Did you know that the human gut is closely connected to many of the most important systems in your body?
Researchers in recent years are now finding that gut health is not quite as simple as just digesting food and expelling waste.
Why is this important?
Gut health may actually be much more complex than we originally thought. It is now believed to play a major role on your entire body’s health.
This means that many of the health issues and imbalances you may be struggling with could, in some way, be tied to the quality of your gut health.
Maintaining healthy gut bacteria helps your body maintain a strong immune system, prevent many illnesses and autoimmune diseases, have a restful night’s sleep, and improve mental clarity and healthy cognitive functioning. In addition, it also promotes healthy digestion, improved mood, and much more.
Do you have poor gut health?
Have you been suffering from indigestion, upset stomach, food sensitivities, chronic skin problems, autoimmune disease, fatigue, or unexplained weight changes?
These symptoms can very often be traced back to your gut in one way or another.
Although there is much more research to be done on the gut/body relationship, these are all good indicators that your gut microbiome may be in need of some healing.
Here are 10 simple ways to begin healing your gut:
1. Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is an essential part of any holistic health plan and without it, your body misses out on vital recovery times. This is no different when it comes to gut health.
Try aiming for a minimum of 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to give your gut a chance to heal and balance itself while you rest. When your body isn’t properly rested, it throws appetite-controlling hormones such asghrelin and leptin out of balance, slowing your metabolism and impairing insulin sensitivity.
One study found that people getting less than six hours of sleep per night had a 30 percent higher chance of gaining weight or becoming obese than people getting six to nine hours.
2. Consume Bone Broth Or Collagen Peptides
There is some evidence that suggests that collagen-rich foods and supplements may also be beneficial for gut health. A high quality bone broth or hydrolyzed collagen, where the collagen has been broken down for better absorption, has been shown to improve digestion, improve nutrient absorption, and balance stomach acid secretion.
The rich amino acids contained in collagen, such as Glutamine and Glycine, can help prevent inflammation in the gut and improve overall digestive health.
3. Check Magnesium Levels
There’s a chance that your gut may be suffering due to low levels of magnesium in your diet. Magnesium is an essential nutrient that can be found in high amounts in almonds, dark chocolate, bananas, avocado, spinach, tofu, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, and quinoa.
Although magnesium deficiency can sometimes be tricky to clinically diagnose, some research suggests that as much as 80% of people may be magnesium-deficient. One study found that magnesium-deficient diets negatively affected gut microbial diversity in mice, as well as caused symptoms of anxiety and depression.
4. Manage Negative Emotions And Stress Levels
If you’ve ever had an upset stomach before an important business meeting or lost your appetite completely after a difficult life event, you’re already familiar with the connection between your mind and your gut.
When you experience stress, anxiety or depression, your brain sends “fight or flight” signals to the rest of your body that often have a big impact on your gut health. Many studies have found stress to be associated with multiple GI disorders and largely responsible for significant changes in gut microbiota.
Finding healthy ways to take control of your emotions, such as meditating, journaling or even stress-relieving classes such as kickboxing, can have a huge impact on settling emotionally-driven gut issues.
5. Keep Hydrated
One of the easiest but most powerful ways that you can promote gut healing is by drinking plenty of water. By staying hydrated, you will assist your gut in dispelling unhealthy bacteria and promote a healthy mucosal lining in the intestines.
Actively “flushing out” imbalances in your gut with plenty of H20 will help restore balance to your system and make room for healthy gut microbiota to flourish. Although recommended water intake can vary, having water with you on the go and sipping it throughout the day can really make a huge difference!
6. Try High Quality Prebiotics Or Probiotics
Sometimes your body needs a little extra help to repair itself. That’s where supplements such as prebiotics, probiotics, and certain fermented foods make an excellent option.
Probiotics are live microorganisms taken as a supplement that are designed to improve or restore healthy gut flora. They can also often be found in yogurts and many fermented foods. Prebiotics are specific foods that are said to help promote friendly gut bacteria.
It’s important to consult with a medical professional when supplementing with probiotics if you have any existing medical conditions, as individuals with SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) should generally not take probiotics.
7. Eat A Balanced Diet
Diet and gut health are very closely tied to one another. For this reason, focusing on a nutritious, balanced diet is perhaps the most important step you can take when it comes to healing your gut.
Simply changing the way you eat and finding what works best for you can be one of the quickest and simplest ways to quickly relieve gut issues. It’s best to avoid sugary, fried, fatty, and processed foods at all costs and replace them instead with foods high in nutrients, healthy fats, lean protein, and plenty of fiber.
These unhealthy foods have been shown to destroy healthy gut bacteria and may also promote the growth of damaging gut bacteria. Eating smaller amounts at consistent, regular meal times has also been shown to improve digestive troubles in many cases.
8. Pinpoint Food Sensitivities
In the case of the chicken and the egg, it can sometimes be difficult to track down whether food intolerances are causing your gut issues or if an unhealthy gut is causing specific digestive issues.
Either way, trying an elimination diet to find the culprit and then avoiding trigger foods can greatly alleviate gut issues. It’s possible that once the gut has returned to good health, you may be able to tolerate trigger foods again in the future.
It’s important to remember that food intolerance is different from food allergies, where the body’s immune system attacks specific triggers.
9. Exercise more
Have you found any natural remedies for healing your gut? Let us know in the comments below!