Improving Your Gut Health
Improving your gut health is one of the most important things you can do for your body; and it’s important to know the most common symptoms that are a good indication that your good bacteria have been compromised, and the bad bacteria has taken over. Do you often have any of the following symptoms?
Gas or bloating
Indigestion or heartburn after meals
Irregular bowel movements (diarrhea or constipation)
Food allergies or sensitivities
Frequent colds, sinus infections, etc.
When your good bacteria are in control you are in a state of symbiosis; and when the bad bacteria outnumber the good bacteria, you are in a state of dysbiosis which leaves the door open for illness. Your good bacteria must outnumber the bad guys for you to maintain good health.
Your gut (GI track) has the largest collection of microorganisms and your gut microbiome is unique to you. When the microbiome is out of balance and there are more ‘bad’ bacteria than good, you may experience poor gut health symptoms.
Be aware of the symptoms above and take some positive steps to improve your gut health, if needed. The good news is that you can use these tips to start improving your gut health:
The Food You Eat
Remove processed foods and sugar from your diet. These refined carbohydrates, sugar, and processed foods get absorbed quickly into your small intestine without any help from your microbes. Loading up on vegetables and low-sugar fruits and eating a lot of leafy green vegetables will help increase your good bacteria in your gut. Be sure to get a balance of healthy fats and protein with each meal as well.
Probiotics are live bacteria that increase the good bacteria in your gut, especially your digestive system, and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. Include fermented foods in your diet. Fermented foods feed your gut with healthy bacteria. Eat organic fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kefir, yogurt (not processed or loaded with sugar), and kombucha. Probiotics supplements are also available.
If your gut health is poor, your gut microbiome is out of balance; and you may feel depressed, anxious, or tired. It’s important for your gut health to learn how to relax.
In addition to eating the right foods, begin to practice relaxation techniques with some deep breathing, especially before each meal. Removing stress and distractions, chewing your food completely and truly taking time to enjoy the food you are eating can make a huge difference.
We are all different, and you are unique when it comes to your gut health! If you have symptoms of poor gut health, the above tips should work well for you as long as you keep supporting your microbiome with foods and activities that are healthy for you.