It’s become a trend on the internet recently to discuss digestive issues. While most of these videos are funny, it’s also important to understand how one can improve their gut health.
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According to Medical News Today, “Gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Looking after the health of the gut and maintaining the right balance of these microorganisms is vital for physical and mental health, immunity, and more.”
Our gut consists of trillions of bacteria, yeasts, and viruses that make up the “gut flora.” While the connotation to these words might seem negative, many of these microbes are essential to maintaining a healthy gut. However, some of these microbes can, in fact, be harmful- so it’s important to make sure these detrimental microbes are dealt with before they multiply.
The following list describes some ways you can improve gut health:
- Take probiotics
- Probiotics boosts the number of healthy bacteria in your gut. Not only will this increase help with gut health, but research has even suggested that taking probiotics may prevent intestinal problems such as inflammation.
- Eat fermented food
- Fermented foods are a natural source of probiotics. A few examples of popular fermented foods are kimchi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, and tempeh. Many vegetables can also come fermented.
- Eat prebiotic fiber
- Prebiotic fiber encourages the good bacteria to multiply. Many foods naturally contain a high level of prebiotic fiber, such as asparagus, bananas, garlic, onions, and whole grains.
- Cut down on sugar/sweeteners
- Eating an excess amount of sugar can lead to an imbalance of gut microbes in the body. This condition is called gut dysbiosis. Not only is this condition bad for your gut, but it can even lead to affecting your brain.
- The artificial sweetener aspartame is especially poor for gut health, considering it increases bacteria in your gut that can cause metabolic diseases. Artificial sweeteners can also increase blood sugar.
- Only take antibiotics when absolutely necessary
- We are prescribed antibiotics by the doctor to combat bacterial infections in our body. With this in mind, taking antibiotics unnecessarily will start damaging the gut microbiome and lead to a decline in overall immunity.
- Talk to your Dr. about diet changes
- Talk to your doctor or health care provider to see if there is are diets that will benefit you and your digestive system! Dieting can be extremely helpful for people with chronic gut issues.
- Lifestyle changes
- This can consist of getting proper exercise, sleep, and managing stress.
As with most health-related studies, moderation is always the key to success. Try incorporating foods that are high in prebiotic fiber if your gut seems a little off. If you have chronic stomach issues, perhaps speak with a doctor about going on a specific diet that will benefit you!
(Photo by Kim Daniels on Unsplash)