How to Improve Gut Health: 5 Easy Tweaks For Everyday Life
A healthy gut is vital for strong immunity.
In fact, the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, used to teach that, "ALL disease begins in the gut".
For this reason, it's important to pay close attention to your daily routine and what you're doing to ensure robust gut health so that you're less susceptible to sickness and disease.
Luckily, when it comes to improving your gut health, there are some simple steps you can take that make a huge difference over time.
From improving your diet to getting enough sleep and exercise, everything is intertwined (especially when it comes to gut health).
Firstly, let's get clear on the main signs of an unhealthy gut:
- Skin Problems
- Digestive Issues
- Food intolerances
If any of these issues are troubling you, keep reading to find out how to improve your gut health - which is typically the very source of the problem.
The difference between a healthy and unhealthy gut is incredible.
But with these five easy tweaks to your self care routine, you’ll quickly boost your energy, clear up digestive problems and you'll experience much sturdier overall health.
1. Eat Fermented Foods, Probiotics and Prebiotic Food
Residing inside your gut, you have thousands of colonies of bacteria clustered together.
Some of these colonies are GOOD and some are BAD.
The secret is to ensure that at all times, the good guys outweigh the bad guys.
So what's the first way to do this?
To embrace fermented foods because they have natural Probiotics.
Probiotic-rich foods cultivate healthy living bacteria in your gut, which perform vital functions for your body, including working hard to knock out the bad guys.
What what are Fermented foods? Examples include:
- Pickled Vegetables
- Tempeh & Miso
- Organic Sourdough Bread
- Organic Yogurt, Kefir and Cheeses
By including a variety of these foods in your diet, you'll boost the number of healthy bacteria colonies in your gut. Plain and simple.
Then, when you eat more PREBIOTIC foods e.g. fruits, vegetables and greens, you're feeding these GOOD bacteria, helping them to thrive and proliferate inside your gut.
The net result is that you'll build robust immunity and health for you.
All of these foods can easily be added to your everyday diet. There are no excuses.
In fact, by adding them into your diet, you'll quickly find that they can substitute many of the unhealthier foods that you may be making that aren't helping you to preserve and build a healthy gut.
Learn more in 6 Fermented Foods For a Healthy Gut.
2. Fast and Cleanse
From time to time, your digestive system needs a chance to reset.
And if you're already experiencing any of the health problems highlighted above, it's time to enact and support that "reset" process.
A cleanse is basically a time of rest.
It's a chance for your body (abode, meaning "house") to undo the damage and rebuild so that it can perform its intended function.
When you’re looking for how to improve gut health quickly, a juice or water fast for a number of consecutive days is the obvious choice.
Fasting allows your body to expel all of the toxic metabolic waste that has accumulated over time, that is stored in your digestive tract and which is causing BAD bacteria to proliferate. This is the cause of poor gut health, poor immunity and all of the 'spin off' dis-eases.
Fasting gives your body a chance to do its living temple work ("House Cleaning"), so that it can heal whatever the problems are and help you come back stronger than before.
A great compliment to a fast or raw food/detox diet is our 100% natural "Cleanse Me" Natural Colon Cleanse
It works by 'binding' built up toxic waste and heavy metals stored in your digestive system, helping to flush and release them form your body.
Doing a colon cleanse is not an 'every day' protocol.
But it's definitely something you should consider doing a every couple of months or so, as an "insurance policy" for your health, OR if you have health problems right now like, low immunity, fatigue, digestive or skin problems.
Learn more in Fasting: What You Should Know.
3. Clean Up Your Diet
It should go without saying that highly processed foods cause inflammation in the gut and body and should be limited.
Foods to avoid include:
- Processed packaged foods
- Refined Sugars and Artificial Sweeteners
- Refined Wheat and Grains
- Fatty processed meats and fried foods.
These types of foods make up a large part of the western diet, so it does take some consciousness to avoid them and make better choices.
Instead, fill your diet with a wide range of fresh, locally grown, fruits and veggies, beans, and whole grains to fuel your body with what it needs to run correctly.
The fibre in these plant-based foods help push toxins out of your digestive system and helps to feed and support the healthy bacteria that your microbiome (gut) needs to flourish.
You should also be mindful of the types of alcohol you consume if you want to ensure a healthy gut.
A final important tip when it comes to diet, be sure to take your time when you eat.
Constantly rushing or eating on the run, can create stresses and adverse reactions in the gut including your ability to absorb nutrients and disruption to your digestive cycle.
Alcohol products that are loaded with chemicals and preservatives should absolutely be avoided because they feed bad bacteria in your gut.
Instead, look for naturally brewed, no-additive, no-preservative beers and organic or biodynamic, preservative-free wines.
Because these types of beverages are naturally fermented, when consumed in moderation, they can be extremely beneficial to supporting a healthy gut.
Additionally, red wine contains polyphenols, which is a powerful antioxidant that loves to mop up free-radical damage in the body.
4. Drink More Water
Don't short change your daily water intake.
Your body is made up of over 70% water, so it's vital that you replenish your water stores every single day to not only hydrate, but flush toxins from your body.
You should aim for a minimum of 2 litres of clean water every single day. Start your day with at least 500 ml when you rise and take water with you wherever you go - in the car, to the gym, to the office or work.
Drinking enough water each day not only helps to flush out waste, it can also improve benefit the mucosal lining of your gut and good bacteria balance.
Ensuring you’re getting enough water every day is a small but effective change when you’re working on how to improve gut health.
5. Lower Stress and Increase Exercise
One of the worst things you can do for your overall health is to lead a stressful and sedentary lifestyle.
A busy work schedule can lead to mental and physical exhaustion, which in turn can cause us to forgo natural movement and exercise in favour of Netflix and Uber Eats on the couch unless we're paying close attention to our habits.
Stress can also take a toll on your body's systems and the way they're meant to function, leading to lots of health challenges.
Additionally, digestive problems, poor metabolic function and a lack of energy, can all be attributable to not enough quality movement and exercise.
Make movement a priority, especially outdoors firs thing in the morning if you can. At the beginning of your day, you are most alert, rested, the air is clean and your body is naturally in it's digestive cycle.
For this reason, a morning walk or exercise routine that runs for 30-45 minutes will work wanders in supporting not only healthy emotions and managing stress, but also a healthy gut and body.
If you can't exercise in the morning, add a lunchtime workouts or walk, or walk before or after dinner when you get home.
You can also easily reduce your day-to-day stress by meditating for five minutes each morning, by ensure you’re getting enough sleep and by using essential oils.
If stress continues to plague you, it might be time to consider a job change or to look at your environment and relationships that are adding trauma to your life.
Remember, Self Care is not just about physical health, it's also about ensuring you’re the healthiest and happiest version of yourself, not just for yourself, but for those you care about too.
Learn more in Stress & Gut Health: What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You.
Remember, your gut is not just a store house for food.
It's a vital command centre of your body, that contains millions of neurons and bacteria that guide critical processes and functions within your body, both physically and emotionally.
Minimise bombarding your gut with outside threats (like foodless foods, lifeless drinks, toxic medications, supplements and other invaders), and start supporting a healthy gut by embracing the 5 tips outlined in this article.
Do these things and you and your health will be better for it.
Tolman Self Care.