Studies show that poor gut health can affect our overall health and wellbeing, including energy levels, mood, weight, blood sugar levels and our body's overall immunity (after all 70% of our immune system is in our gut) . So it makes sense to get your gut health sorted as soon as possible!
What contributes to poor gut health and the warning signs?
Your gut microbiome is made of trillions of microorganisms (mainly bacteria) that live in your digestive system. They play a key role in digesting the food you eat and help with absorbing important nutrients too. So what you put into your body isn’t just fuelling you and giving you energy, it’s also feeding the bacteria in your gut.
Stress, processed food, antibiotics, alcohol, cigarettes, sugar and pollution can all compromise good bacteria and feed the bad bacteria. Bloating, low energy and breakouts can be your gut’s way of telling you that it’s time to get back in balance.
Tips to get your gut health back on track
1. Eat nutrient rich wholefoods
Take the low human intervention (low HI) approach, and choose foods that are in their natural state like raw organic fruit and vegetables, rather than something processed. Avoid refined foods and sugar.
2. Stress less
Good bacteria don’t do well when we’re stressed, so try some yoga, meditation, a walk in nature, deep breathing exercises or positive affirmations to relax.
Studies show that probiotics can help eliminate disease-promoting pathogenic bacteria in the gut. You can find these in yoghurt, but be careful they aren’t packed with sugar.
These include non-digestible food substances that help boost the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut. They’re found in in asparagus, bananas, endive, chicory, garlic, artichokes, kefir, leeks, onions as well as foods rich in soluble fibre.
5. Lacto-fermented foods
Get some sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi and miso into your diet and your gut will love you for it. The lacto-fermentation process creates a broad range of beneficial bacteria, that helps to re-colonise the gut and reduce systemic inflammation.
6. Eat mindfully
Having smaller meals and chewing food slowly before you swallow aids digestion. Saliva contains digestive enzymes that help break down foods, so you could also reduce drinking with your meal as it dilutes these enzymes.
Your body is a big network of systems and understanding the links and looking deeper can be the missing link to our overall health. These few small changes to your daily routines, could make all the difference.