There are many ways to keep your gut healthy and thriving not only to alleviate digestive inflammation but to support your overall health. Your gut microbiome affects everything and research has linked gut health with the health of all your organs in the body; crucial for encouraging a resilient immune system. Your gut is host to over 38 trillion bacteria, yeast, and viruses all in your gut microbiome or gut flora- maintaining the right balance of these microorganisms is vital for your physical and mental health, immunity, and more! With our gut playing a very important role in our body here are ten tips to support your gut health.
Think Diversity: Instead of filling your plate with good bacteria (as compared to bad bacteria) eat a wide range of plant based foods. Try to aim for 30 different plant based foods such as nuts, seeds, whole-grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables per week. Aim to get something from all those food group rather than fixating on eating from one category of foods.
Eat Fibre-Rich Foods to Feed Gut Bacteria: Fibre found in foods contain prebiotics which feed the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. Foods that contain prebiotics include: beans, pulses, artichokes, legumes, and Brussel sprouts. Fibre is an excellent nutrient although add it to your diet gradually (and increase your water intake) to give your body time to adjust and avoid any bloating.
Eat Fermented Foods: Fermentation involves bacteria or yeast to make foods such a yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut. They contain a wide range of beneficial bacteria for the gut flora.
Get Sufficient Sleep: There is adequate research that tells us that lack of sleep can alter the composition of your gut microbiome because it can't do its job efficiently.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners may help reduce your overall calorie intake but in turn they destroy the diversity of your gut microbiome.
Vary Your Staples: Keep changing your staples, for example swap rice with quinoa, wild rice, or buckwheat. Even eating yellow and green peppers along with red ones help the diversity.
Take a Probiotic: There isn’t any robust evidence that proves probiotic supplement supports the alleged health benefits in healthy people. However, if you’re taking antibiotics (which can destroy all your bad and good bacteria) it’s helpful to take a probiotic as directed by your GP.
Eat Like Mediterranean: There is evidence that supports the Mediterranean diet made up of fruits, vegetables, legumes, extra virgin olive oil, and whole-grains can improve the mood in some people and decrease symptoms of depression.
Don’t Go Low Carb: Carbohydrates are a type of fibre beneficial for your gut bacteria and decreasing your consumption can damage your gut microbiota.
Manage Your Stress Levels: High levels of stress is taxing on your whole body, including your gut. Lower your stress levels with meditation, exercise, spending time with friends or family, decreasing caffeine intake, laughing, or yoga.
Rossi, D. (2019, July 15). Your 10-Step Gut Makeover Plan. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.theguthealthdoctor.com/all-articles/10-step-gut-makeover-plan-healthy-gut