Your gut is known to play a vital role in your digestive system, and inside it lives many types of bacteria that are both good and bad. Good gut health means you have more of the good bacteria to fight out the bad, so your system would function well.
When your gut health gets compromised, it’s not the only system that gets disturbed. Since it’s responsible for breaking down the food you take and carrying the nutrients you need, your entire body suffers as well. Hence, it’s important to be mindful of what you take in as well as what kind of lifestyle you lead to better maintain your gut.
Diet Changes To Improve Your Gut Health
As you aim to take good care of your overall health, you shouldn’t forget about your digestive health. You are what you eat, so it’s not surprising that among the many changes you can create in your body, altering your diet and food intake is one of the best things you can do. Your gut health affects your entire body, so this isn’t one for you to take lightly.
This article gives you everything you need to know about your gut health, with emphasis on the diet changes you can do.
- Take A Probiotic Supplement
It’s important not to decide on your own. This isn’t meant to be a substitute for sound, medical advice you can have from your doctor or your nutritionist.
So, if you wish to follow this tip, be sure to bring it up with your doctor first. By doing so, you can be guided in choosing the best probiotic for you, as well as the limitations of how much you can take within a day. Also, you’d be assured the supplement you’d take would truly be beneficial for your body.
A probiotic supplement isn’t the magic cure to all your digestive and colon health problems. But because it contains good bacteria, it may improve your gut health by supplying your body with more of the good bacteria it’s lacking. Taking in probiotics may also improve your overall health and immune system. You can find probiotics for bacterial vaginosis that will help you fight the infection.
Generally, a good probiotic supplement should have either or all of these families of bacteria:
- Lactobacillus. These can help increase the already-existing population of lactobacillus in your small intestine to possibly aid in better digestion and improve your immune system;
- Bifidobacteria. This family of bacteria is most predominant in your large intestine or your colon. When taken in through your probiotic supplement, bifidobacteria produces an important short-chain fatty acid known as butyrate, which is responsible for supplying the colon’s needed energy for it to function properly;
- Saccharomyces. This is a good type of yeast, which may protect the gut from microbial imbalance and may potentially improve the health of your intestinal lining.
With that said, here are some important tips to remember when choosing a probiotic supplement:
- Choose a probiotic with billions of microorganisms;
- Choose a supplement with multiple strains or kinds of bacteria, so it’s diverse enough to meet your digestive system’s needs;
- Be on the lookout for binders and fillers, so you can minimize these as much as possible.
- Consume Fiber-Packed And Probiotic-Rich Foods
Probiotics are packed with good bacteria, and you need to have a probiotic-rich diet so you’re feeding your gut with good bacteria. That way, you can increase the number of good bacteria in your digestive system to ward off the bad bacteria present.
Fiber, on the other hand, makes for better digestion. It also reduces the possible onset of metabolic diseases by increasing your gut’s good bacteria. When fiber and protein work together, you may be able to successfully ward off gastrointestinal diseases like constipation and diarrhea.
As a guide, here are fiber-rich foods you should start feeding your stomach:
Complimentary to the list above, these are the top foods rich in probiotics:
- Miso soup
- Sour pickles
- Add More Fruits And Vegetables To Your Diet
The more colorful your plate is, the better! If you haven’t been loading up your meals with fruits and vegetables, then you should start creating that change in your diet. These plant-based food aren’t just rich in fiber, but they’re also good sources of disease-fighting chemicals.
There are many creative ways for you to sneak in more fruits and vegetables into your diet, and these include:
- Make vegetable-based soup. This is a good way to consume multiple kinds of vegetables at once. Plus, soup is very tasty, so it won’t even feel like there are loads of vegetables in it.
- Create vegetable noodles. If you love pasta or noodle dishes, you can opt for veggie noodles as a healthier alternative! All you need is a spiralizer, and you can turn vegetables like carrots and zucchini into noodles.
- Blend into smoothies. If you love juice drinks, ditch the store-bought juice box and make your own drink at home. There are thousands of recipes online where you won’t even get to taste your veggies being blended into the smoothie.
- Cook a vegetable omelet. Eggs go with almost anything! Even if you’re in a rush, you can mix any vegetable with an egg, and then you can fry it into your omelet.
- Blend vegetables into your meatloaf. Yes, your meatballs and meatloaf don’t just have to be made of meat per se. You can also mix it with chopped vegetables for added taste. Plus, it’s also a great way to add some vegetables, especially for children who need to have more.
- Cut Down On Alcohol
It’s also a good idea to cut down on your alcohol consumption. You may have heard a thousand times that too much alcohol consumption isn’t good for your health. And indeed, this is true.
Repeated and excessive alcohol intake may hurt your gut’s healthy bacteria. It may also increase the possible onset of gastritis, which refers to gut irritation. When you suffer from this condition, this may also lead to other health problems like bacterial infections, heartburn, and ulcers.
The first step to curbing your desire for alcohol is by recognizing you may have an alcoholic tendency. These other tips come in handy as well:
- Don’t have alcohol at home, so you won’t get tempted to have easy access to it whenever you feel like drinking.
- Start by having alcohol-free days, especially if you’re used to drinking every day. You can start with two days in a week, and then after a month, slowly increase this to three days until such time your body no longer looks for alcohol.
- Stay away from peer pressure. Now’s not the time for you to be with people who don’t support your goal to stop alcoholism.
- Eat Whole Grain Foods More Often
If you have a variety of whole-grain food options in your local supermarket, then choose this as your first choice. Be sure to check the label and read through the nutrient list. To have the best possible benefit for your gut, aim for at least three grams of dietary fiber per serving.
Here are the reasons why you should be feeding your gut with more whole grains:
- It contains a lot of fiber;
- It aids in digestion;
- It may lower cholesterol.
Other Lifestyle Changes To Improve Your Gut
To give your gut the best health, it’s not just enough to change your diet. You should also go as far as doing other lifestyle changes to go alongside a healthy diet. These include:
- Exercising more frequently. The body needs that half-hour minimum of physical activity daily. This affects your body systems positively, including the microbiome. When you exercise, you may even be able to increase the diversity of good bacteria in your gut.
- De-stressing whenever you can. Stress eats up your health, and it has bad consequences for your gut health. There’s that strong gut-brain connection, given your brain is also powered by the nutrients your body takes in. So, reversely, your gut health may also be altered by what you feed your mind. Stress is normal, but don’t let this get the best of you. Whatever you do to de-stress, give yourself the chance to do so once in a while.
All these considered, what you can do now is find a nutritionist or a dietitian whom you trust enough to create a healthy diet change in your body. If you aren’t sure where and how to start, never self-medicate. Remember that it’s your diet you’re changing, and food plays a very important role in keeping your gut in a good, functioning condition.
Don’t surprise your body with any drastic changes. Take it one step at a time with the supervision of a medical professional. In doing so, you can finally give your gut that much-needed cleanse and refreshment. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you improve your gut health.