A happy gut means a happy life. Mood, immunity, even fertility all relate back to how well or poorly we digest our food. So if you want to be your healthiest, you need to tend to your gut health. Mandurah, today we look at five simple steps to heal your gut.
Put the good stuff in If you want to heal your gut, you need to think of it as a garden. You want to plant lots of lovely plants. In this case, those lovely plants are probiotics.
Probiotics are micro-organisms that bestow health benefits. They can help improve digestion, reduce inflammation, boost immunity and even keep your skin youthful. There's two ways to add probiotics in. You can either take a supplement, or you can include fermented foods into your daily diet. Kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi are all great sources of probiotics.
Keep happy bacteria fed Once you've planted your good seeds, you need to keep them nourished. Probiotics need fuel to survive just like us. That's where prebiotics come in.
Prebiotics are a specific kind of fibre. We don't digest it, but the good gut flora use it as fuel. This encourages the growth and activity, which means a happier tummy for you. Prebiotic fibre can be found in foods such as onion, garlic, leeks, beetroot, cabbage, legumes, nuts and seeds. For best results, include them daily. A handy tip: adding sauerkraut into your diet can supply you with probiotics and prebiotics in one easy dose!
Take the bad stuff out If your gut is a garden, you don't want to feed the weeds. That's why it's important to keep poor food choices to a minimum.
Caffeine, alcohol and refined sugars should be kept to a minimum. However, it's just as essential that you eliminate any food allergies or intolerances you might be dealing with. Not sure if you have an issue with a particular food? Try keeping a food diary, and note how you feel during and after eating that food. For example, if you feel bloated after consuming milk, you might have a dairy intolerance.
Boost your enzymes Some people may struggle to digest food properly, and need a boost of digestive enzymes.
Have you ever felt heavy after a good serve of protein? You might have low stomach acid. Feel queasy after a fatty meal? You might not be producing enough fat-digesting enzymes. There are natural solutions. For protein, make sure you marinate your meats before consumption. Avoid drinking too much water around meal time. When it comes to fats, including bitter foods such as lemon, rocket and dandelion can help stimulate bile production. If you're still struggling, an enzyme supplement might be the answer.
Don't worry, be happy What you put in your body is important. But how your body feels is just as important. Stress can have a huge impact on digestive health.
It's hard to keep stress down sometimes. But even just a few moments of deep breathing before sitting down to your meal can help switch on your 'rest and digest' nervous system.
If you want to heal your gut naturally, these steps will have you well on your way to peak digestive health.
Sam is an inspired nutritionist (BHSc), health writer and speaker. Her passion lies in sharing her knowledge and helping people to find their own path to a thriving life. You can find her at www.samanthagemm