We’ve Got a Gut Feeling… That You Need To Read This
Having a healthy body is vital to our overall well-being; this includes having a healthy gut microbiome. There are many functions that take place in the gut that affect other functions of the body, so it is important to pay close attention to your body’s needs, especially when you have an unhealthy gut. There are some signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut, and fortunately, there are also ways that you can improve your gut.
Be mindful of your body’s everyday functions, behaviors and reactions to foods and your environment. When you notice on your body’s irregularities and uncommon functions, you should try to ascertain the causes of these symptoms. Common symptoms of an unhealthy gut include upset stomach, unintentional weight changes, consuming a high sugar diet, sleep disturbances, autoimmune conditions, food intolerances and skin irritations. So when your stomach constantly aches for no apparent reason, or your weight is fluctuating, or if you’re having issues with falling asleep and/or staying asleep-these are but a few symptoms of having an unhealthy gut. Other factors may also be contributing to these symptoms because your body is like a machine; you must have everything functioning properly in order for your whole body to be in peak health. Once you know why your gut microbiome may not be functioning correctly, you can then make a change to improve it.
Here are some ways you can improve your overall gut health:
- Lower your stress levels. Stress can affect you mentally, physically and emotionally, so it is important to learn to both minimize your levels of everyday stress and to learn to properly manage the stress that you encounter. Taking slow, deep breaths, meditating, getting fresh air outdoors, and picking up a relaxing hobby, like gardening, are all effective ways to help alleviate and manage stress.
- Get enough quality sleep. Adults should be getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night and children need even more quality sleep. When your body is fully rested, it can fully repair itself and recover from the day. When you feel well-rested, your body is more energized and prepared for your daily activities, as well as strong enough to fight off germs you encounter every day.
- Eat slowly. Because many of us have such hectic lives, we do not take the time to slow down, eat our food and allow it to properly digest. This leads to indigestion, heart burn and other disturbances in your gut and your body. Chewing your food slowly, enjoying and actually tasting your meal not only promotes a healthier gut microbiome, but it can also help reduce weight gain because you’re allowing the nutrients to be absorbed and your body to tell you when you are full.
- Stay hydrated. Along with eating properly, you want to make sure you are staying hydrated. This allows your body to be flushed from any toxins it may have along with providing your body with adequate water to aid in bodily functions. You need to drink the right amount of water and in order to determine the amount you need, take your weight, daily activity level, and exercise methods into consideration. There are also online calculators that you can use to find out how much water you should be drinking every day.
- Take a prebiotic or probiotic. Adding a prebiotic or probiotic to your diet may also aid in a healthy gut. “Prebiotics provide “food” meant to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria (Dix, 2019)”. Not all supplements are the same and not all bodies are the same, so it is best to consult your healthcare provider when choosing the right one for your body.
- Check for food intolerances. Many of us do not realize that when our stomach becomes upset or our gut has other functional disturbances when we eat certain foods, we are experiencing a food intolerance. A food intolerance occurs when our bodies are not able to properly digest some foods. We may become inflamed, bloated, or develop bowel issues. 5Strands® Affordable Testing provides food intolerance testing for both people and pets. Once you get tested, you’ll get personalized results that will inform you on what you are intolerant to. You can then make the necessary dietary changes.
- Change your diet. After you know what foods you’re intolerant to, you should then start eliminating foods you are most intolerant to and slow down eating those you are somewhat intolerant to. After 21-30 days of abstinence, you should be able to see an improvement in your gut health and overall health. Also, if you’re not intolerant to high-fiber foods (beans, oats, berries), garlic and onion, fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt), and collagen-boosting foods (bone broth and salmon), begin to incorporate those foods into your diet which will also improve your gut health.
No one likes feeling ill or having digestive issues. It is important to pay close attention to your body and it’s needs. It is vital to take good care yourself and every part of your mind and body in order to be the best you. Heeding to these tips and listening to your body is a good step in that direction. Start off with just one or two of these tips until you’re able to efficiently and effectively incorporate all of these things into your daily life.
Dix, M. (2019, March 29). 7 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut and 7 Ways to Improve Gut Health.
Retrieved August 14, 2019, from https://www.healthline.com/health/gut-health