9 Ways to Improve Your Gut Health
You may have heard of or seen products that claim to improve your gut health. But what does a healthy gut means in terms of your overall wellness? Research has linked the gut to digestion, mood, mental health, and overall wellness, making it an area of focus when it comes to medicine and promoting a healthier life. Not only have studies found evidence to suggest a correlation between gut microbiota and both gastrointestinal and extragastrointestinal diseases, but inflammation in the gut also may contribute to mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. To help you live a healthy, happy life, we’re sharing some of the best ways to improve your gut health.
Ways to Improve Your Gut Health
Exercise gets the blood pumping through the body, which carries oxygen to the brain, lungs, and muscles. This oxygen delivery promotes metabolic reactions within the body, including the gut. When these metabolic reactions occur in the gut, it benefits digestive function and expedites digestion.
Check your mental health
There is evidence to suggest a strong link between gut health and mental health. While an unhealthy gut may cause mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, poor gut health may also be the product of these illnesses. The brain and the gastrointestinal system are closely connected, so your gut may benefit from speaking to a counselor or seeing a specialist for other mental health treatments.
Staying hydrated benefits your entire body, including your gut. Drinking 48 to 64 ounces of water each day helps balance the necessary good bacteria in the gut, in addition to helping the lining of the intestines.
Increase your fiber intake
Fruits and vegetables are naturally rich in fiber that promotes healthy bacteria in the gut. Studies have shown that the average American falls short when it comes to the recommended fiber consumption, so make sure you’re eating a balanced diet.
Probiotics are live bacteria that can contribute to optimum gut health. Yogurt, aged cheeses, and kombucha are all examples of food that contain probiotics.
Taking time to relax and reduce stress levels doesn’t just help your mental health; it can also improve your gut health. Time spent with loved ones, hobbies, yoga, walking, or reading can help you de-stress.
Get your 8 hours
Sleep is another foundation of a healthy life. In addition to benefiting every system in the body, getting a good night’s sleep can help keep stress levels down and improve your gut health.
Taking time to chew thoroughly while eating is a great way to aid digestion and ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs from the food you consume. Slowing down also may relieve digestive discomfort and help maintain a healthy gut.
Check for food sensitivities
Food intolerances can cause a wide array of gastrointestinal symptoms, including bloating, diarrhea, cramping, nausea, and acid reflux. An elimination diet may help you pinpoint your trigger foods and allow for better gut health.
Make adjustments to your diet
In addition to eliminating any food that may cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms, it’s also a good idea to reduce or monitor your intake of processed foods, refined sugars, and fats. This change to your diet benefits your gut health; it can also help lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Contact Birmingham Gastroenterology
A gastroenterologist is best equipped to diagnose the underlying cause of any possible gastrointestinal condition. If you are looking for ways to improve your gut health, Birmingham Gastroenterology can help. We have decades of experience treating diseases and disorders in all parts of the digestive system. To make an appointment to discuss your symptoms and treatment options or ask questions about activities that help aid digestion, call us at (205) 271-8000.