5 ways to improve your gut health
After the last year of uncertainty, many of us have started to take our health much more seriously. While exercising and eating healthy, clean foods is the first step towards true holistic wellness, there are many other factors that come into play.
While reducing stress, eating less sugar and processed foods, taking multivitamins is important, another step to pay attention to is our gut health!
Gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Taking care of the health of the gut and maintaining the right balance of these microorganisms is vital for physical and mental health, immunity, etc.
You can’t maintain good gut health just by eating healthy foods! Here are some ways that can help achieve optimal gut health:
1. Take probiotics and eat fermented foods
To stimulate beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, some people choose to take probiotic supplements in the gut. He suggested that taking probiotics can promote a healthy gut and prevent inflammation and other gut problems.
Plus, fermented foods are a natural source of probiotics. So, consuming foods like fermented vegetables (achar), kimchi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, tempeh, etc., can improve your gut health:
2. Reduce stress
Do you constantly feel bloated and constipated? You may want to check your stress level. Managing stress is important for many aspects of health, including gut health. According to studies, various stressors can negatively affect gut health, including psychological stress, environmental stress, such as extreme heat, cold, noise or lack of sleep.
Some stress management techniques include meditation, deep breathing exercises, relaxing baths, and progressive muscle relaxation. Taking supplements can also help improve the quality of your sleep and reduce stress.
3. Eat more dark chocolate
This one is a favorite. Who needs a reason to eat more chocolate? I do. Rich in fiber and plant molecules known as polyphenols, move through your intestines where microbes use them for fuel.
Foods rich in polyphenols, such as dark chocolate, red wine, cocoa, artichoke, onions have anti-inflammatory properties, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
4. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise contributes to good heart health and to weight loss or maintenance. Research has also suggested that it may also improve gut health, which may, in turn, help control obesity.
The physical activity guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week, as well as muscle-building activities two or more days per week. So you better start practicing!
5. Get enough sleep
Since the start of the pandemic, most of us have fallen into an unhealthy sleep schedule. Getting enough, good quality sleep can improve mood, cognition, and gut health.
Irregular sleep patterns and disturbed sleep can have negative effects on the gut flora, which can increase the risk of inflammatory diseases. So, stop binge-watching shows on Netflix and get the recommended 7 hours of sleep!
To wrap up
There are many aspects that go into creating a holistic lifestyle. So instead of just focusing on gaining weight and avoiding fried foods, let’s try to create a routine that takes into account all of our body’s needs!