Top 6 Tips to Promote Gut Health


Top 6 Tips to Promote Gut Health

Keeping your digestive system in good shape is crucial for your overall health. In particular, your stomach and intestines are responsible for breaking down food into nutrients and sending it to the bloodstream.

If your gut is in bad shape, you may not receive proper nutrition and end up experiencing a host of diseases. These include conditions like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nutritional malabsorption, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and food intolerances. Sometimes, poor digestive health can also lead to diabetes, mood disorders, and even sleeping issues.

To keep your digestive system healthy, here are some tips you can follow:

Eat a High-Fiber Diet
You’ve probably heard this health tip more than once, but it still bears repeating because it’s very important: to keep your gut—and your entire body—healthy, it’s best to eat a high-fiber diet. This means eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

With sufficient dietary fiber, your stomach will be able to move its contents more efficiently; this results in a lower risk of getting constipated. In addition, dietary fiber also helps you maintain a healthy weight, lower your cholesterol levels and blood sugar, as well as reducing the risk of developing diseases like cancer and cardiovascular issues.

Do note that there are two kinds of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. The former dissolves in water and the other does not. Soluble fiber can be found in citrus fruits, oats, beans, peas, and carrots, among other sources. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, can be found in whole wheat, nuts, cauliflower, and potatoes.

Eat Whole Foods
In relation to eating a high-fiber diet, eating whole foods is also crucial to your gut health. In simple terms, whole foods are the opposite of processed foods. As such, they are low in things like saturated fats, trans fats, sugar, sodium, and food additives, which have been found to increase the risk of gut inflammation. This condition, in turn, can lead to a variety of digestive disorders.

Some examples of whole foods, aside from fruits and vegetables, include nuts, beans, eggs, cheese, and seafood. In fact, practically all foods are whole foods as long as they aren’t processed in any way other than cooking. 

Get Both Probiotics and Prebiotics
One of the things that keep your gut healthy is a balance of good bacteria. To maintain this balance, you need to incorporate probiotics and prebiotics into your diet. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast, often called “good bacteria,” and can be found in foods like yogurt, kimchi, miso, kombucha, and pickles. Aside from maintaining good digestive health, probiotics have also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease; some studies also say that probiotics can help promote good skin.

Meanwhile, prebiotics is what probiotics eat so they can thrive. Some sources of prebiotics are fresh fruits and vegetables, onions, as well as legumes.

Drink Plenty of Water
Proper hydration can help prevent digestive issues like constipation, as well as help in the proper processing and absorption of nutrients. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to stay hydrated the whole day. The food you eat already contains fluids, especially fruits and vegetables that are high in water (citrus fruits, watermelon, and cucumber are good examples).

Of course, the best way to stay hydrated is to drink the recommended amount of water daily. This can vary depending on your gender and weight, as well as your level of activity. For example, if you work out a lot, you’re going to need more water to replenish what you’ve lost through perspiration. To be safe, adults should aim to drink about 2 liters of water every day.

Quit Smoking and Minimize Alcohol and Caffeine Consumption
Smoking is a bad habit not only for your lungs but also for your stomach. The chemicals present in tobacco can increase the risk for a variety of digestive diseases, including liver disease, Crohn’s disease, gallstones, and certain types of cancer. In addition, smoking can also aggravate diseases like pancreatitis. Meanwhile, alcohol and caffeine can disrupt the proper functioning of the stomach and intestines. This can cause or worsen problems like heartburn and peptic ulcers.

To keep your digestive system healthy, it’s best to stop smoking completely. When it comes to alcohol and caffeinated beverages, try to limit your consumption to the recommended amounts per day.

Practice Mindful Eating
Keeping your stomach healthy isn’t all about what you eat. It’s also about how you eat. This is called mindful eating. To practice this, one of the first things you have to get used to is chewing properly and thoroughly. This allows your digestive enzymes to break down the food more efficiently. As a result, your stomach doesn’t have to work as hard; even better, your body is also able to absorb more nutrients.
When you eat mindfully, you also avoid eating too much. This can then reduce the risk of bloating, constipation, heartburn, and indigestion. 

Other things you can do to eat more mindfully include:

● Turn off the TV and don’t use your smartphone or tablet while eating
● Focus on the sensory experiences: how your food looks, smells, and feels in your mouth
● Savor the taste of your food
● Take a good-sized bite or spoonful of food—not too small nor too big.

When your digestive system is in good shape, your entire body follows. Remember the above-mentioned tips for better gut health.

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