The gut or gastrointestinal system is essential in ensuring the body’s systems run smoothly. In the digestive process, nutrients are absorbed to support many bodily activities, such as hormone balance and energy production.
Additionally, it helps sustain healthy skin and mental health while eliminating toxins and waste from the body. Approximately 70 percent of your immune system resides within your gut. Therefore, nurturing gastrointestinal health can be essential for addressing various physical ailments that affect you daily. It also promotes healthy digestion and reduces the effect of autoimmune diseases.
When the balance of bacteria in your gut is healthy, you will likely experience many positive health effects. This includes reducing inflammation resulting in heart disease and even diminishing the risk factors associated with obesity. You’ll reap untold benefits for years with a balanced level of good bacteria over harmful ones.
- What are the best foods for your gut?
- Can drinking excess water improve gut health?
- 15 Amazing Hacks To Improve Gut Health Naturally
- 1) Eat Fermented Food Regularly for a Healthy Gut
- 2) Increase Fiber Consumption
- 3) Control Probiotic Consumption
- 4) Drink Coffee to Enhance Your Gut Microbiome
- 5) Reduce Junk Food Consumption
- 6) Stay Physically Active
- 7) Stay Hydrated
- 8) Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
- 9) Drink Herbal Teas
- 10) Eat Fish
- 11) Let Your Gut Rest
- 12) Take a Rest from Painkillers
- 13) Avoid Fad Diets
- 14) Chew Your Food Properly
- 15) Practice Mindful Eating
What are the best foods for your gut?
Eating fruits and vegetables is essential for attaining a robust microbiome. Even though they are abundant in fiber which the human body cannot process, those same fibers can be broken down by microorganisms within your gut biome, leading to their growth and development. Moreover, beans and legumes have copious amounts of fiber that feed good bacteria throughout your digestive system. Raspberries, chickpeas, green peas, broccoli, lentils, and bananas make excellent dietary choices for nourishing your microbes.
Can drinking excess water improve gut health?
Yes, drinking water helps keep your gut bacteria healthy. Water flushes out toxins and helps to hydrate the intestines for optimal digestion. Proper hydration also ensures that the gastrointestinal tract can eliminate waste efficiently. Additionally, adequate water consumption may help reduce the risk of many diseases and enhance the body’s ability to absorb essential vitamins and minerals. Drinking enough water also helps relieve constipation, acid reflux, and other digestive ailments. Thus, it is crucial to stay hydrated for optimal gut health.
15 Amazing Hacks To Improve Gut Health Naturally
Your gut contains trillions of bacteria, all working together harmoniously and providing essential roles to maintain your well-being. Alongside the fungi and viruses that inhabit this diverse ecosystem, they form the powerful gut microbiome. Here are 15 hacks you can use to maintain a healthy gut.
1) Eat Fermented Food Regularly for a Healthy Gut
A study from Stanford University in August 2021 showed that those who had fermented foods each day for ten weeks experienced an increase in the diversity of their gut microbiome. Fermented food stimulates microbial development by sending the microbiome into slight disarray and permitting small colonies of present bacteria to proliferate.
Consequently, you should identify fermented products pleasing to your palate and make them a regular part of your meals. Choose yogurt with live active cultures and unprocessed ingredients which have not been exposed to heat since it will damage any bacteria within them.
2) Increase Fiber Consumption
To naturally strengthen your gut health, amping up fiber intake is essential. You can find fiber in plants like fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. Fiber can help bulk stools for ease of passage. Not only does it normalize bowel movements, but adding more dietary fiber-rich foods may also decrease the risk of conditions such as diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and gallstones, plus kidney stones & ulcers too! Moreover, studies have even linked increased levels of dietary fiber with a decreased likelihood of suffering from both acid reflux and colon cancer.
3) Control Probiotic Consumption
A 2020 American Gastroenterological Association review highlighted the lack of evidence of probiotic supplements helping adults ward off diarrhea while taking antibiotics or treating ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. So, consuming more fermented foods and an adequate amount of fiber is best.
Probiotics might have little effect in restoring gut bacteria affected by antibiotics. Israeli research shows that the microbiome of people consuming probiotics after taking antibiotics was still disrupted after five months. On the other hand, people who didn’t take the supplement saw their healthy bacterial balance return within three weeks. Eating fermented and fiber-rich foods is probably your best bet for restoring gut health.
4) Drink Coffee to Enhance Your Gut Microbiome
The polyphenols found in coffee boost the number of helpful bacteria that keep the gut lining healthy and produce short-chain fatty acids. These bacteria also convert polyphenols into forms that protect cells from damage, reduce inflammation and even guard against cancer. Besides these beverages, your microbiome will be happy to receive a generous helping of polyphenol-rich foods such as berries, olives, artichokes, and asparagus.
5) Reduce Junk Food Consumption
Consuming high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) poses health risks, such as fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. It can also wreak havoc on your digestive system. Many junk foods are packed with HFCS, an artificial sugar made from corn syrup with unnaturally high levels of fructose. Additionally, these processed foods typically lack fiber and other key nutrients to keep you healthy – prompting hard stools that are a nightmare to pass! It’s time to start prioritizing whole plant-based foods over processed options for your body to feel its best and reduce the risk of developing serious diseases down the line.
6) Stay Physically Active
People who do not lead an active lifestyle typically possess a less diverse microbiome. Recognizing the various things beyond nutrition contribute significantly to improving gut health is essential. Individuals engaging in regular physical activity, such as athletes, tend to have more variety in their guts than those who don’t partake in athletics. So, get your body moving by simply walking, jogging, or dancing for at least 150 minutes weekly. You can also throw some strength exercises into the mix while you’re at it.
7) Stay Hydrated
Start your day off right by drinking water before eating! It will reduce digestive problems and soften stools. Staying hydrated also helps create a feeling of fullness that can prevent overeating. And remember to continue sipping water throughout the day – this will keep you hydrated while ensuring better digestion. By staying on top of your morning and all-day water intake, essential nutrients in food have an easier time being absorbed into your body for maximum benefit.
8) Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Eating more fruits and veggies is essential because of their prebiotic fiber, which helps nourish your beneficial gut bacteria. Apples, artichokes, blueberries, almonds, and pistachios are beneficial as they have been proven to raise Bifidobacteria levels while reducing intestinal irritation. Moreover, these foods offer loads of polyphenols or plant nutrients, curbing the colonization of potentially harmful bacteria that can affect your digestive health.
9) Drink Herbal Teas
Herbal teas such as peppermint, chamomile, and ginger can effectively manage chronic digestive issues. Peppermint oil specifically is clinically proven to treat symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional dyspepsia, childhood functional abdominal pain, and post-operative nausea. The calming effects of the essential oil soothe gastrointestinal muscles while inhibiting pathogen growth and curbing gut inflammation. Thus, drinking herbal tea as a part of your daily habits is worth considering to ensure proper digestion.
Combining chamomile, myrrh, and coffee charcoal effectively extends remission phases for anyone with ulcerative colitis. In addition, ginger is a popular remedy for treating various symptoms such as nausea, heartburn, flatulence or diarrhea, and even loss of appetite.
10) Eat Fish
A 2021 Norwegian study showed that people who consumed five servings of salmon or cod per week over eight weeks saw a decrease in Bacteroidetes, a group linked to type 2 diabetes. Moreover, further research has indicated that those with higher concentrations of beneficial fats in their blood have richer microbiome diversity and more healthy bacteria, even if they weren’t eating high-fiber diets.
11) Let Your Gut Rest
Removing yourself from eating for twelve hours between dinner and breakfast could be a powerful shield against metabolic illness and reinstate intestinal health. Digestion is an intense activity that can put a strain on the gut lining. However, fasting gives your beneficial bacteria a break to help strengthen their resilience when they are not being fueled by food intake. Furthermore, it helps diversify your microbiome, so your body’s natural defense system remains strong and healthy.
12) Take a Rest from Painkillers
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or NSAIDs are frequently prescribed to soothe pain caused by inflammation. They offer short-term relief and are particularly popular for reducing menstrual pains. However, these drugs may significantly damage your intestinal lining and gut microbiome if used chronically. They irritate and lead to chronic inflammation, which can result in an unhealthy gut.
13) Avoid Fad Diets
Fad diets are often based on an unproven novelty rather than reliable scientific evidence. They promise rapid weight loss with no information about the potential risks to your health, microbiome, and gut. Many even require you to forgo entire food groups or only eat certain types of food! These highly restrictive nutritional regimes can be incredibly dangerous in the long run – do your research before embarking on any trends you find on social media platforms.
14) Chew Your Food Properly
Chewing your food thoroughly is the initial stage of digestion and offers several health benefits. Savoring each bite can break down the food into smaller pieces that are easier for your body to absorb. Not only does it allow nutrients to be absorbed more effectively, but chewing slowly also triggers saliva production! This relaxation of upper stomach muscles permits meals to easily make their way into your digestive system. Plus, consuming bites gradually may reduce hunger cravings and decrease between-meal eating – saving you from unnecessary calories. Moreover, taking time while chewing on edibles prevents swallowing excessive air, which sometimes leads to puffiness.
15) Practice Mindful Eating
Have you ever considered the correlation between mental health and gut health? While it may seem unexpected, activities like meditation, yoga, and breathwork are essential for fostering a healthy relationship between your mind and body. The effects of these practices can be life-changing when done consistently – remember that adding them into your routine is vital!
Overall, the health of your gut microbiome is essential for promoting overall well-being. Taking steps to improve it naturally can positively impact all aspects of life—from energy levels and mental clarity to physical fitness and disease prevention.