Let’s talk gut health. Several studies have demonstrated links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and cancer.
Many factors can cause an unbalanced gut, including low sleep, high-stress levels, and processed and high-sugar foods. Professionals like to say, “Your gut is your second brain.”
Here are the most common signs that your gut needs some love:
- Stomach issues: This is a no-brainer. Stomach disturbances like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut.
- Too many processed foods: A diet high in processed foods and added sugars can decrease the number of good bacteria in your gut. This imbalance can cause increased sugar cravings, which can damage your gut still further. High amounts of refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup have been linked to increased inflammation in the body.
- Weight changes: Fluctuations in your weight can indicate an unhealthy gut. An imbalanced gut can affect your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar, and store fat.
- Fatigue: An unhealthy gut can lead to sleep disturbances such as insomnia or poor sleep and lead to chronic fatigue.
- Autoimmune conditions: Medical researchers are continually finding new evidence of the impact of the gut on the immune system. An unhealthy gut may increase systemic inflammation and alter the proper functioning of the immune system. This can lead to autoimmune diseases, where the body attacks itself rather than harmful invaders.
But don’t sweat it! You can heal your gut and get back to feeling your best self.
Top Ways to Improve Your Gut Health
- Manage stress levels: High-stress levels are hard on basically every aspect of your life, even your gut. Take time for yourself to lower stress levels. If you’re too busy to care for yourself, we must shift your responsibilities. Try meditation, walking, spending time with loved ones, decreasing caffeine intake, laughing, yoga, or reading a good book.
- Sleep: We all love to sleep, so why don’t we get more of it? Not getting the right amount of sleep can have serious impacts on your gut health and your overall well-being. Try to prioritize getting at least 7–8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Tip: Don’t scroll through social media before bed; that can wire your brain to be more alert and struggle to fall asleep. Instead, opt for reading or journaling before bed.
- Eat slowly: Chewing your food thoroughly helps promote full digestion and absorption of nutrients. This may help you reduce digestive discomfort and maintain a healthy gut. This also lets your body know when you are full by taking the time to eat your food mindfully. Take the time to eat your meals and enjoy it! As humans, it’s common for us to rush through eating or other tasks in our life. Just slow down and enjoy.
- Water. Water. Water: You hear this all the time; stay hydrated. There are numerous benefits of drinking water, including a beneficial effect on the mucosal lining of the intestines and the balance of good bacteria in the gut. Get a water bottle you love and bring it everywhere with you!
- Change your diet: Reducing the amount of processed, high-sugar, and high-fat foods you eat can contribute to better gut health. Additionally, eating plenty of plant-based foods and lean protein can positively impact your gut.
- Eat Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies: ACV is a liquid made from fermented apple juice mixed with yeast and "good" bacteria that eventually becomes vinegar, an acetic acid. The bacteria, often called the mother, consists of strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria responsible for all health benefits. Apple cider vinegar gummies offer even more added benefits without the harsh side effects.
Types of Food for Gut Health
Your diet plays a big role in your gut health. Avoid processed foods, high-fat foods, and foods high in refined sugars because these foods destroy good bacteria and promote the growth of damaging bacteria. On the bright side, some foods actively promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, contributing to your overall health.
- High-fiber foods: legumes, beans, peas, oats, bananas, berries, asparagus, and leeks have shown a positive impact on gut health.
- Garlic and onion
- Fermented foods: kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, tempeh, miso, and kefir are great dietary sources of probiotics.
- Collagen: bone broth, salmon, supplements (See our Supplements to add to your routine here)
The human gut has a huge impact on whole-body health. A healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, heart health, brain health, improved mood, healthy sleep, and effective digestion, and it may help prevent some cancers and autoimmune diseases. There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to positively affect your gut health and your overall health as a result.
Life is too short to sit in a doctor’s office
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