High stress levels, processed food and high-sugar diets have often been associated with unwanted weight gain and skin problems, but recent studies have shown how these very habits can also affect our gut health. Perhaps you have been struggling with unwanted weight changes or skin irritation or even your mental health during this time and you feel like have tried it all – You are not alone. The problem might just be in your gut.
While you may not think of your sudden upset stomach or skin irritation as a result of an unhealthy gut, there is a significant chance that it could be.
Here are 7 changes you can make to ensure you maintain a healthy gut.
1. Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is the standard doctors’ order, keeping hydrated is one of the fundamental parts of being healthy. It is no surprise therefore that water is crucial when trying to keep a healthy gut. water has been shown to have a beneficial effect on the mucosal lining of the intestines, as well as on the balance of good bacteria in the gut.
2. Eat Slowly
Besides avoiding choking on your food, eating slowly and chewing thoroughly can help keep your gut healthy. It helps promote full digestion and absorption of nutrients. This may help you reduce digestive discomfort and maintain a healthy gut.
3. Get enough sleep
Being well-rested or getting enough sleep is another fundamental part of keeping your overall health in check. Not getting enough or sufficient quality of sleep can have detrimental consequences to your gut health, which can, in turn, contribute to more sleep issues. Try to prioritize getting at least 7–8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
4. Change your diet
While this could be overwhelming or intimidating, there are ways to make it simpler such as consuming less of certain foods instead of trying to not eat them at all. Reducing the amount of processed, high-sugar, and high-fat foods that you eat can contribute to better gut health. Additionally, eating plenty of plant-based foods and lean protein can positively impact your gut. A diet high in fibre has been shown to contribute tremendously to healthy gut microbiome.
5. Take prebiotics or probiotics
Prebiotics promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria. People with bacterial overgrowth, should not take probiotics and not all probiotic supplements are high quality or will provide the desired benefit. It is best to consult your healthcare provider when choosing a probiotic or prebiotic supplement to ensure the best health benefit.
6. Check for food intolerances
If you have symptoms such as cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, rashes, nausea, fatigue, and acid reflux, you may be suffering from food intolerance. You can try eliminating foods that trigger these symptoms to see if they improve. If you can identify foods that are contributing to your symptoms, you may see a positive change in your digestive health by changing your eating habits thus improving your gut health.
7. Lower your stress levels
High levels of stress can take a knock on your entire body and health, including your gut. To maintain a healthy gut, it is important to keep your stress levels relatively low. Some ways to lower your stress levels may include meditation, walking, getting a massage, spending time with friends or family, diffusing essential oils, decreasing caffeine intake, laughing, yoga, or having a pet.