Do you often experience bloating, constipation, and other digestive-related issues? You may be able to address them by paying more attention to your gut health.
What is gut health?
Gut health refers to the balance of bacteria and other microbes found in the gut.
The gut or the digestive tract extends from the mouth to the anus, but it’s more than just a passageway for food. This system breaks down food so it can reach the bloodstream with ease and deliver nutrients to the rest of the body.
There are hundreds of different bacteria species in the digestive tract. Some are harmful, while some are beneficial. Maintaining the proper balance of bacteria helps us regulate good overall health.
Ways to boost gut health
Several factors can cause damage to gut microorganisms. This includes poor sleep, nutrition, and stress. But there are also many ways to keep gut microbes balanced.
Here are some tips on how you can take care of your gut health.
- Eat fermented or probiotic-rich food. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial to the body. They’re present in yogurt and other fermented food, such as kimchi and kombucha. Probiotics help keep your stomach Biome balanced. They fight off bad bacteria and help you feel better when you feel ill. They also help you digest food and keep bad bacteria from reaching the bloodstream. Yogurt, for instance, is rich in protein and vitamins that boost the gut microbes. But be sure to pick the low sugar, plain flavour.
- Eat fruits, vegetables, and other fibre-rich food. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains contain fibre that keeps the digestive tract healthy. It promotes regularity and prevents constipation. So, ensure your diet includes fibre-rich ingredients in your recipes.
- Reduce intake of sugary food. A diet that's high in sugar may cause an imbalance of gut microbes. And in turn, impact a person’s behavior, brain and digestion. It can also increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Refrain from using artificial sweeteners when preparing food and choose products with no added sugars. It also helps to maintain good oral hygiene habits to prevent bacteria in the mouth from getting into the stomach.
- Manage stress. Managing stress helps boost gut health. Various stressors, such as poor sleep, can affect the microorganisms in the digestive tract. Taking steps to control or address stressors can help boost the function of gut microbes. Making changes in your lifestyle and trying out exercises, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help.
- Include exercise in your daily routine. Regular exercise not only manages weight but also enhances gut health. According to studies, exercise stimulates the biodiversity of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. In one study, researchers found that exercise training may alter the composition and function of gut microbes, regardless of diet. Simple exercises, such as daily walks, can help boost beneficial gut microbes.
- Improve sleep quality. Getting good quality sleep can help minimize stress and keep you from making unhealthy food choices. As a result, it also helps power your gut. When you lack sleep, you may also experience increased stress. This can lead to various issues, such as stomach pains and bloating. You may also feel an increase in your appetite, which can make you turn to instant or processed food.
- Drink more water. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water aids in digestion, regulates bowels, and keeps good bacteria in the gut balanced . It’s a simple way to boost gut health. Conversely, drinking less alcohol is beneficial in preventing intestinal inflammation which harms gut microbes.
Caring for your gut health improves overall wellness
Your gut plays a key role in maintaining overall wellness. It affects the body’s immune system as about 70% of the immune cells are in the gut or digestive system. So, take care of your gut health by following the tips listed above.
See a registered dietician if you need assistance in meal planning to ensure proper nutrition.