Having an unhealthy or bad gut contributes to a wide range of health issues. How often have you been struck by a sudden, ominous gut feeling? These instinctual emotions hold no logical legitimacy, yet we tend to rely on our gut feelings from time to time.
Our gut is incredibly complex, and research claims that it affects our immune system, moods, mental health, and holistic well-being. The gut microbiome houses more than 500 different species of bacteria, among which, some are beneficial for our health (good bacteria), while others are detrimental (bad bacteria). The balance of the gut flora is said to enhance digestive functions, help reduce obesity, regulate anxiety and depression, and grant other health benefits.
The above-mentioned symptoms indicate an unhappy, imbalanced or bad gut where the bad guys (bad bacteria) have overtaken the good ones. How can you reverse this and promote the growth of good bacteria? All you have to do is adopt a healthy lifestyle and fix certain aspects of your everyday habits. Here’s how you can keep your bad gut elated:
1. Chew Your Food Well
While this might sound trite, it is important to chew your food slowly and thoroughly while eating your meals. This will promote digestion and the proper absorption of essential nutrients. Chewing properly can also reduce digestive issues and provide relief from cramps while helping maintain a healthy gut.
2. Manage Stress Levels
If an individual remains chronically stressed throughout the day, their overall health is bound to suffer. Stress can have adverse effects on gut health and cause other mood-related problems. You can try lowering stress by:
Doing something creative, such as doodling or writing
Going out for a walk
Getting a relaxing massage
Watching funny videos
Spending quality time with loved ones
Practicing yoga or meditation
Playing with your pet, if you have one
3. Get Sufficient Sleep
If you do not get quality sleep, you feel sluggish and tired throughout the day. Insufficient sleep and erratic sleep cycles can impact gut health and cause further problems. Try getting at least 6-7 hours of quality sleep every night. You can massage your head with Ayurvedic oils before going to bed to help induce sleep.
4. Drink Ample Water
Another trite reminder: drinking water is extremely beneficial for overall health and wellness. It also benefits the intestines and helps restore balance in the gut. Drink at least 7-8 glasses of water a day, as dehydration can be fatal in certain scenarios.
5. Adopt A Healthy Diet
Cut off processed, high-sugar, and fatty foods from your diet and switch to healthy, leafy greens and lean proteins. A high-fiber diet can do wonders for your microbiome. Try eliminating trigger foods that are known to cause allergies or food intolerances, such as gluten. Collagen-boosting foods such as dairy and mushrooms can also improve gut health.
6. Consume A Daily Probiotic
Adding probiotic foods, along with a probiotic supplement to your diet can be immensely beneficial for your gut health. Along with probiotics, prebiotics act as ‘food’ for the growth of good bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria themselves! Make sure that you choose a high-quality, well-researched, and expertly-formulated probiotic supplement that is sugar-free and effective. It is best to consult a medical practitioner before consuming probiotics of any kind.
Feel the butterflies in your stomach; improve your gut health!