How To Love Your Gut
Our gut, AKA the second brain.
It is believed by scientific professionals that our gut is the root of our overall health, if your gut is not healthy, you will not be healthy.
What we put into our bodies, from food to drink, and the medication we take, can have a huge toll on our gut and in turn, our weight, mood, mental health, and much more.
So, why is a healthy gut important and how can you live to love your gut?
7 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut
It can be hard to recognize these issues sometimes, however they can impact many elements of our health, including the brain, heart, immune system, skin, weight, hormone levels, food absorption, and even cancer formation.
There are a number of ways to help recognize if you have an unhealthy gut. Here are seven of the most common signs:
1.An upset stomach
2. Gas or bloating
3. Tiredness and issues sleeping
4. Skin problems or irritation
5. Food sensitivity
6. Unintentional weight gain
7. Mood issues
7 Steps to Improving Your Gut Health
High stress levels can have a lot of effects on the body, one being your gut. To lower these, you can try many things such as taking time out to journal, or simply making lists to help empty your mind, get plenty of fresh air by going for walks, drink less caffeine and taking time out to spend time with friends & family
Meals are easily finished off quickly, especially when you are hungry! It is important for your digestion to take time eating as this not only prevents any digestive discomfort but also helps your body to absorb all the nutrients from your food, aiding toward a healthier gut.
Sleep, as we know, is very important for many health reasons with gut health included. Try to get at least 7 hours of solid sleep per night. If you struggle getting to sleep at night ensure you are reducing screen time in the lead up, try reading or listening to a podcast, sleep music can also be super beneficial for some people too!
Probiotics are made up of live yeast and bacteria and are taken to ‘feed’ the good bacteria within your digestive system and gut. You can find foods with added probiotics or take them in the form of a tablet too.
Some of the top selling probiotic products:
- Garden of Life Probiotics – £31.95
- Indi Body – £45
Probiotic yoghurts such as:
- Yakult Milk Bottles £3
- Actimel Probiotic Yoghurt Drinks – £3.75
The mucosal lining of the intestines, as well as the balance of good bacteria in the gut are impacted by your hydration. Drinking plenty of water and keeping hydrated is a simple way to support a healthier gut.
Decreasing intake of foods high in sugar and fat is essential, ensure you have a balanced diet. Eating plenty of fibre and lean protein is important as these are critical for ‘feeding’ the beneficial bacteria.
In recent years the plant-based diet has become hugely popular, especially with the amount of meat substitutes growing, and this diet has been found to have a positive impact on the gut too.
Cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, rashes, nausea, fatigue, and acid reflux are all signs of potential food intolerances. If you suffer from any of the symptoms listed it is likely you may have an intolerance, the simplest way to work out what is to cut out and slowly re introduce types of food, such as dairy or gluten. Identifying the issue should help you alter you’re eating habits and make appositive impact on your digestive health.
Christmas time can be a particular wobble for our guts. Diets are scrapped and our weekends are filled with Christmas parties, cocktails, canapes and frantic Christmas shopping… almost all of the above we advise to avoid!
Obviously, you won’t be declining your social invites in order to look after your gut, but there are some simple things you can keep in mind…
- Don’t turn down the veggies at dinner
- Keep dancing, any exercise is good exercise!
- Red wine is your friend, pick your drinks wisely. You will be pleased to hear this tipple is high in polyphenols (micronutrients that provide energy for the microbes in our gut).
- Enjoy high fibre snacks like nuts, olives and popcorn rather than the crisps to help keep your immune system strong and gut nourished!
- Keep organised, don’t feel guilty for indulging in the naughty Christmas treats and take the time to enjoy the festivities with all your friends and family. Sing, dance, admire all the gorgeous parts of Christmas and keep those stress levels low!
Use the upcoming new year as a perfect time to learn more about loving your body and start implementing these little changes to make a huge difference!