Improving gut health is essential for maintaining overall physical and mental health. It’s estimated that 70% of the immune system is located in the gut.
Here are some tips to improve your gut health:
Eat a healthy and balanced diet
A diet rich in fiber, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and probiotics can improve gut health. These foods are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that help nourish the good bacteria in your gut. Avoid processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats.
A diet consisting of different food types can lead to a more diverse microbiome.
“Americans’ fiber intake is 40 to 50 percent of what it should be,” says Johns Hopkins gastroenterologist Gerard Mullin, M.D.
“Limit sugary foods,” said Susan Mintz, RN, BSN, CDE, of Brunswick County Health Department in Bolivia, North Carolina. “In addition to being inflammatory to the system, sugar can cause yeast to grow and it can throw off delicate gut balances. In addition, avoid prepackaged foods and stay away from processed foods.”
Drinking plenty of water can help flush out toxins from the body and promote healthy digestion.
Chronic stress can disrupt the balance of bacteria in your gut, leading to digestive problems. Incorporate relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to reduce stress.
Regular exercise can promote healthy digestion, reduce stress, and boost overall health.
Avoid antibiotics unless necessary
Antibiotics can kill both harmful and beneficial bacteria in your gut. Only take antibiotics when prescribed by a doctor.
Probiotics are live bacteria that can help restore the balance of bacteria in the gut. You can take probiotics as supplements or consume foods that are naturally rich in probiotics, such as fermented vegetables, yogurt, kefir, miso, tempeh, kombucha and sauerkraut.
Some research has suggested that taking probiotics can support a healthy gut microbiome, and that it may prevent gut inflammation and other intestinal problems.
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Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep can disrupt the balance of bacteria in your gut and is linked to a higher prevalence of obesity. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Limit alcohol and smoking
Alcohol and smoking can damage the gut lining, leading to inflammation and digestive problems.