We all suffer from digestive issues now and again, but what happens when we suffer from them more often than not? Having chronic digestive problems is a definite red flag that shouldn’t be ignored. Your gut is your second brain, and many of your everyday functions and processes are affected by how healthy it is (or isn’t).
So—what are some ways we can improve our gut health? We have 10 ideas:
Eat Real Food
What do we mean by ‘real food?’ We mean food that nourishes your body and provides adequate support for cell growth and repair. Food that comes from nature, like fruits and vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts, and whole grains.
Not packaged foods, or foods that are high in added sugar, filler, or preservatives.
Chew Your Food Well
This might sound silly, but we live in a country full of busy people. Our culture doesn’t place emphasis on relaxation and rest, and we eat the way we live.
By not chewing your food well and taking the time to eat properly, our digestive system pays a steep price. So slow down, enjoy your food, and let your tummy work the way it’s supposed to.
Drink Lots of Water
We know you know this, but honestly? None of us heed the advice very well. But by creating a chronically dehydrated state within our bodies, we force our digestive system to try and process what it needs to, without the right tools. To properly digest food, our stomach and intestines need to have a certain level of lubrication and liquid, and that comes from water.
So drink up!
Take a Probiotic
These suckers work. By routinely feeding yourself stuff that your body doesn’t like, you build an irregular balance of good-to-bad bacteria in your gut. To get that balance back to normal, probiotics are necessary.
Basically, you’re swallowing live bacteria that will go down your throat and into your tummy, where they will live on to fight the icky bad guys. Do it.
Runner athlete running on stairs. listening to music in headphones from smart phone mp3 player woman fitness jogging workout wellness concept.
We know—this one’s a no-brainer. But it’s super necessary! You need to move your body to get things moving (if you know what we mean), and exercise is how you do it. Even a 20-minute walk every day can make SUCH a difference to your digestive health—your belly will thank you for it, we promise.
Eat Fermented Foods
And we’re not talking about grapes. (Ha.) What we are talking about, is fermented vegetables, kombucha, good quality yogurt, kefir, etc. Fermented foods are super high in good bacteria, and over time, they can have a huge impact on the health of your digestive environment.
Incorporate natura fiber into Your Daily Diet
Yep—we’re plugging our own product here. But seriously? The main ingredient in natura fiber (flax seed) is incredibly high in fiber and other nutrients that aid a healthy digestive system. As adults, we’re supposed to be raking in about 34 grams of fiber a day—which is waaaayyy more than the 11 grams we actually take in. (On average, of course.)
An incredibly easy way to increase your fiber intake, is by mixing 1/3 cup of natura fiber (per day) into smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods, and more.
Here we go with that “second brain” thing again. Stress plays a massive role in your health—actually, scratch that—the way you handle stress plays a massive role in your health.
And stress can mess with your stomach.
Although most people think the mind is what takes the brunt of your stress, that’s not necessarily true. Because of your brain-to-gut connection (both organs were originally one, and the term ‘enteric nervous system’ is used in the medical field to discuss that connection), stress can appear in the form of stomach knots, constipation, indigestion, and more.
So what do you do?
Lower that stress level and learn to manage stress better. You can do this by exercising regularly, eating well, meditating and practicing yoga.
Do whatever works for you.
Love your Liver
Beets And Greens
Essentially, if you can boost your liver, you can heal your bad gut. By adding foods like leafy greens, beets, carrots, bitters, dandelion, and milk thistle, you inadvertently improve the health of your digestive system.
Listen to Your Body
Again, we’re busy people who live busy lives. But by taking the time to listen to your body, we can really help to manage stress, know when a certain food isn’t working well for us, notice when a certain food is, and recognize the need for downtime and sleep.
By listening to your body, you can put all of the ideas listed above into play—and your digestive system will flourish and be healthy.