The digestive system plays a vital role in the human body. It is in charge of taking in food and breaking it down to nutrients which helps our body function throughout the entire day. That is why it is always important to know the best ways to improve gut health.
In this day and age, people are more mindful of their diets. That is why they’re always on the lookout for the best ways to improve gut health.
The “gut”, also known as the gastrointestinal tract, is made up of organs such as the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, liver, small intestine, colon, and rectum.
The gut is responsible for transporting and breaking down nutrients throughout the body. It is also in charge of converting nutrients into energy and disposing of undigested food, dead and living bacteria (that helped break down food), and other contents that the body no longer needs.
Gut health and its importance
Considered as the overall health of the digestive system, “gut health” is the right balance of microorganisms found inside the digestive tract.
Viruses, bacterias, and diseases can easily penetrate the body if gut health is not maintained. That is why experts came up with the best ways to improve gut health.
There are billions of microbes and immune cells found in the gut microbiota. The good bacteria help keep the gut healthy, these include:
- Converting nutrients to energy that the body can use for growth and sustenance.
- Preventing infectious agents from comprising the immune system.
- Keeping a robust gastrointestinal tract.
A healthy gut is not only a major factor in maintaining a healthy digestive system, but it also serves an important role in making sure that the other bodily systems are in their best state.
How can I keep my gut healthy?
Making lifestyle changes not only guarantees big improvements in your gut health, but it also has a great impact on your overall well-being.
Here are the best ways to improve gut health that anyone can try:
Consuming more healthy whole foods helps improve gut health. The fiber found in most whole foods helps produce more good bacteria that aids digestion.
Whole grains, fruits such as berries and oranges, vegetables such as broccoli and carrots, nuts, and seeds are examples of fibre-rich foods. Try to add more portions of fruits and vegetables to your plate every time you eat.
Practicing a balanced diet will improve gut health, especially if you’re always having trouble with digestion.
Avoid Processed Food
High salt, sugar, fat, and additive contents are found in processed food that people normally resort to when they do not have time or enough resources to access healthier alternatives.
Eating processed food can affect the healthy state of the gut. The chemicals found in processed food can probably inflate the number of bad bacteria, and reduce the good bacteria.
If you cannot completely eliminate processed food, try to cut back in consuming it instead. Replace processed food gradually with healthier options and your gut will thank you.
Regulate food consumption
One of the best ways to improve gut health is to monitor food portions and eat slowly, at a regular schedule.
People nowadays are always having trouble eating at the right time and pace because of busy schedules and lifestyles. Because of this, gut health may be compromised and might also produce more serious problems.
To avoid complications from arising, being mindful about your food intake, and eating at the right hours will be crucial in maintaining a healthy gut.
Stress affects digestion. When stressed, a lot of people use food as a coping mechanism to make themselves feel better. If stress levels are not controlled, gut health will not be the only thing that will be compromised, other systems in your body can be greatly affected as well.
Getting enough sleep regularly is beneficial in maintaining overall health. Poor sleep results in low energy levels and may interrupt digestive processes that might result in negative effects on gut health.
As much as possible, get 7 to 9 hours (recommended for adults) of restful sleep every night, not only to conserve energy, but also to keep your gut health in balance.
Lessen alcohol intake
Excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt the number of bacteria in the gut. Bad bacteria are more likely to multiply while good bacteria decrease in number. This may cause problems in the gut and the entire body.
If you cannot avoid alcohol, try consuming less instead.
Probiotics and prebiotics
Choose foods that are rich in probiotics and prebiotics.
Probiotics contain good bacteria, commonly found in yogurt and other fermented food. When consumed, it adds to the population of healthy microbes in the gut.
You can take probiotics through food and supplements. You can buy probiotic supplements over the counter or with a prescription from a medical professional.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are specialized plant fibers that help stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Similar to probiotics, prebiotics can be consumed through food and supplements as well.
There’s a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are rich in prebiotics, such as garlic, asparagus, and bananas, just to name a few.
Commonly, these foods contain complex carbohydrates, such as fiber and resistant starch. These carbs become food or fertilizer for the bacteria and other microbes in the gut.
Keeping your gut health in its best shape contributes to the health of your entire body. Following the best ways to improve gut health can help put you at ease, knowing that your gut is as healthy as it can be.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.