Bacteria and other microbes play an essential role in keeping you healthy, with the most dense population being in your gut.
Here they play a critical role in digestion, immune function, weight regulation while even affecting your mood, so keeping your gut balanced is incredibly important.
This post is aimed at paring down to basics what we often overlook in helping to maintain a healthy gut.
1. Reducing stress levels
We’d all like to live in a stress-free world and while this might prove difficult, it’s important to know that high levels of stress are hard on your gut. Lowering stress can be achieved through exercise, meditation, massage, spending time with friends and family, reducing caffeine and yoga.
The phrase ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ is actually quite accurate. Laughter helps decrease stress hormones, while increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
2. Sleeping well
Ideally we need to get 7–8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Not getting an adequate amount, or ‘quality sleep’ can impact your gut health, in turn contributing to more sleep issues.
A few ways to help get a better nights sleep include avoiding alcohol, increasing your bright light exposure during the day to assist your circadian rhythm or doing excercise.
3. Chew your food
Chewing your food and eating more slowly can help with digestion and promote absorption of nutrients. The smaller the food pieces you swallow, the more your small intestine will absorb the nutrients.
Your saliva also contains digestive enzymes. When you chew for longer, they have more time to do their job which in turn may help reduce digestive discomfort and maintain a healthy gut.
4. Drink enough water
Drinking a healthy amount of water has a beneficial effect on the mucosal lining of the intestines, as well as on the balance of good bacteria in the gut. However most UK tap water, contains chlorine and other chemicals which can kill off the ‘good bacteria’ in your gut. If possible drink bottled spring water or use a good water filter.
5. Take a prebiotic, probiotic or gut health supplement
Adding a prebiotic or probiotic supplement to your diet may be a way to improve your gut health. You can think of prebiotics as ‘food’ for the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut, while probiotics are ‘live good bacteria’.
While probiotic foods, such as live yoghurt, might encourage more ‘good bacteria’ to grow, a specialised gut health supplement like, Symprove would be a better choice. Symprove is water based, meaning it doesn’t trigger digestion and therefore survives and thrives the hostile environment of your stomach.
6. Food intolerance check
If you have symptoms such as cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, rashes, nausea, fatigue, and acid reflux, you may be suffering from a food intolerance.
Try eliminating common trigger foods to see if your symptoms improve. By narrowing down and identifying food contributing to your symptoms, you may see a positive change in your digestive health.
7. Diet changes
We’ve all heard it before – reduce the processed, high-sugar high-fat foods we eat. So it may not come as a surprise to learn that doing so will assist with better gut health. Eating plenty of plant-based foods, lean protein and foods high in fibre can also contribute positively on your gut health.
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