There are many aspects to being healthy, but one in particular which a lot of people seem to struggle with is the gut area. No matter what you love to eat, if you are not looking after the bowels and intestines and so on, you are potentially putting your health in serious danger. Plus, you will find that you are generally more sluggish and have less energy, and will just generally not be feeling as well as you could be. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can hope to take better care of your gut health, and enjoy the benefits that it brings.
Easily the best piece of advice you can follow when it comes to looking after your gut health is simply this: eat more plants. Ideally, your diet should consist of as much of a variety of plants and vegetables as possible. If it doesn’t, or you think you could be eating many more fruits and vegetables, you should make a point of prioritising this. It is much more important than eating anything else, and more important than even how much you eat, so be sure to pay close attention to it.
Just for two weeks or so, try to eat a lot more plants than you normally would, and see if you find it makes an obvious difference to your overall physical health, especially your gut health. You might be surprised.
It’s always hard to know whether a specific dietary supplement is even going to work or not, or whether it will be good for you really. But one you should absolutely be taking regularly is your probiotics. These work, and they are known to boost the bacteria in your gut – which is actually something you want if you are going to be healthy. You can get probiotics in your local health store or online, but the important thing to note is that research suggests that taking them daily can help to support a healthy gut microbiome. It’s really worth doing that.
It is also worth bearing in mind that you can achieve much of the same effect simply by eating fermented foods. That’s why kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut are often touted as good health foods – and it explains partly why some yoghurt helps your gut too.
Lower Your Stress
Stress is a huge problem for the body in many ways, and ultimately it can be a killer. Everything in the body is less effective and more at risk if you are exposing yourself to high levels of stress, so you need to make sure that you are keeping on top of this and not letting stress overtake you too much or too often. If you are often stressed, your gut will not be happy about it, and you will often literally feel the pain in the stomach as a result of the cortisol flowing through you. So be sure to practice regular meditation and deep breathing, get plenty of sleep, and decrease your caffeine intake and alcohol consumption greatly.
Get Lots Of Fiber
We all know that fiber is good for you, but it is one thing to know it and quite another to actually get enough of it in your diet. If you are aware that you could probably get more fiber in your daily diet, there are many foods that will particularly help with this. For instance, eating lots of oatmeal can be a great way to get more fiber into your diet, as is eating plenty of beans, legumes and a wide range of nuts and seeds, not to mention grains of many kinds. Eat those every day, and your gut is going to be in a much better condition in no time – while also improving your overall health too.
Sleep Is Your Friend
So many of these tips and tricks are the kinds of things that tend to improve your overall health, and that is certainly true of this next one too. If you get plenty of sleep, everything works better. Your body is going to be a lot happier, you will be less stressed, and your gut is going to feel so much more relaxed and in the right place. In particular, getting your regular eight hours a night allows plenty of opportunity for your gut to rest properly from the day’s eating. Make sure you don’t eat a big meal too close to bedtime, as that will make your quality of sleep worse and could even keep you up all night if you are not careful, which would in turn make your gut less healthy again.
Get The Right Amount Of Protein
Most people think that you need to eat a lot more protein than you really do. However, you do need to eat enough, and if you don’t your whole gut system is going to suffer for it. Overall you need to eat around 150-200g of protein a day, and this can come from a number of sources. That might be red meat and chicken, fish, dairy and eggs, beans and grains, nuts and seeds, and some fruits too. However you get it, make sure that you don’t overlook or forget it, as this is often forgotten about in favour of other dietary requirements for the gut.
One of the very worst things you can possibly do for your health is to swap out sugar for artificial sweeteners. Okay, sugar is not the best for you, but sweeteners are arguably much worse in many ways. When it comes to specifically trying to take care of your gut health, sweeteners will make you gain weight, adding on to the pounds around your gut, which is exactly the opposite of what you are probably looking for. They also encourage you to eat more bad food and sugary food, so overall you are probably going to be doing more harm than good here. Be sure to avoid artificial sweeteners as much as you possibly can.