You’re not alone. Even when you’re alone, you’re not alone. You have trillions of bacteria living with you in your digestive tract. That’s more than 250 times the number of people living on earth.
If the thought of that much “bacteria” in your systems is a little alarming, don’t panic. Some of them are good bacteria, and some are bad. Together, they all form what’s become known as your “gut microbiome”.
Considering how many of them there are, and their position right at the point where you absorb nutrients and energy from food, the health of your gut microbiome can affect your general physical and mental health.
An unhealthy gut can contribute to a number of problems, including:
- Digestive issues and upset stomach
- Unexplained weight loss and/or weight gain
- Immune system and autoimmune problems including rheumatoid arthritis and type-1 diabetes
- Irregular sleep
- Skin irritation and allergies
- Bouts of mood swings, depression and anxiety
5 Ways to Improve Gut Health
Not only will a healthy microbiome help to reduce the incidence and symptoms of the issues listed above, but it can also help improve other aspects of your overall health. Here’s how to make it healthier.
- Add Prebiotics & Probiotics to Your Diet
If you’ve been hearing a lot about probiotics and prebiotics, it’s because of how good they are for the bacteria in your gut. In fact, probiotics are good bacteria. Prebiotics are the “food” that probiotics need.
Probiotics are found in some fermented foods, like many yogurts (check the label to see that it contains live bacteria), sauerkraut and kimchi. Prebiotics are a type of dietary fibre that you can get from foods like garlic, onions and asparagus. You can also take prebiotic and probiotic supplements.
- Eat Fewer Processed Foods
Processed foods, from frozen pizzas to ketchup, are high in sugars, artificial sweeteners, salt and unhealthy fats. All of them are either bad for the healthy bacteria in your gut, good for the unhealthy bacteria, or both.
- Eat More Fruits, Vegetables & Whole Foods
If you noticed the foods listed above that contain or promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, they are all veggies, except yogurt. And those are just the better-known foods that help improve your gut health. The results of numerous studies show that vegetarians generally have healthier guts than meat-eaters.
- Get More Exercise & Sleep
It’s the happy “chicken and egg” circumstance of good health. Get more sleep and you’ll have more energy to be more active. Be more active and you’ll get more sleep.
Research results have linked higher activity levels to increases in the variety of healthy gut bacteria. Irregular sleep patterns and disturbed sleep are shown to have a negative effect on gut health.
- Stay Away from Foods That Upset You – This might seem obvious, but sometimes the foods that trigger symptoms like stomach cramps and bloating are our favourites. And we’re ready to take the consequences just so we can enjoy them. But they are doing more harm than just the symptoms you experience.
For more expert advice on improving the health of your gut, and your weight loss results, Visit your nearest Herbal One Centre and speak to one of our nutritional consultants.
To learn more about healthy eating, check out our article “How the Domino Effect of Good Nutrition Helps You Lose Weight“.