Your gut health is one of the most important factors in your overall health. If you’ve found yourself struggling with various conditions, digestive problems are often the culprits. Diarrhoea, Indigestion, anxiety. These are all common digestive problems that can occur when your gut health is compromised. Improving your gut health can help to alleviate these issues and improve your overall health. Here are 6 ways to improve your gut health.
Eat More Probiotics
One of the best things you can do for your gut health is to eat more probiotics. Probiotics are “good bacteria” that help to keep your gut healthy. Probiotics work by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut. This helps to crowd out more harmful bacteria and restore balance. A healthy gut is permeable, meaning that it can absorb nutrients while also keeping toxins and undigested food particles where they belong- on the outside! They can be found in fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir, chicken bone broth, and sauerkraut, as well as in supplements. Eating probiotic-rich foods can help to improve your gut health and alleviate digestive problems. Here are tips for fermenting food:
Ferment at Room Temperature
Fermentation works best when the environment is kept at around 20-30 degrees Celsius. If you live in a hot climate, fermenting food may not be worth your time as the process could take longer than it would at room temperature.
Use Salt Water Brine
Probiotic bacteria cannot survive without salt. You can use sea salt or Himalayan salt. Here are the ratios you should follow:
- 1 cup filtered water
- 2 tbsp sea salt
Use filtered water to avoid chlorine which will kill off your yeast and prevent fermentation. The salt in this recipe helps to lower the pH levels and create an environment that is unfavourable for harmful bacteria to grow.
Use a Starter
A starter is a helpful tool that will introduce beneficial bacteria into your ferment. You can either purchase one or use a previous batch of fermented food as a starter. The starter will help to get the fermentation process started and introduce more beneficial bacteria into your food.
Eat More Fibre
Fibre is another important nutrient for gut health. It helps to promote regularity, maintain a healthy gut flora, and reduce inflammation. The recommended intake of fibre is 25-35 grams per day, so ensure to include a variety of high-fibre foods in your diet to ensure that you’re getting all the benefits fibre has to offer. Here’s what to eat for fibre:
Legumes are high in fibre. They are an excellent addition to any meal, as they can be easily paired with other foods.
Vegetables like artichokes, celery, cucumbers, zucchini, kale, broccoli and cabbage are all great sources of fibre.
Fruits like berries, apples, and pears are high in fibre. However, they also contain a high amount of sugar. Eat them in moderation if you’re trying to lose weight or manage blood sugar levels.
Whole grains are another excellent source of fibre. They contain the bran and germ of the grain, making them a good source of nutrients and including fibre. Foods like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and oats are all high in fibre and make for an excellent addition to any meal.
Eat Less Processed Food
Processed foods contain higher amounts of sugar which is difficult for your gut flora to digest. They also contain additives and preservatives that can be harmful to your gut health. Eating less processed foods can help to improve your gut health by reducing the number of toxins and harmful chemicals you’re consuming. Here are the most common processed foods to avoid:
- Fruit Juice
- Packaged Snacks
- White Bread
- Refined Sugars
Avoid Unnecessary Antibiotics
Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, which can disrupt the balance of your gut flora. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them can lead to digestive problems, yeast overgrowth, and even obesity. If you’re prescribed antibiotics, be sure to take them as directed. And if you’re not prescribed them, avoid taking them unnecessarily. Instances, where antibiotics may be needed, are:
- Migraine with Aura
- Bacterial infections of the mouth, throat, or skin
- Acute Pelvic Inflammatory Disease in women
- Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in children
- Urinary Tract Infections
There are a few supplements that can help to improve gut health. Probiotics are one such supplement. They are beneficial bacteria that help to restore the balance of gut flora. Prebiotics are another type of supplement that helps probiotics to work better. They are a type of fibre that promotes the growth of probiotic bacteria. Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation and balance hormones, which can work towards improving gut health. And Vitamin D is important for overall health, including digestive processes.
Improve Your Quality Of Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can lead to a decrease in beneficial bacteria that keep harmful ones under control, which leads to an overgrowth of unhealthy organisms in the gut. Aim to get 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night. Here’s how to get a good night’s sleep:
- Keep your room dark. A dark room helps to promote better sleep by cueing your body to produce melatonin, the hormone that helps you to sleep.
- Keep your room cool. A cool room is also better for sleep. Make sure your room isn’t too hot or too cold.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Caffeine and alcohol can both disrupt your sleep.
- Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it. A bedtime routine helps your body to know that it’s time for sleep. Some things you can do in your bedtime routine include reading, stretching, or taking a bath.
- Use a white noise machine. A white noise machine can help to block out noise and promote better sleep.
- Exercise regularly. Regular exercise can help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. However, make sure you don’t exercise too close to bedtime, it can make it difficult for your body to wind down and relax for sleep.
- Drink some milk. Milk contains both tryptophan and calcium, which help you to fall asleep. Calcium helps by binding to the free-floating amino acids in your blood and taking them out of action so that your body can relax.
- Get the right mattress. A good quality mattress can help you to get a good night’s sleep.
Improving your gut health can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. These 6 easy steps can help to get you started on the path to better gut health. By cleaning up your diet, avoiding unnecessary antibiotics, taking supplements, improving your quality of sleep, and keeping track of the things that affect gut health you can improve your gut health in no time.