Contrary to popular belief, bacteria isn’t always bad. In fact, an ecosystem of trillions of bacteria called the ‘gut microbiome’ plays a vital role in our body’s overall health. As we’ve previously shared in our ‘Stool Testing 101 and How Your Gut Impacts How You Feel’ post, a healthy gut microbiome is important for our mood, our muscular system, and our cognitive functions. If you’re not quite sure how to maintain a healthy gut, here are some tips.
1. Eat the Right Food.
Eating the right diet is a key factor in keeping your gut healthy. Case in point: Consuming food that’s rich in fiber stimulates the growth of good bacteria in your gut — from fruits and vegetables, to legumes and grains. True enough, SELF Magazine notes that whole grains not only block the reabsorption of cholesterol in the gut, but they also supply it with prebiotics — which is essentially food for healthy gut bacteria. Also, foods that contain polyphenols such as nuts, soy products, and dark chocolate, help promote both diversity and the number of bacteria in your gut.
2. Avoid Bad Sugar and Substitutes.
Alternatively, certain food can cause your gut health to go downhill. This is because food that is high in processed sugars triggers inflammation in your body. This, in turn, causes an imbalance of your bacteria in your gut, while also harming the way it functions. Not to mention, artificial sweeteners are equally damaging for your gut health as well. According to a study published in the Molecules Journal, artificial sweeteners can cause the bacteria in your gut to become toxic. For a sweet fix, you can rely on good sugar sources like fruits and dark chocolate to maintain good gut health.
3. Manage Stress.
There’s a strong connection between stress and your gut. As explained in Parsley Health’s guide to healing leaky gut, stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine damage the junctions that keep your digestive tract together. Moreover, cortisol causes your blood flow to decrease. This poor circulation of blood not only causes an imbalance in gut
bacteria, but also heightens inflammation. Although stress may seem like a normal part of life, it’s imperative for your gut health that you manage it well. From breathing exercises to relaxation techniques and eating mindfully, try cultivating good habits that keep stress at bay.
4. Take Probiotics.
Often known as the ‘good bacteria’, probiotics are live microorganisms that help bring a healthy balance to your gut, while also preventing gut inflammation. On that note, be sure to take a probiotic on an empty stomach, at least an hour before your meal. This allows the probiotic to travel your body’s large intestine, which is where the microorganisms get to properly work in your body. However, if you’re taking antibiotics, you’ll need to wait at least an hour after taking your medication to safely take any probiotic.
5. Get Enough Sleep.
Last but not least, you can promote your gut health by simply getting a good night’s rest. Ensuring that your body gets enough rest is essential for a properly functioning gut, as Dr. Michael J Breus reports that sleep deprivation can change the composition of essential bacteria in your gut. Plus, studies suggest that an unhealthy gut can cause you to have trouble sleeping properly.
Written exclusively for www.revitalizerehabclub.com
by Heather Rogers