Your gut is made of millions of bacteria, both good and bad. Known as the microbiome, these bacteria play a key role in the digestive function. The good ones, in particular, make you healthy and boost your immunity as well. The bad ones, on the other hand, may hamper digestion but you cannot eliminate them completely from your system. The key to good health lies in maintaining a balance in their numbers. When these microorganisms are in a balanced state, your gut is healthy. Promoting and maintaining gut health is all about eating right and following a healthy lifestyle. Here are some lifestyle changes that you can rely on for having a healthy gut.
Increase probiotic intake
Probiotics refer to the beneficial bacteria that strengthen your gut and boost your digestive health. They prevent gut inflammation and build a healthy microbiome as well. Fermented foods such as Greek yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and miso are the natural sources of probiotics. You can easily include them in your diet for a healthy gut because these foods are readily available. Alternatively, you can rely on probiotic supplements as well.
In addition to increasing your probiotic intake, you should have plenty of prebiotics too. These are the indigestible fibers which nourish the healthy bacteria in your gut and fortify its health. Onions, garlic, asparagus, bananas, and dandelion greens are some foods that deliver a hefty supply of this gut-friendly fiber. You can also invest in a food-based prebiotic powder for enhancing your gut’s health.
Steer clear of toxins
While you should eat plenty of probiotics and prebiotics every day, steering clear of toxins is equally vital. Toxins are capable of depleting the healthy bacteria in your microbiome and putting it out of balance. Unfortunately, they can enter your body through ways other than food and water. There are toxins in the air and these can enter your system through breathing. Reducing exposure to environmental pollutants helps. Similarly, you should avoid the use of chemical cleaners, pesticides, cosmetics, and personal care products o keep them at bay.
Cut down on sugar
Just like toxins, sugar too can harm the good guys in there and cause an imbalance of the gut microbes. Not only the sugar-laden foods but artificial sweeteners are equally harmful in this context. So the best bet to keep your microbiome healthy and balanced is by reducing your sugar intake. Eliminate processed and sugary foods from your diet and avoid alcohol and sugary drinks as well. You will see the difference soon!
Stay away from stress
Beyond just changing your dietary habits, you need to focus on your lifestyle to keep your gut in great condition. According to this piece of information by Microbe Formulas, constipation, diarrhea and bloating are the main symptoms of poor gut health. While working on your dietary patterns can resolve these problems, managing stress is equally important for keeping them at bay. Invest in stress management techniques such as deep breathing and meditation and make them a part of your daily routine to maintain your gut health and prevent digestive issues.
Avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics
Though it may be absolutely necessary to take antibiotics to resolve infections, you should avoid using them unless essential. While these medications do kill the harmful germs, they can deplete the good ones as well. So the abuse of antibiotics can destroy the balance of your microbiome beyond repair. Additionally, excess use can also cause antibiotic resistance, which means that these medications will not benefit you in the long run. Look for safer alternatives such as herbal medicines to protect your gut health.
Make exercise a part of your routine
Another lifestyle change that can make your gut healthier is maintaining a more active routine. Making exercise a part of your daily routine is the best way to do so. Studies have proved that working out increases the diversity of bacterial species in your microbiome, which makes it healthier. Indulge in any activity that you enjoy bur remember that being regular is the key. Regular exercise also keeps you fit, prevents obesity and improves the digestive function too.
Spend time outdoors
While exercise plays a significant role in keeping your gut in great shape, you cannot ignore the value of spending time outdoors. It gives you exposure to nature, soil, and animals so that you interact with a plethora of bacteria. This will ultimately strengthen your gut microbiome naturally and make it capable of countering disease.
Just as spending time outdoors can make your gut healthier, getting dirty can help too. You may be surprised to know that being too hygienic can actually weaken your system and reduce its ability to fight disease and infection. Exposure to germs, on the other hand, trains your gut microbiome to beat the enemy more effectively and become stronger as well. Rather than investing in expensive sanitizing products and antibacterial soaps, just follow the basic hygiene rules and stick to natural soaps and water.
Get plenty of sleep
Another lifestyle modification that has a far-reaching impact on your gut’s health is good sleep. Giving your body plenty of rest provides time out to the good bacteria in there so that they can rest and rejuvenate themselves after all the hard work they do throughout the day. Make sure that you follow the routine of at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Stay away from gadgets at bedtime and do some breathing exercises for good rest and sleep.
Now that you know all about the lifestyle factors that can impact the health of your gut, you should make all the efforts to integrate them into your daily routine. These changes are easy to implement as they do not involve much work but the impact that they can make on your overall health is immense. So you should start watching what you eat and eliminate stress, inactivity, and toxins from your life. Just exercise, relax, get enough sleep and let the good guys in there thrive!