We know that a healthy gut supports a healthy body. When your gut is functioning properly, your nutrient levels, immune system, brain function and hormones experience the benefits.
But how can you optimise your gut health on a regular basis? This can depend on if you have any underlying conditions, but there are a few simple steps that support a healthy, happy digestive tract.
Include fibre-rich wholefoods
The good microbes in the gut are fuelled by fibre, whereas the unhealthy microbes prefer processed carbohydrates and sugars. So by increasing your fibre-rich wholefoods, you tip the balance in the favour of the healthy bugs.
Good options include:
If your diet is low in fibre, make sure you start slow when introducing these foods. Otherwise, it can lead to symptoms such as bloating, gas and tummy pain.
Drink plenty of water
Water is another easy way to support your gut’s function. Low water intake can lead to constipation, which can affect your gut microbes and the strength of the muscles in the digestive tract. So drinking a good amount of water daily can prevent these concerns.
Not a fan of plain water? Herbal tea is a great way to stay hydrated. On hot days, you might enjoy adding some frozen fruit to water as a way to add a natural flavour.
Identify any food intolerances
One of the common factors in gut symptoms is food intolerances. If you eat a food that you are intolerant to, the body reacts with inflammation and gut irritation. So to support gut health, we want to avoid that type of reaction.
Uncovering food intolerances by yourself can be a challenge. That’s why we recommend working with a qualified health practitioner who can help you narrow down potential intolerances and follow a trial elimination diet.
Move your body regularly
We know that physical activity is good for our general wellbeing. Although research has found that exercise can actually improve gut health by increasing the number and diversity of ‘good’ microbes in the gut.
If it’s been a while since you’ve moved your body or you experience chronic pain or fatigue, start small and build up over time. Even a walk or a yoga session can offer health benefits.
Manage your stress levels
There is a strong connection between the gut and the brain. A healthy gut supports a calm nervous system and the production of feel-good brain chemicals. But this goes both ways – which means that unman-aged stress can damage your gut health.
Finding a healthy way to manage your stress can make a big difference when it comes to your gut health . Some studies have even found that meditation and mindfulness can benefit digestive conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Prioritise good sleep
Another lesser-known way to support gut health is by getting a good sleep every night.
Studies have found links between the gut microbes and sleep quality and quantity. So focusing on a good night of sleep could support your gut health long-term.
Investigate potential digestive issues
If you’re experiencing regular gut symptoms, there could be underlying causes to identify. Parasites, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune conditions such as Coeliac are a few examples of conditions that can affect your gut health.
Working with a health practitioner can help you to uncover potential causes of your digestive concerns.
Are you looking for ways to naturally support your gut health?
To book an appointment with Trish at our Bundaberg clinic, call us on (07) 41522372