Gut Health. The buzz word in the health community lately, and for good reason. Your gut is responsible for keeping everything in order. Its responsibilities go beyond just digestion but also influences the foods you crave, to the weight you hold, to keeping your hormones balanced, to what’s happening on your skin, to how you feel… it quite literally does it all. Your gut is home to over 100 million neurotransmitters, 85% of your immunity, and is responsible for what genes are turned on and off. This is why when looking to kickstart a healthy lifestyle, the first step is balancing the gut.
When looking to balance the gut there are some simple steps that you can take starting today:
1. Eat a whole-foods diet
A diet that is rich in whole, unprocessed foods and vibrant in colors is one that is going to help your gut thrive. Whole-foods are loaded with fiber, which is an essential component in the detoxification process. Fiber’s other important job is feeding the good bacteria in your gut. When building a gut-healthy plate, focus on having a healthy serving of plants, good quality protein, and healthy fats.
2. Get in probiotics
Did you know that we are actually made up of 90% bacteria? Probiotics are what we refer to as the “good bacteria” that make up this percentage. We want to make sure that our body is in balance and flooded with as many good guys as we can, so getting a good quality probiotic is essential. On top of that, you want to focus on eating probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and tempeh to help maintain a healthy gut.
3. Drink plenty of water
This step could actually come first! Our body is basically a giant cucumber with feelings. Making sure that you are hydrating your cells so you can help your body detox and eliminate any unwanted toxins is important in maintaining good gut health. You want to aim for 2 liters a day, with 30-50 oz of that being right when you wake up to kick start your metabolism.
4. Manage Stress
The gut-brain connection is incredibly strong. If you’re struggling with digestive issues yet eating “all the right foods”, make sure to look at what’s happening off the plate. A chaotic, overworked brain leads to an inflamed body. This, in turn, results in an inflamed gut! Taking 5 minutes a day to implement a mindfulness practice has a monumental impact on your gut microbiome.
5. Get Good Quality Sleep
With stress on the rise, more people being nutrient deficient, and sunlight exposure on the decline; it’s no wonder that the majority of the population are finding it difficult to fall asleep at night. Your gut becomes imbalanced with just 2 nights of restless sleep! Implementing a nightly routine that allows you to tap into your rest and digest and getting those quality zzz’s is one of the main pillars in living a gut-friendly lifestyle!
✍ Article written by Laura Martin