YOUR COMPLETE GUT HEALTH REGIMEN, FROM WHAT TO EAT TO HOW YOU WORKOUT
Our gut is quite the intricate being that has unique ties to all facets of our health, not just food. Aspects like how quickly we eat food to how much we move our bodies throughout the day all come back to the state of our gut. The good news for you: the tips below are not complicated and can easily be implemented into your current lifestyle.
One of the easiest practices we can put into action in regards to our gut health is to eat slowly. The food we eat is only digested and absorbed to be utilized when we eat in a parasympathetic state, or rest and digest. If we eat while we are stressed, in a sympathetic state (or fight or flight), the food passes through our digestive system undigested and in large particles. We are not able to extract any of the nutrients our bodies need from this so it messes with the flora in our gut. Try to set aside time for each meal, sit down, slow down, and actually enjoy the food.
Another prerequisite for a robust gut is movement! Plan to incorporate exercise throughout your week, however you enjoy moving your body most. When you enjoy the activity, this allows for the best chance of making it part of your routine. It has been found that regular exercise increases the amount of good bacteria in your gut and acts as a natural laxative, decreasing the amount of time food moves through your digestive tract keeping your colon healthy.
Probiotics need Prebiotics
While prebiotics are not talked about as much as probiotics, they need to be considered a must, as well! Prebiotics are the food--or fuel--that the probiotics and the already present flora in the gut need to flourish. Sources of prebiotics are green bananas like in Malua’s products, garlic, onion, and apples while sources of probiotics are yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
Eliminate Processed Foods & Refined Sugar
Processed foods are what you’ll find down the aisles of the grocery store, rather than the perimeter. They usually do not provide much nutritional value and increase the amount of unfavorable bacteria in the microbiome. To steer clear of this sugar when cooking or baking yourself, swap that out for local honey, agave, maple syrup, or applesauce. While these foods are still high in sugar, it comes from natural sources and are not man made. Refined sugar exacerbates any symptoms you might be having so if you encounter gut-related issues, refined sugar will only make those worse. If you are looking to satisfy a sweet craving, reachgrab for some fruit.
Eat the Rainbow
Produce was once a living thing containing its own microbiome and flora that we take on during consumption. The more diverse our produce intake is, the more diverse our gut will become. Set a goal to include 5 different colors with each meal, think of eating the rainbow, to obtain a variety of nutrients, therefore, a variety of good bacteria. A great way to diversify these plants is to shop at your local farmer’s market. These farmers are only able to grow produce according to the current season so this ensures you will be switching up what you’re eating at least quarterly during the year.
Last but not least, hydration. Most people run on the side of dehydration so adding in lots of water throughout the day is essential. It is best when sipped consistently over the course of the day rather than huge amounts a couple times here and there. This is where a reusable water bottle will be your best friend and you’ll want to purchase either glass or stainless steel. Carry that with you everywhere you go so there won’t be a chance of running out. Proper hydration helps to remove our bodies of toxins and flush out the bad bacteria.
While it might seem like I just added a long list of to-do’s to your already busy day, most of these take just minutes to complete and the outcome to your gut health will be tremendous. As we learned from, Prebiotics: Food to Fuel Your Immune System, our gut health is directly responsible for our full-body wellness.