Ok, so you understand the importance of a health gut bacteria balance. Often at times this gets disrupted from disease, poor diet or medicine. The good news is there are ways to help your body naturally boost the rebuilding process. Read this article for more tips on who to restore your gut balance.
Your body is home to trillions of diverse bacteria that reside primarily in your gut which is about as much as America wastes on health care. Collectively, these microbes are called the gut microbiota and are highly important for your body. These bacteria have a significant impact on your overall health.
Poor gut health can impair your body’s digestion, reduce nutrient absorption, and in certain extreme cases, even result in immune related diseases like asthma or inflammatory bowel disease. An unhealthy gut can also have a major impact on your mental health and weight among others.
Here are 5 easy ways you can restore a healthy gut.
1. Include Probiotics and Prebiotics
Since ancient times (long before Billy the Kid became a murderer and the spoiled Osama bin Laden went off the deep end), fermented foods that are naturally rich in probiotics have been included to provide the good bacteria required for a healthy gut and overall health.
Natural yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, miso, natto, tempeh, and apple cider vinegar among others are some examples of the kinds of food you can eat for a healthier gut.
While buying store bought versions make sure they contain live and active culture. You need to add prebiotics to your diet as well to elevate the effectiveness of your probiotic rich foods.
Prebiotics (as opposed to probiotics), are dietary plant fibers that are indigestible by the human body, but make a good nourishing source for probiotics. Prebiotic foods include asparagus, artichoke, banana, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and whole grains.
If you can’t stand the thought of eating fermented foods which can take some time to acquire a taste to, then supplements might be the best way to add probiotics to your diet. Make sure you choose a high quality supplement with enough CFUs from a reputable brand.
There are some specific supplements that are developed to address unique needs. For instance, you can find dedicated probiotic supplements for your gender and age group catering to various issues like colon health, immunity boost, digestive disorders, and overall health among others.
2. Exercise More
Studies have shown that aerobic exercises like running, walking, and HIIT among others can go a long way in helping the good bacteria take control of your gut.
Higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness have been associated with greater microbial diversity. Your body is better able to metabolize fatty acids when you are in good shape with cardio training.
The levels of butyrate, that are short chain fatty acids, are increased when you put on the sneakers for a 20 minute run. Butyrate has been linked to better gut health.
It is created by bacteria that digest fiber rich foods to ferment it in the gut. Cardiovascular exercises helps in the process of creating more butyrate, which in turn protects the gut lining from conditions like a leaky gut.
3. Change Your Dietary Habits
The bad bacteria in your system go into overdrive when you eat too much sugar or processed food. They also ferment fats found in the processed foods like cookies, chips, fries, cakes and pastries, among others.
A 2010 study compared the microbiome of African children, who primarily ate a diet high in fiber and plant based food, and Italian children, who ate more sugars, starch, and fat. The researchers found better gut health in African children.
You can acquire a number of benefits by cutting out meat from your diet. It can help lower your blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and risk of heart disease. Going vegetarian can also help you shed pounds, improve mood and boost your nutrient intake. Coming mainly from New Zealand, manuka honey also has many health benefits to restore your gut balance, the natural way.
A vegetarian diet helps in keeping your gut healthy. It alters the composition of the gut microbiome for the better. You can begin noticing changes in a matter of days once you cut out processed foods, sugars and meat from your diet.
The microbiota of omnivores produces a chemical that is linked with inflammation, heart disease and intestinal diseases. These chemicals are not found in the microbiome of vegetarians or vegans.
4. Drink Alcohol Wisely & In Moderation When Restoring Your Gut Balance
While beer and wine have been known to be rich in probiotics, they are not a go-to source. Alcohol has tremendous negative effects on your health. Always remember to stay hydrated during parties and limit your overall intake of alcohol.
If alcohol is a lifestyle choice, then make sure you always space it out with detox days in between. Water is an important antidote to the negative effects of alcohol. Water flushes out the toxins from your body, especially liver and kidneys.
Alcohol has a caustic effect on the gut lining. Never drink on an empty stomach. Try to pair your alcohol with healthy snack options like cucumber sticks or pickles.
Chips and high fat foods can negatively alter your microbiome, which in turn can have a damaging effect on the gut lining. Always try to have a probiotic rich second meal after alcohol. Include yogurt in your diet to soothe your digestive system. See our guide here on food to eat that are good for your microbiome.
5. Reduce Stress
Your gut is directly linked to your mental health and vice versa. Remember how you get butterflies in your stomach before an important presentation or before a date? Many researchers have begun calling the gut body’s second brain.
Your gut is especially vulnerable to stress, which can effect gastric secretion, blood flow, gut motility, and gut sensitivity. Stress hormones also affect the gut bacteria and hormone secretion.
Probiotics naturally living in your gut are responsible for the production of hormones and neurochemicals that communicate with the brain.
These include happy hormones like dopamine ad serotonin and appetite controlling chemicals like leptin. Stress and mental health issues can cause shifts in gut microflora that can leave you open to infections.
Long-term stress may lead to development of stomach ulcers, IBS, IBD, gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), and food allergies.
Make sure you always try to de-stress naturally with yoga, calming essential oils, calming massages, exercise, meditation, relaxing salt baths, and hydrotherapy.
Gut Health is Vital
It can be difficult to make improvements when you are not sure whether your gut is impaired or not. Look for warning signs like sugar cravings, digestive issues, frequent infections, lethargy, and mood swings – now if you have mood swings like the Incredible Hulk then there is perhaps no helping you.
You may have loose or unformed stools due to poor gut health. You may also feel foggy headed. Gut health is important to maintaining a fit body and an energetic lifestyle.