If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think much about gut health. After all, it’s not exactly a glamorous topic. But your gut is an incredibly important part of your overall health and wellbeing, so it pays to give it some attention. Here are five easy steps you can take today to start improving your gut health.
Eat Plenty of Fiber
Fiber is essential for good gut health because it helps keep things moving through your digestive system. Eating plenty of fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds will help ensure that everything is flowing properly and efficiently there. Plus, fiber helps you stay full longer so you don’t have to worry about hunger pangs throughout the day.
Drink Enough Water
Staying hydrated is essential for optimal gut health because water helps keep those muscles in your digestive tract working properly. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day; if you’re exercising or spending time outdoors on hot days, be sure to drink even more!
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your intestines and help break down food and absorb nutrients from it. Taking probiotic supplements can help replenish the levels of good bacteria in your gut and keep things running smoothly down there. Look for products that contain “live cultures” or “active cultures” on the label; these are the most effective types of probiotic supplements available.
Reduce Stress Levels
Stress has a huge impact on gut health; when we’re stressed out our bodies produce hormones like cortisol which can interfere with digestion and lead to an imbalance of bacteria in the intestines. Try to incorporate activities into your daily routine that help reduce stress levels such as yoga, meditation or even just taking a few minutes each day to relax and unwind.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are loaded with preservatives, artificial colors and flavors which can wreak havoc on your digestion system over time. Try to limit how much processed food you eat each day by avoiding foods like chips, cookies, pre-packaged meals etc., and instead opt for natural options like fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
Taking steps towards improving your gut health doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated—just focus on eating nutrient-dense foods that provide plenty of fiber and probiotics while avoiding processed foods whenever possible, staying hydrated throughout the day, managing stress levels with calming activities like yoga or meditation—and don’t forget to take probiotics! Follow these simple tips regularly for long-term benefit—your body will thank you!
About the author:
Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2