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Your digestive system, also known as the gut, is responsible for the uptake of nutrients from food and the excretion of unnecessary waste. In order to work optimally, the gut has many components. Among these, is what is known as the gut microbiome. This refers to a large number of microorganisms found all over the digestive system. Although a few of these microorganisms may be harmful, most are useful and can even be termed essential.
In order to maintain good gut health, you need to ensure that you have more of the healthy microorganisms. How can you improve your gut health?
Tips To Improve Your Gut Health
1. Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
Fiber is a useful substance contained in many plant foods such as legumes, bananas, peas, oats, apples, beans, lentils, and raspberries to name but a few. Most fruits and vegetables will add fiber to your diet.
While the human body does not digest fiber, the bacteria in the gut are able to break it down and use it as a source of nutrients needed for survival. This means that taking fiber-rich foods supports the growth of the gut microbiome. Fiber also adds bulk to stool which in turn prevents issues like constipation.
2. Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods contain a lot of microorganisms. After all, bacteria or yeast is needed for a fermentation process to occur. Foods like kefir, tempeh, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, and fermented vegetables should be taken regularly. They add more healthy microorganisms to the gut while reducing the harmful ones.
Care should be taken when choosing the kind of yogurt to take. Yogurt that contains artificial flavors and sweeteners may cause more harm than good. Always opt for natural unsweetened yogurt. Better yet, opt for probiotic yogurt. This is a type that contains useful bacteria in large quantities. By taking just a few spoonfuls, you will give your gut a boost in ‘good’ bacteria. Actually, yogurt has been shown to increase a type of ‘good’ bacteria called lactobacilli while reducing disease-causing enterobacteriaceae.
3. Reduce Your Stress Levels
An upset stomach is a common sign of anxiety. This shows that there is a linkage between feelings and the digestive system. Think of the butterflies you feel when excited or that knot in your stomach when you are anxious!
When you are stressed, your gut health is affected. Although the full details of this linkage are not yet fully understood, it has been proven that high-stress levels cause an imbalance in gut microorganisms. There will be more harmful organisms in the gut when one is stressed out.
There are various ways to reduce stress including meditation, talking to friends and family about problems, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
4. Only Take Antibiotics When Necessary
Antibiotics are the medications used to treat bacterial infections. These should only be taken as prescribed by doctors, not as over-the-counter medication. Antibiotics do not discriminate between good and bad bacteria. They will kill all gut bacteria. When the doctor prescribes antibiotics, the benefits outweigh the bad effects. Only then should these drugs be taken.
Your gut health is as important as your overall body health. Luckily, it is not that hard to maintain a healthy gut. Taking the right foods, frequent exercises, keeping stress levels in check, and only using prescribed medicine are some awesome ways to keep the gut healthy.