Ways to Improve Your Gut Health
Gut health refers to the balance of microorganism that lives in your gastrointestinal tract. Your G.I tract has an even bigger and more complex job than previously understood. It’s been liked to several areas of health beyond digestion, such as emotional stress, immunity, and chronic health conditions like diabetes and cancer. The trillions of bacteria in the gut, collectively known as gut flora, not only help process foods but also help maintain body homeostasis and overall well-being. Below are ways to improve your gut health and enhance your overall health.
- Take probiotic supplements
Probiotic supplements contain live strains of microorganisms, usually bacteria. Taking probiotic supplements can support a healthy gut microbiome, prevent gut inflammation and other intestinal problems.
- Eat more fermented foods
Fermented foods contain live cultures of a beneficial strain of bacteria. They are a natural soured of probiotics. Examples of fermented foods include:
- Eat prebiotic fiber
Prebiotics are food for probiotics. They are nondigestible carbohydrates that good bacteria grow bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics help the good bacteria become more tolerant to the acidity of the stomach and temperature changes. Prebiotic-rich foods include:
- Whole grains
- Eat a diverse range of foods
Dietary diversity has a great impact on gut health. Following a diverse diet of healthy foods is likely to result in an equally diverse and healthy gut microbiome.
- Eat less sugar
Sugar can inhibit the growth of good bacteria in the gut. If you eat sugary foods, your gut microbiome can become imbalanced. This imbalance can increase sugar cravings, which cause further damages to the gut. They can halt the production of a protein crucial for the growth of good bacteria.
- Exercise regularly
Exercise promotes good heart health and weight loss. Research also suggests that exercise may also enhance gut health, which may reduce obesity.
- Eat whole grains
Whole grains are non-digestible carbs high in fiber. Since its nondigestible, that means they do not absorb in the small intestine but make their way to the large intestine. In the large intestine, the microbiota breaks down the grains and promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria.
- Avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily
Antibiotics can combat bacterial infection. However, unnecessary use of this medicine can damage the gut microbiota and immunity. Antibiotics kill not only the bad bacteria but also the good ones, which causes imbalances in the gut microbiome.
- Eat foods rich in polyphenols
Polyphenols are plant compounds with many health benefits including inflammation reduction, oxidative stress, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. They also contribute to gut health by enhancing the growth of beneficial bacteria. Excellent sources of polyphenols include:
- Red wine
- Green tea
- Get enough sleep
The gut microbiome and sleep quality are connected. Poor sleep has been shown to affect gut health, which can lead to health problems. Taking probiotics can also help improve sleep quality.