8 Ways to keep your Gut Happy & Healthy
There is more evidence than ever that our guts are the hub of our health.
So many health conditions have been linked to having poor gut health including depression, IBS, anxiety, autism, acne and eczema just to name a few.
There is a proven link between the gut and brain, the gut-brain axis, which explains the link to mental health issues.
One influences the state of the other and vice versa, with early years of life being the most crucial to ensure development of a healthy environment in the gut.
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1. Prevention is better than cure.
Get into the mind-set that your food is medicine.
Everything you consume has an effect on your body in an advantageous way or not depending on what it is you are eating.
Eating lots of processed, junk food is only going to cause you digestive complaints, headaches and poor skin to name a few!
If you feed your body plenty of whole, plant foods are giving your body the chance to feel full of energy and vitality.
2. The brighter the better.
The brighter fruit of vegetable is the more flavonoids they contain.
These are plant chemicals that help get our digestive healthy.
Some of the best to include are Brussel sprouts, peppers and sweet potatoes.
3. Get a decent night’s sleep (8 hours).
A relationship has been found between lack of sleep and digestive issues such as IBS and ulcers so it is really important to make sure you are getting enough of it!
Switch off digital equipment at least on hour before bed, make lists to consolidate all your thoughts so you can have a restful sleep.
Having a full 8 hours allows your body time to repair and heal cells especially the immune system.
4. Watch your alcohol indake
Alcohol is an irritant to the gut lining and can cause heartburn, acid reflux and diarrhoea.
It also depletes the beneficial bacteria in your gut when consumed on a regular basis.
The worst offender for most people is white wine as it is so acidic.
If you still want to enjoy alcohol every now and again make sure you drink it with food, go for red wine as it as some health benefits too and don’t exceed a couple of glasses, unless you want to suffer the next day.
5. Are you getting enough fibre?
There are two types; soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fibre slows digestion, prevents blood sugar spiking and they can be found in oats, beans, peas, flaxseeds, apples and berries whereas insoluble fibre helps move food through the digestive tracts which helps to avoid constipation and can be found in nuts, whole-wheat, wholegrains, seeds, rice.
6. Buy colourful fruit and vegetables.
The brighter the fruit or vegetable, the more flavonoids they contain.
They are potent antioxidants thus promotors of optimal health. Some of the best fruit and vegetables to include are Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, blueberries and peppers.
7. Avoid artificial sweeteners.
They can be detrimental in particular to digestive health because they don’t get digested properly and then bacteria feed on them in the gut.
The worst offenders are sorbitol and mannitol which can be found in chewing gum, soft drinks and some processed foods including biscuits and cakes.
8. Feed your friendly bacteria.
Gut health hinges on the state of the gut microbiome (beneficial bacteria).
To ensure that your bacteria is balance it is important to include probiotic foods as part of a healthy diet; live yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir are all wonderful sources of beneficial bacteria to help your gut flora flourish and support your digestive system.
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- Gut Health - The Gut at the Centre of your Health
- Gut Health - Good Health Starts in the Gut
- New Study Shows a Gluten Free Diet Influences Gut Health
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