Gut health and our microbiome have been talked about more and more frequently in recent years, and that’s down to one primary fact – researchers are tying gut health to everything from happiness, lifespan and more.
When it comes to the health of our gut, there are a myriad of fairly simple things you can do to improve your gut’s bacteria and in turn, your overall health. With all that in mind, we have ten simple ways to improve your gut health below.
Take a look!
1. It All Starts With Diet
The first thing you’re going to want to focus on is improving your diet and clearing it of potentially harmful foods. Considering that your gut is the organ in the body responsible for the breaking down of foods, you’re definitely going to want to start here.
Our gut is home to thousands of different bacteria, all of which have a diverse requirement for the foods they require. That in mind, it’s crucial to consume a diverse diet rich in all food groups such as vegetables, fruit and grains.
Unfortunately, the Western Diet consists of far too much refined sugar, processed foods, oils and alcohol. All of these do far more harm than good when it comes to our gut health, so work to reduce these first and foremost.
2. Vegetables And Legumes Are Ideal
Although there are many different healthy foods you can eat, our stomachs and intestines do best with plenty of vegetables and legumes on the menu.
It’s always good to kick things off with veggies and legumes like kidney beans, pinto beans and other lentils. The bacteria mentioned above feed off these high fibre foods and this works to keep your gut health in check.
On top of this, fruits high in fibre do a great job here to diversify our microbiota and add an additional food source for them to eat.
Consider a few of the following:
3. Consider A Colonoscopy
Though not a direct way to improve gut health, scheduling a colonoscopy may be necessary if you suspect you have a more serious issue. Of course, see your regular doctor first and they will be able to advise you further on this
Following a colonoscopy, your doctor can give you a run down of the results and let you know if any further steps need to be taken or if you’re in the all-clear!
4. Strip Artificial Sweeteners
Keeping in mind that sugar is damaging to your gut health, so too are the artificial variants.
These sweeteners like sorbitol and Sweetener 950 and 951 work to upset our stomach flora and essentially leave us worse for wear when it comes to stomach inflammation and actually increasing our blood sugar.
5. Fermented Foods Encourage Stomach Flora Growth
A fifth way to improve the health of your gut is to stick to fermented foods when you can.
Ingredients, snacks and meals that contain fermented foods enable the stomach to better create an environment for improved gut bacteria, and as a result, you’ll be keeping on top of your gut health. This is as easy as adding foods such as yoghurt, kimchi and sauerkraut to your diet.
6. Increase Pre And Probiotics
As you might already know, your probiotics are the bacteria we find in our stomachs, and prebiotics are the ‘food’ for this bacteria to thrive.
When taken in cohesion with one another, your probiotics and prebiotics create the ideal environment for excellent gut health and make keeping track of your stomach and intestinal healthiness a lot easier for most people.
7. Prioritise Wholemeal And Wholegrain
Another critical way to improve gut health is to focus on your whole grains rather than your overly-processed variants.
With more fibre, these grains provide more of a snack for your gut bacteria and keep your stomach and gut health in check. These different, high fibre grains are also going to help out when it comes to bowel movements.
8. Vegan And Vegetarian Diets Remain Supreme
To another, rather involved way to improve your gut health – consider taking the vegan route.
As science tells us, humans do far better when it comes to gut health when we rely on an all-plant-based diet, rather than one filled with red meats, dairy and fish. That in mind, these diets are generally high in fibre and more effective at maintaining gut health.
9. Understand Polyphenols
Our second to last consideration is to eat your high-polyphenol foods! These compounds assist our guts in keeping healthy and working effectively.
You can find these compounds in most fruit skins and almonds, green tea, raw cocoa, blueberries and broccoli. Upping your intake of these foods will work wonders for gut health.
10. Consider A Supplement
To end our list, you may want to consider a probiotic supplement.
If you’re not too sure about your gut health or don’t know whether you’re able to change your diet wholly, you may be able to improve your gut health with a supplement that actively adds and increases your gut bacteria.