Have you been sluggish lately or have had problems sleeping? Maybe your immune system is working as great as it used to? Even though a lot of those symptoms may be attributed to the common cold, it turns out it can be a completely different reason altogether. Gut health is something that we may overlook sometimes, but it’s extremely important that we take care of this part of our body in order to keep ourselves happy and healthy. To help you get started, we’ve come up with seven ways to improve gut health that are simple and straightforward.
Gut health refers to microorganisms (also called gut flora) being balanced within your body. If they’re unbalanced, this can cause problems including a weakened immune system, digestive issues, problems sleeping, or sudden skin rashes. To avoid all of this, listen to these tips.
Let’s get rid of the age-old idea that exercising's main goal is to lose weight. Turns out, a quick and easy workout can actually make a huge difference when it comes to gut health. By exercising regularly, this helps control any problems with obesity which directly contributes to balancing any microorganisms in the body. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym everyday, just take some time to get some cardio in and tone your muscles.
2. Eat more vegetables
Truth be told, cutting out red meats entirely is probably the best route to take when it comes to having the perfect gut health. However, going completely vegetarian isn’t necessarily possible for a lot of us. Instead of cutting out meat entirely, just make sure that you’re getting a good amount of vegetables in your diet. This can decrease inflammation, which in turn, helps your gut health tremendously.
3. Manage your sleep cycle
Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, a healthy sleep cycle is important to keep us energized throughout the day and our immune systems in check. Getting enough sleep can decrease inflammation in your body, improve your mood, and lower stress. Believe it or not, all of these factors directly influence the balance of gut flora in your body. So, make sure to get those seven hours of sleep!
4. Don't smoke
If you’re a regular smoker, you may want to continue cutting back or quitting once and for all. Not only does smoking harm our lungs, but carcinogens found in tobacco can influence the microorganisms in our body to the point that they may become harmful. We know that quitting an addictive habit can be difficult, but the less you smoke the more likely you can keep your gut health in check.
5. Eat less sweets
Every so often, all of us have a craving for something sweet. That’s completely fine, and sugars can be eaten in a healthy way when done in moderation, but it’s important not to overload. Eating too many of both pure sugars and artificial sweeteners can cause dysbiosis, which disrupts the balance of the microbes within your gut. So, consider switching out that cupcake for a carrot every so often.
We know it’s a lot easier said than done, but managing your stress levels throughout the day can surprisingly help control your gut flora. If your body experiences high levels of stress regularly, this can lead to inflammation which is bad news for your gut health. So, consider taking some time each day to relax and unwind with a calm walk around the block or meditation sequence.
7. Eat fermented & prebiotic fiber
You may be asking “what are these foods I just read?” Fermented foods and prebiotic fibers are actually a lot more common than you may think, and can be found in nearly every grocery store. Kimchi and kombucha qualify as “fermented” food items while asparagus and bananas are “prebiotic fibers.” So, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. These foods actually encourage healthy bacteria that we need in our bodies to multiply, which can help wipe out any harmful bacteria that may be in there and prevent gut inflammation.
When it comes to loving our bodies, we need to take care of every single part of it. By following these quick and easy steps you’ll feel healthier, relaxed, and more energetic to seize the day.