Today, many of us struggle with having a healthy, balanced diet, getting enough exercise, enough sleep, and staying hydrated in the attempt to improve our general wellbeing and health. However, it’s very important to try to develop healthy habits in our eating which can significantly improve the health of our guts and ultimately our entire bodies. Our gut can influence the way in which we feel physically and mentally, so taking care of it is a worthwhile task. We’ve listed some of the best lifestyle changes you can make to help improve the health of your digestive system for the future.
Eating Less Sugar
One of the biggest contributors to obesity and poor health today is actually sugar. Excessive, processed sugary food and drink is damaging to both our guts, our teeth, and our mental health. There are studies that show that overeating sugary food can actually create an imbalance in your brain’s chemical production, which can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and depression. Long-term imbalances could even lead to the development of certain severe mental health disorders. When it comes to our physical health, sugar can lead to obesity, tooth decay, and severe diseases like diabetes. Try to cut down your intake of processed sugar significantly by replacing your sugary snacks and foods with healthier alternatives.
Cut Down On Saturated Fats
Fatty foods are also incredibly bad for your health and can lead to significant health problems if consumed in excess. Specifically, saturated fats can lead to increased levels of cholesterol and ultimately a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. To reduce your intake of saturated fats, you’ll want to reduce the number of processed foods, fatty meats, and dairy in your diet and instead switch over to unsaturated fat-containing foods such as nuts, fish, and avocado. As well as this, you’ll want to reduce your intake of sodium too which is found in most processed foods. Too much salt in your diet can increase your blood pressure, also leading to higher risks of heart-related diseases.
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated assists our general health and wellbeing no matter what, but specifically when it comes to our guts, drinking plenty of water can be very beneficial. Water improves the quality of the mucosal lining in your intestines and the motility of your bowels in general, helping you to keep regular and reduce the chances of constipation and more severe problems such as impacted bowels and inflammation. It’s also worth noting that drinking the right amount of water every day, which is about 15 and a half cups per day for men and 11 and a half for women, can actually reduce your hunger, ultimately helping you to lose weight or maintain a healthy one.
Revamping Your Gut’s Microbiome
Our digestive system is home to millions of bacteria that serve the purpose of helping you to digest your food. This bacteria includes many different strains that manage many different foods in your gut and a good biodiversity in your gut can reduce your chances of digestive issues such as bloating and indigestion. We tend to build up new strains of bacteria in our guts naturally from the foods we eat, but sometimes we can be lacking in both the right types of bacteria as well as the numbers we have. To boost this diversity, there are multi strain probiotic supplements that you can add to your diet which will help to replenish your microbiome as well as bolster it with new strains. To find out more information about multi strain probiotics, gut health and the ways in which you can improve yours, check out the Ruscio Institute, which specializes in functional medicine to improve health and reduce illness symptoms by getting to the core of the problem.
Many of us were likely told to chew our food more as a kid, or perhaps you do the same with your own children. You may think that this advice is mainly to stop people from getting indigestion, and while that does help, the main reason we chew our food is that it’s part of the digestive process. Our teeth along with our saliva, helps to break down food in the earliest stage of digestion so that our stomach has a much easier job of dissolving that food into the more basic elements. Chewing your food correctly will also help your body to realize it needs to produce digestive enzymes which will help to break down the food further. Once that breakdown has occurred, our intestines have a much easier task of absorbing nutrients into the body to make good use of them. If someone is instead failing to chew their food properly, this can stop the body from producing the necessary enzymes and lead to food failing to be digested properly. This can cause bloating and other digestive issues.
Consume More Fiber
While it’s important to eat everything in moderation, the chances are you don’t get enough fiber in your diet, especially if you’re having trouble with things like keeping regular bowel movements. The way fiber works in your diet is quite simple. It increases the weight and mass of your stools, while also making them softer and easier to pass. This is a remedy for both constipation and diarrhea as fiber will help to regulate your bowel movements properly.
Lower Stress Levels
Reducing your stress is also a very important way to improve your gut’s health. Our mental health and digestive systems are linked quite intensely. Intestines that have a problem will send signals to the brain which can impact our mood, and a stressed or anxious brain can do the same to the gut, causing us to experience digestive problems. In fact, one of the biggest triggers of irritable bowel syndrome is stress, causing excessive flatulence, bloating, cramps, and low-quality bowel movements. Finding ways to reduce your stress levels is a very important part of maintaining a good level of gut health as well as generally being good for your overall wellbeing—it’s important to remember the impact that mental health disorders can have on the rest of our bodies.