic of gut health and offer some great tips on how to actually improve your gut health.
6 Tips To Improve Your Gut Health
1. Improve Your Diet
Getting rid of high sugar, trans-fats, and processed food should be your priority if you want your gut to thank you. Consuming more lean protein such as chicken or turkey breast, beef topside, fish, and quality fiber (oats, whole-grain bread) will benefit your digestive system. In fact, eating a high fiber diet has been shown to alter our guts in a positive direction.
Always be aware of the source of these foods. Make sure to get grass-fed beef and humanely raised chicken and turkey without added hormones and grass-fed if possible. Oatmeal should be without glyphosate, and whole-grain bread should have a high fiber amount indicated on the food label. Fruits and vegetables don’t always have to be organic, but there are some like strawberries and spinach that have a lot of pesticides and should be bought organic. Check out the Environmental Working Group for a shopping guide.
2. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Drinking 8 glasses of water per day may sound like the most annoying thing your mom used to tell you, but it is actually true. Keeping your body hydrated has been shown to have a positive effect on the balance of the good bacteria in our guts.
3. Don’t Rush When Eating
Keeping a slow pace when consuming food is of major importance for the health of your gut. For this reason, chewing slowly can help you digest your food better and absorb all required nutrients. Maintaining a healthy gut and reducing digestive discomfort is guaranteed if you stick to this condition. So, next time when you are trying to eat as fast as you can, slow down for a second, and think how your gut will react if you continue at the same pace.
4. Sleep More
Getting enough uninterrupted sleep is a complicated process for a lot of people, especially those with kids out there. However, not getting enough quality sleep can have a great impact on your gut health. Try to prioritize getting at least 7-8 hours a night. Not only it will help you maintain a healthy gut, but you will also be more productive throughout the day. Check out our article on how to get better sleep.
5. Eat Fermented Foods
Fermentation is a process where the sugar many foods contain is broken down into bacteria or yeast. One of the foods, which is easy to get and cheap is yogurt. Yogurt is rich in lactobacilli, which is a bacteria that can benefit your gut health. Often, people who consume a lot of yogurt have more lactobacilli in their gut. These people have less chance to experience gut inflammation or any other chronic conditions.
When you shop for yogurt, keep in mind that there are many sweetened yogurts out there with a lot of added sugar, which are not beneficial. Be very careful when you shop and never trust the face of the product, always check out the nutrition label. In addition to added sugars, be sure to avoid artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame. Stevia, monk fruit, erythritol and allulose are healthier options for both your blood sugar, brain and gut. Two good options for greek yogurt are Oikos Triple Zero or Chobani Zero Sugar. Otherwise, the natural yogurts are a great way to give your gut some good bacteria.
6. Eat Dark Chocolate
We can almost see the smiles of all chocolate lovers out there. Polyphenols, which are plant-based molecules that are rich in fiber, are found in dark chocolate. They travel to our intestines where our good microbes and bacteria use them for fuel. We found sugar-free chocolate, so you can reap all the benefits with none of the sugars! Other foods and beverages that are rich in polyphenols are:
- Green Tea
A disrupted microbiome, which is found in the gut, can lead to many chronic diseases. There are a lot of lifestyle changes that you can make and with some effort, you can maintain a healthy gut. Avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible. Eat plenty of vegetables and fresh unprocessed foods. Beans, legumes, and whole-grain foods should also be in your diet. Lastly, everyone is different, so always be aware of how your body reacts. Do beans work well for you and give you energy, or do they maybe give you bloating? How about yogurt? Figure out your own needs and amounts that help your energy levels. What are you waiting for? Your Gut Health is in your hands now. Go and make the most out of it!