How To Improve Gut Health Naturally
Why is gut health important? Our guts are home to trillions of good bacteria that helps to keep them in working order. When they’re running at full capacity, we can feel the benefits across our entire body. Here are some top tips to keep our hard-working insides happy.
Signs you might have an unhealthy gut
Noticing that your gut could do with a bit of TLC isn’t always as easy to spot as noticing when your laptop or phone needs charging, there isn’t a ‘recharge now’ alert... yet, anyway. But there are some signs that together might mean you can improve things. These are:
- An upset stomach – bloating, gas, irregular bowel movements or abdominal discomfort
- Fatigue or interrupted sleep
- Irritated skin – from acne to eczema, the balance of bacteria in our gut is linked to skin inflammation
- Allergies and food intolerances – you might already be aware that a certain food type doesn’t sit well with your general digestive system, but these can also be linked to an unhealthy gut
- Unplanned weight changes – an unhealthy gut can affect the levels of nutrients our bodies absorb from our diet as well as how it stores fats and uses blood-sugars
Lifestyle tips to improve your gut health
There are a few simple steps we can take in our daily lives that are effective and simple to incorporate to help improve gut health. These include (but aren’t limited to):
- Think about stresses – if you’re finding yourself more stressed than normal, discovering methods to re-centre yourself can help. Have a look into meditations, mindfulness and breathing exercises to help let unnecessary tensions roll over you like a pro – we love Headspace for this
- The same goes for sleeping patterns – have a read of this post about achieving good sleep hygiene for tips on getting the best quality shut-eye to face the day and even help your gut
- Have you tried intermittent fasting? Just like us, sometimes our guts need a break too, so allowing it to rest up could improve its functionality. If this isn’t practical with your routine, making sure you eat dinner early and breakfast late could be just as effective – read more about intermittent fasting here
- Alcoholic drinks affect our gut’s efficiency, so reducing alcohol consumption will allow your gut to do its job better
- Exercise for your gut’s health – moving about a bit more can help diversify the range of bacteria in your gut
Vegan-friendly tips for a healthier gut
We know just how important eating the right stuff is, so luckily there are plenty of ways to make your gut happier whilst still eating some of your favourite meals as part of a fun and balanced diet. It’s mostly about getting as many diverse fibres as possible as they promote the regrowth of good bacteria in our guts.
- Go fully plant-powered or vegan...ish – changing up our diets to include a wider range of plant-based foods brings with it a diverse range of fibres and bacteria, equaling a healthier gut that our insides will be truly thankful for
- Choose whole grains – again, this is about boosting our fibre intake along with non-digestible carbs, giving our digestive systems a good work out
- Up your intake of fruits, vegetables and legumes – these are all elements of our diets that we know we should probably eat a bit more of for many reasons, but when it comes to our guts, it’s once again for their all-important fibre content
- Eat fermented foods and your gut will love you – this can be anything from kombucha to tempeh or our favourite, kimchi (here’s a simple guide to making your own at home) as they’re all naturally high in probiotics
- Ditch the artificial sweeteners – although they may reduce weight gain, they also negatively affect our blood sugars and then gut functionality and health
We hope a combination of these techniques might do the trick to improve your gut health naturally, but If they don’t reinvigorate you and your gut, chat to your GP.
By Fabian Jackson
Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.