Simple steps to improve your gut health
Are you living with gut issues? You’re not alone. According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, approximately 20 million Canadians are affected by digestive disorders each year.
Strong gut health is integral to your overall well-being. Digestive problems have a tremendous impact on your body, causing stomach troubles, unintentional weight changes, fatigue, skin irritation, and even food intolerances.
Here’s the good news. If you’re living with gut problems, there are everyday solutions that you can incorporate into your routine to feel healthier. Here are some of the best natural remedies to improve your gut health.
Boost your probiotics
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria in your digestive system. Since probiotics support a healthier biome inside your gut, adding more to your diet can help to prevent inflammation and other intestinal problems. To boost your probiotics, you can take supplements that are widely available in natural health stores, or you can add naturally probiotic foods to your diet, such as kimchi, kombucha, miso, tempeh, yogurt, and sauerkraut.
Too often, the trigger for gut issues is heightened stress. That’s because psychological stressors actually disrupt the microorganisms in the intestines, causing inflammation and discomfort. To address the root cause of the issue, take concrete steps to manage your stress. Those steps will look different for everyone, but they could include trying meditation, scheduling regular massages, using essential oils, enjoying long walks, or simply spending more time with family and friends.
Get more sleep
Fatigue and irregular sleep habits are another factor that affects the health of your gut flora. To help your gut bacteria function at their best, make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep per night and maintain a consistent sleep/wake schedule. Your stomach will thank you!
Add more fibre
While probiotics keep your gut healthy, prebiotics are the fibrous foods that feed the probiotics. Your gut needs both to function effectively, so make sure you incorporate prebiotics into your diet too. Some of the top prebiotic foods for your gut health are garlic, onions, oats, chicory root, flax seeds, wheat bran, asparagus, and the humble apple.
Cut the sugar
Consuming less sugar will have an immediate and significant impact on your gut health. Because sugar negatively affects your gut microbes, eating a high-sugar diet can cause serious problems for your gut microbiome—the engine of your whole digestive system. Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners are also a no-go, as they cause similar negative impacts.
Drink more water
Hydration is closely linked to gut health, because it both helps to maintain the mucosal lining of the stomach, and it supports a positive bacterial balance. Drinking more water is a simple step you can take that can make a tremendous difference for your digestive tract.
Check for food intolerances
If you are still experiencing gut problems after making other adjustments to your lifestyle, consider consulting your doctor about possible food intolerances. Symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, acid reflux, and diarrhea are all potential signs of an intolerance or sensitivity to something in your diet.