7 Scientifically Backed Methods To Improve Gut Health
In this day and age, many have taken serious consideration into self-improvement and self-care, all of which begin in the gut.
Your gut is home to many beneficial microorganisms that can hinder or help your overall immunity, as well as mental and physical health. An unbalanced or unhappy gut microbiome, also known as gut dysbiosis, impacts your body’s overall well-being. Many scientists and researchers have referred to the gut microbiome as a human’s second brain due to it being known as the gut-brain axis, which enables your brain’s central nervous system to communicate information with your gut’s enteric nervous system.
Because of this connection, it is crucial to ensure that your gut health is at its optimum in order to ensure your body’s optimal performance. Hence, it is why regular gastroenterology check-ups are recommended for every individual.
So, what can you do to ensure healthier overall health and the gut microbiome? In this article, we will discuss some of the best scientifically backed methods that you can incorporate into your daily routine and self-care journey.
1. Consume fermented foods and probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial live bacteria that have been proven to boost your metabolism, gut health, as well as overall mental health and even mood. When consumed, they enter your gut and assist in breaking down harder-to-digest matters, such as dietary fibres, using them as energy to keep your digestive system at its optimal performance.
While probiotics are available in the form of supplements as a quick “pop-in-your-mouth” fix, their efficacy varies between products. Hence, the best way to incorporate probiotics into your daily diet is by consuming fermented foods and drinks, such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and tempeh.
2. Eat the full rainbow of fruit and vegetable for a happier gut
Most diet trends you might have come across promise numerous health benefits and weight loss by getting you to eliminate major food groups that might compromise on your gut’s and body’s nourishment. A much simpler method is to adopt the rainbow diet, which is to consume more colourful vegetables and fruits.
The rainbow diet provides your body with an abundance of anti-inflammatory molecules and antioxidants, such as polyphenols. By consuming more colourful vegetables and fruits daily, you are boosting your body’s innate ability to lower oxidative stress and enhance your gut health with healthy prebiotics and plant fibres, which are key food sources for probiotic bacteria. Examples of pre-biotic rich foods include bananas, garlic, onions, asparagus, artichoke, lentil, and whole grains.
3. Consume fewer sweeteners and sugar
Consuming excessive amounts of artificial sweeteners and sugar may result in the development of gut dysbiosis, which is the imbalance of your gut microbes. Not only that, but it also leads to an increased risk of other health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
4. Lower stress level for a healthier gut
Your gut and brain communicate with one another through a common nervous system or brain-gut axis. Studies have shown that stress, even if for short periods, can affect your digestive system, causing symptoms like bloating and pain, acidity, loose motion.
Hence, whatever your psychological stress triggers are be it work, relationships or sleep deprivation, it is important to find ways to lower your stress levels including mindfulness, conscious connected breathing exercises, meditation, regular exercise, and having a healthy diet.
5. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise builds a stronger heart, and helps with weight and stress management. Not only that but it has also been proven to boost gut health. Microbial diversity is vital to having an optimally-functioning gut. Those who exercise regularly are found to have a wider variety of gut flora than those who do not.
Setting aside time to exercise daily is important. It can be as relaxing as taking a pleasant stroll in your nearby park or doing yoga in the comfort of your living room.
6. Get an adequate amount of sleep
Sleep is vital for your mental and physical health. It is the time of the day when your body naturally heals and repairs itself, your nervous system can relax, and your brain processes memories and information. What many might not be aware of is that your gut health and sleep are interconnected. Hence both the quality of your sleep and gut health can have an effect on each other.
Your sleep patterns and gut microbes are affected by your body’s circadian rhythm. Your gut microbes’ activities, as well as the hormones that control hunger and satiety, depend on the quality of your sleep. When you do not get an adequate amount of proper sleep, you are not able to function properly, which also leads to increased appetite, weight gain, and food cravings.
7. Avoid unnecessary consumption of antibiotics
Antibiotics are usually prescribed to help fight bacterial infections and not viral infections. However, unnecessary consumption of antibiotics can lead to significant issues, such as antibiotic resistance. Not only that, but antibiotics affect gut immunity and gut microbiome. Antibiotics destroy both harmful and good bacteria and, as a result, may cause certain side effects such as vomiting symptoms, diarrhoea symptoms, bloating symptoms, and loss of appetite. Always discuss with your doctor before use.
Ensuring a healthier gut leads to better overall immune and health functions. By adjusting your diet and lifestyle appropriately, you can boost the number and diversity of microbes in your gut significantly and for the better. Some positive changes that you can make include having a fibre-rich diet, taking probiotics, and avoiding unnecessary consumption of antibiotics. Other lifestyle changes involve getting an adequate amount of good quality sleep and regular exercise.
However, it is crucial to note that you should always consult a doctor if you have gut symptoms which persist. If you are looking to boost your gut health or start a regular course of gut check-ups, then look no further than GUTCARE, a digestive care specialist.