Our health has been linked to our gut. Science calls the gut our second brain, and it is created by billions of bacteria. While that might sound unpleasant, the bacteria are friendly and beneficial. Additional, proper digestion helps prevent gas, bloating, neuromuscular diseases, constipation, and other gastrointestinal issues. So, to help keep your gut healthy and functioning properly, here are some things to add to the diet and lifestyle.
Take a Probiotic
Certain bacterial strains, called probiotics, have been found to maintain intestinal microflora. There are hundreds of probiotic supplements available these days in grocery stores, both in your town and online. To find a quality probiotic, look for the following qualities:
- Pills instead of liquids, since pills help the bacteria survive through the stomach acid.
- Pills that contain multiple strains of bacteria, since some help with fiber digestion, vitamin absorption, bowel regularity, and other benefits.
- Probiotic supplements that contain 50-75 billion colony forming units (CFUs).
Eat Fermented Foods (In Moderation)
Fermented foods are an excellent way to get healthy gut bacteria without having to eat too much or take supplements. While you should never overdo any one kind of food, you have to be particularly careful with overeating fermented foods. Sometimes, too much of a good thing upsets balance, and that’s exactly what happens here. Limit fermented food to a couple of servings throughout the week.
Here are some of the best fermented foods for the gut:
Eat Prebiotic Foods
Aside from probiotics, there are foods that contain chemicals that aid in creating a proper environment for good bacteria. The best prebiotic foods include raw onions, garlic, and bananas.
Stay Away From Refined Sugar
Processed sugar has dozens of negative impacts on the body, including obesity. Other effects of refined sugar include hormonal imbalances, weight gain, and inflammation throughout the gut. Good bacteria do not prefer sugar, while bad bacteria will flourish with too much sugar, upsetting balance in the microbiome.
Avoid Stress As Much As Possible
The gut/brain connection ties the spinal cord to the intestinal wall through neurons. Thus, it makes sense that when you are stressed, those signals are sent through the central nervous system and into the stomach. Your stomach is undoubtedly affected by this.
Some tactics for reducing stress include a clean, wholesome diet; using aromatherapy and essential oils; meditating and practicing mindfulness; and getting enough physical activity.
There you have it—5 things for keeping your gut healthy. Although gut health can seem complicated, it really comes down to avoiding irritating ingredients that are devoid of nutrition and limiting the negative impact of stress on the body.