Looking for easy ways to enhance gut health and maintain a balanced diet? Check out these 11 simple tips you can follow every day.
Gut health plays a vital role in our overall health. The digestive system is important to our immune system and metabolism. A healthy gut helps us fight off infections and maintain a steady weight.
The good news is there are ways to enhance gut health naturally. Below are the top 11 easy ways to improve gut health.
How To Enhance Gut Health
The best way to enhance gut health is through lifestyle and diet changes. These include:
1. Increase Fiber
Fiber helps keep your digestion moving smoothly by absorbing water and creating bulk in your stool.
Dietary fiber increases stool bulk and adds volume to stools. Fiber helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity.
It also helps with weight loss because it fills you up without adding calories. They also provide you with energy throughout the day.
Foods rich in fiber include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, and dairy products.
2. Take Prebiotics And Probiotics
Probiotic supplements contain healthy bacteria that can help restore balance to your gut. These beneficial microorganisms can help support your immune system, prevent allergies, boost energy levels, and reduce symptoms of IBS.
Prebiotics help feed probiotic bacteria in your gut. They can be found in foods like bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, asparagus, avocados, oats, legumes, and sweet potatoes.
Probiotic foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and pickles contain beneficial probiotic strains. Probiotics help strengthen the intestinal wall and prevent infection.
3. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods contain preservatives, additives, and artificial ingredients that may harm your gut microbiome.
These processed foods are high in carbohydrates and sugar and have little nutritional value.
Processing food removes many nutrients from them, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and fibers. This can make processed foods less nutritious and more likely to upset your stomach.
Processed foods also tend to be higher in salt and trans-fats. Both of these substances can irritate the lining of your intestines.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead. They contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support gut health.
4. Drink Plenty Of Water
Water keeps everything running smoothly inside your body. When we’re dehydrated, our bodies don’t work as efficiently. This leads to sluggish digestion and other symptoms.
Drinking plenty of water every day will help ensure that your digestive tract stays hydrated and works properly.
Water flushes toxins through your colon and kidneys and promotes regular bowel movements. It also provides hydration for the cells, tissues, and organs. That all helps prevent constipation and dehydration.
It’s best to aim for eight glasses per day.
5. Cut Back On Alcohol
Alcohol can alter the composition of your gut flora and may contribute to yeast overgrowth.
Alcohol is known to impair digestion and increase inflammation. Consuming alcohol also raises blood pressure and decreases immunity.
6. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise improves digestion by increasing circulation and stimulating peristalsis.
Exercise boosts endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. These chemicals promote a sense of well-being and improve mood.
Exercising also helps keep your heart healthy, and your muscles and bones strong. It improves sleep quality, increases energy levels, and reduces stress.
7. Limit Stress
Stress reduces your immunity and increases cortisol, a hormone linked to unhealthy gut bacteria.
The adrenal glands produce cortisol when you feel stressed. Cortisol causes the release of glucose into your bloodstream.
When you eat this extra glucose, it gives your immune system a boost because it releases insulin. But eating too much glucose makes it harder for your body to burn fat.
This means that if you eat too much after exercising, you’ll store more calories as fat.
Try deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, and massage therapy to relax and reduce stress.
8. Add More Fruits And Veggies To Your Diet
Fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber and nutrients that help keep your gut happy.
Fiber and nutrients keep you regular by helping food pass through your body without being digested completely. It also moves waste through your colon.
Certain types of fruit and veggies, like apples, pears, berries, onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon, can help promote healthy gut flora.
9. Avoid Sugar
Sugar feeds harmful bacteria in the intestine in your gut. Sugary foods also cause inflammation in your body, which can affect your gut flora.
Consuming too much sugar causes bloating, gas, and diarrhea. It’s especially problematic for people who have IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Eating lots of highly refined junk food can cause bad bacteria to grow out of control in your digestive tract, which may lead to inflammation and weight gain. An imbalanced microbiome may lead to an increase in sugar cravings, which could then harm your gut even further.
Natural sweeteners such as honey may be better for us than artificial ones. Refined sugar has been shown to increase inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation may lead to several health conditions and even cancer.
There are some artificial sweeteners that can impact the gut microbiome negatively and promote glucose intolerance.
For example, one study found that rats who were fed artificial sweeteners had higher levels of glucose in their blood and were more resistant to insulin than rats who weren’t fed artificial sweeteners. This suggests that there may be a link between artificial sweeteners and diabetes.
Processed foods are often high in sugar or additives that don’t agree with your gut. Stay away from high FODMAP (group of sugars) as they don’t completely digest and produce gas, people with IBS will be extra sensitive.
10. Eat Healthy Fats
Fats are essential for maintaining a healthy body. They provide energy and act as insulation in the body.
Eating too little fat can lead to low levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, both of which contribute to heart disease. Eating too much fat can cause obesity.
The best types of fats include omega 3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Here’s where you can find them:
- Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish oil and flaxseed oil.
- Monounsaturated fats are found in nuts, avocados, olives, and olive oil.
- Polyunsaturated fats are found in sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, whole grains, and walnuts.
11. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital to good health. Lack of sleep leads to fatigue, stress, and poor decision-making. Getting enough sleep supports a healthy brain and boosts mood.
Improving Gut Health Final Thoughts
Many of the tips are food and drink-related as you can see. A core way to improve the health of your gut is to maintain a balanced diet.
A balanced diet includes all the nutrients needed to build strong bones, muscles, skin, hair, nails, and teeth.