5 Ways To Improve Your Gut Health
Gut health has been a hot topic for a little while now. But why is it so important? More and more research is emerging showing us how important good gut health is for our overall wellbeing. When your gut isn’t healthy it can have an impact on our mental health, weight, mood, skin, digestion and immune system, just to name a few.
What are the most common signs of an unhealthy gut?
Diarrhoea and/or constipation
Undigested food in the stool
Susceptible to infections, colds, and flu Headaches
There are a number of diet and lifestyle-related factors which can impact the health of your gut, here are 5 ways to start improving your gut health.
Reduce your junk food intake
Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and processed foods can increase the permeability of our gut which allows bacteria and toxins to leak into the bloodstream. This is also known as leaky gut and it can lead to all sorts of problems! The good bacteria in our gut also doesn’t like preservatives, emulsifiers and artificial sweeteners. These substances can kill off the good bacteria.
Eat more fibre
Including plenty of fibre into your diet will help feed the good bacteria, keep you regular and provide a variety of compounds and nutrients that will help improve gut health. Fibre is naturally found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Eat more prebiotic foods
Prebiotics are types of dietary fibre that feed the good bacteria in your gut. Include plenty of prebiotic foods such as garlic, onion, leeks, asparagus, beetroot, oats, bananas, nectarines, watermelon, chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, and flaxseeds into your diet to help keep your gut in balance.
Identify and avoid food allergies and intolerances
To help heal your gut, you need to stop eating foods that continue to damage your gut (because it will cause leaky gut) and increase inflammation. Tests such as the Food Detective Test or 500 Item Hair Test can help take the guesswork out of trying to figure out which foods are suitable for you and which aren’t. Alternatively, you could do an elimination diet.
Manage your stress
You can drink all the green smoothies you like however if you are in a constant state of stress every day it can be harmful to your gut. Chronic stress increases your main stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol can suppress the immune system, decrease inflammation and contribute to leaky gut. Make time to de-stress and it will help your gut but also your overall health.
There are many ways to improve your gut health. There is no need to overcomplicate it, go back to basics. Consume a fresh whole food diet with lots of variety and plenty of water!
If you're having trouble with gut health and would like more guidance and support to help you feel better, please contact me here as I'd be happy to have a face to face consultant with you if you're in Brisbane, or I also connect with people from around Australia and the world via Skype sessions too.