You may not consider your gut health all that often, and it's not easy to comprehend how the tiny microorganisms that live in our digestive tract can have such an impact on our overall health. However, looking after our gut health and maintaining a good balance of these microorganisms is vital for physical and mental health. It also has a significant impact in terms of overall immunity, which is something that has come to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are keen to take action to help improve your gut health, we've come up with some top tips to get you started:
Try Probiotics and Fermented Foods
Taking probiotics can support healthy gut microorganisms that prevent gut inflammation and other intestinal problems. Probiotics can be found naturally in several fermented foods such as pickles, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, miso, and tempeh. Alternatively, you can either shop online or visit your local drug store to pick up a probiotic supplement like biocidin.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
Probiotics tend to feed on nondigestible carbohydrates known as prebiotics. This feeding process helps healthy gut bacteria to multiply. Increasing your intake of fiber-rich prebiotic foods such as asparagus, garlic, onions, whole grains, and bananas will help boost this process.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress can have a negative impact on a person's gut health. Psychological stressors can disrupt the balance of microorganisms in the gut. Stress can be caused by various factors such as psychological trauma, environmental changes, and sleep deprivation. As a result, it’s important to manage your stress levels. Techniques that are worth trying include meditation, gentle exercise, and mindfulness activities. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with an adequate balance of sleep, exercise, and healthy eating can also help reduce stress, which has an effect on your gut.
By now, we are all aware of the dangers of smoking and its links to cancer. However, people don't often realize the impact it can have on gut health. Smoking has the potential to increase the number of harmful microorganisms and reduce the level of good ones, causing an imbalance that has negative impacts on your gut in terms of increasing the risk of intestinal and systemic conditions such as inflammatory bowel syndrome. It isn’t easy to quit smoking, so you may have to try a few different strategies before you find one that works for you. Finding a support group can also be very beneficial.
Reduce Your Intake of Animal Products
Becoming vegan or vegetarian isn't for everybody, but taking steps to reduce your meat product intake can make a huge difference to your gut health. On the whole, a vegetarian diet helps improve gut health thanks to high levels of fiber. Take small steps such as having one day a week where you don't consume any meat, fish, dairy, or eggs, and you may notice a difference in your overall energy levels.
Gut health is an important aspect of our overall health but not one which receives adequate attention. Thankfully, for most people, improving gut health is well within their control. Take action today by incorporating a few of these simple steps into your everyday routine and you'll notice the positive impacts of these lifestyle changes in next to no time.