July 23, 2024

The World's Local Health

10 Ways to Strengthen and Improve Gut Health

5 min read
10 Ways to Strengthen and Improve Gut Health

A healthy gut means having the right balance of microbes and tiny bacteria in your digestive tract. It translates to pleasant digestion, a better mood, a more robust immune system, and a healthy heart and brain.

The gut, also known as the gastrointestinal system or digestive system, digests the food we eat, sucks in nutrients from it, and uses them to supercharge and maintain our bodies. Undoubtedly, the gut plays a critical role in the well-being and health of our bodies.

That’s why it is crucial to take the necessary steps to strengthen and improve our gut health. For a little help, here are ways and strategies you can incorporate into your daily life for better digestive health.

Refrain from Taking Antibiotics Unnecessarily

Antibiotics are lifesavers when it comes to fighting bacterial infections, but they can also do a lot of damage if taken unnecessarily. Antibiotics kill both the good and bad bacteria in your gut, which can upset the delicate balance of your gut flora. And this can lead to several issues such as diarrhea, constipation, yeast overgrowth, and even obesity.

So if you don’t need antibiotics, don’t take them! There are plenty of other ways to fight bacterial infections. Try using natural remedies like garlic or ginger, drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest.

If you need antibiotics, make sure to take them only for the prescribed amount of time. But how to replenish good bacteria after antibiotics? Well, you can take probiotics afterward to help restore the balance of bacteria in your gut.

Reduce Stress

When you’re feeling stressed, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that can damage your gut health, it can lead to problems such as diarrhea, constipation, and stomach cramps. Plus, it can also make you more susceptible to infection.

Many different techniques can help you reduce stress, including yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work or pressure in your life, it might be helpful to seek support from a therapist or join a support group. In the longer term, it’s beneficial to make time for activities that you enjoy and spend quality time with friends and family members.

Eat Less Sugar

Sugar is an integral part of our diets, but too much sugar can damage our gut health. It can disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, leading to inflammation and other health problems.

So, how ca you reduce your sugar intake and protect your gut health? For one, avoid sugary drinks and snacks. Sodas, energy drinks, juices, and other sweetened beverages are loaded with sugar and can damage your gut health.

Try to stick to water or unsweetened tea instead. Also, avoid processed foods because they are high in sugar and unhealthy additives. Focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods packed with nutrients and antioxidants.

Eat Prebiotic Fiber

Prebiotic fiber is a type of fiber that isn’t digested by the small intestine. It travels to the large intestine, where it’s fermented by bacteria. This fermentation process produces SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids) that are beneficial for gut health.

There are many ways to get prebiotic fiber into your diet. Some good sources of prebiotic fiber include:

  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Onion
  • Chicory root
  • Banana (ripe)

A healthy balance is about 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams for men.

Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can hurt your gut health. When you’re tired, your body cannot fight off infection and disease as well as it would when you’re well-rested. And this can lead to an inflamed intestine, which could contribute to a leaky gut syndrome.

Aim for somewhere around seven to nine hours of sleep every night. If you find that you’re struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, try practicing some relaxation techniques before bedtime or consult with your doctor about possible sleep disorders.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your gut health. Not only does it increase your risk of cancer, but it also damages the lining of your gut, making it more susceptible to infection and inflammation.

What’s more, smoking is a major cause of digestive complaints such as indigestion, bloating, and nausea. The smoke damages the cells in your esophagus, which causes them to release more acid into your stomach, leading to heartburn or even ulcers. In fact, smokers are twice as likely to develop an ulcer than non-smokers.

If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your gut health and overall well-being! Not only will it protect against cancer, but it could even reduce some digestive problems such as heartburn and nausea.

Eat Fermented Foods

Fermented foods can help to improve digestion, boost the immune system, and increase the absorption of nutrients. The fermentation process breaks down the complex sugars found in vegetables, allowing easier digestion. They also increase beneficial bacteria and help to crowd out harmful microorganisms from your gut flora. Some good examples of fermented foods are sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, and miso.

Exercise Regularly

We develop poor eating habits from a sedentary lifestyle, resulting in an increased risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or obesity. Numerous studies have also linked sedentary behavior with increased rates of anxiety and depression.

It is essential to find balance and make time for physical activity. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins which improve mood and reduce stress levels. Exercise also helps to regulate digestion and improve gut health.

So, how much exercise do you need? The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 2-3 hours per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 1 hour per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. You can break this up into shorter sessions if that is more manageable.

Limit Alcohol Intake

Heavy drinking can lead to inflammation of the gut and other problems like diarrhea and vomiting. That’s why it’s crucial to limit your alcohol intake if you want to keep your gut healthy. Remember to drink responsibly!

Choose Lean Meats

Protein is an essential part of a balanced diet, and it’s vital if you’re trying to improve your gut health. Lean meats are a great choice because they’re high in protein and low in fat. And they’re not only good for your gut health, but they’re also good for your overall health. So, choose lean meats such as chicken breast and fish when you’re aiming to improve your gut health.

Final Thoughts

Many studies have shown that unhealthy gut flora can lead to chronic diseases like heart problems and diabetes. The best way to maintain a healthy digestive tract is to exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and eat a range of fresh, whole foods.