The health of your gut can have a huge knock-on effect on the rest of your health and wellbeing. When your gut is unhealthy, it’s not uncommon to suffer from poor skin, reduced immune system response, poor mental health, and even an increased risk of cancer. Humans have between 300-500 different species of bacteria in their digestive tract, and while there are some microorganisms that can be harmful to health, many of these are actually very beneficial and can help to improve your health and well-being. Does your gut need a boost? Then read on for 5 Steps to Fixing Poor Gut Health!
Having a wide variety of healthy bacteria in your gut will not only help to improve digestive function but can provide a wide range of further benefits including improved mental health, better body weight, better skin, and more. Here’s what you can look into and try…
1. Daily Probiotics
A daily probiotic can help if you are experiencing some common symptoms of an unhealthy gut, like an upset stomach, unexpected weight changes, or constant tiredness and sleep issues. A low-histamine probiotic can help with intolerance to certain foods and aid with digestion, and improve your gut health to reduce the impact of any symptoms you might be experiencing. You can take probiotics and prebiotics in supplement form, and get more probiotics into your diet by eating more foods like natural yogurts and probiotic yogurt drinks.
2. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is a must for your overall health anyway, but studies have found that staying hydrated also has a beneficial effect on the intestine lining and helps to balance the good bacteria in your gut. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day is one of the easiest and simplest ways to improve your gut health. Make water more appealing to drink by adding fruit for taste, if you like.
3. Reduce Stress
High, chronic stress levels can really take a toll on your entire body, including your gut. There are several different things that you can do to help lower your stress levels like getting a massage, meditation, walking, yoga, or even having a pet. If you think that it goes further than simply stress and you’re struggling to cope even when using some common stress reduction techniques, it might be helpful to speak to a therapist. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD can often manifest themselves as chronic stress, and along with being bad for your mental health and well-being, it can seriously affect your physical health too.
4. Eat Slowly
Savoring every bite, eating your meals slowly, and making sure to chew your food thoroughly will help to promote full digestion and make it easier for your body to fully absorb all the nutrients that you are getting from your food. And, chewing slowly can have numerous other benefits, including allowing you to feel fuller when you eat and reduce the risk of overeating, which can clearly lead to weight gain. By slowing down when you eat your meals, you can help your body maintain a healthy gut and reduce any upset stomach problems after eating. Slow down…enjoy your food!
5. Improve Your Sleep
If you’re not getting enough sleep or getting poor-quality sleep at night, it can have a seriously negative effect on your gut health – which can lead to a vicious circle of more sleep problems. Try to make sure that you are getting between 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try updating your mattress, putting your phone away an hour before bed, and taking a bath before getting into bed to establish a relaxing sleep routine. As a last resort, your doctor may also be able to prescribe something to help you sleep – but please try all the natural methods first!