Have you ever had heartburn, constipation, or diarrhea? This may be a bit too personal of a question to ask but it’s only to gauge the health of your gut.
Whether you realize it or not, your gut houses trillions of bacterial cells, and lots of those cells play a vital role in keeping your body healthy and fully operational. The combination of these bacterial cells, along with fungi and different viruses, are all the components in what is called a microbiome, or your gut flora.
The thing about a microbiome is that in order for it to be healthy, it has to be balanced. Unfortunately, there are, of course, bad bacterial cells that live in your gut based on the foods and drinks we consume, and consuming too many of them put your body at serious risk of inflammation and various other diseases.
The bacteria found in your microbiome create somewhat of an ecosystem for your body, and when it’s upset or disrupted, it can cause abnormalities, and that’s why it’s so important for you to do all you can to maintain a healthy gut.
Now, in theory, to maintain a healthy gut, it’s quite simple. Simply eat foods that promote a healthy gut. That’s easier said than done, right?
For one, even if you are making a conscious effort to eat healthy, there are lots of foods that you think are healthy or are supposed to be healthy, but actually aren’t. Heavily packed salads, frozen yogurts, and bottled green tea are all foods that actually don’t do much for your body, but they taste great!
Secondly, life happens, and the truth of the matter is that foods that promote an unhealthy gut are the foods that are the most convenient. Typically, these foods are processed and are largely the reason why you have gut issues like constipation, diarrhea, and acid reflux.
There are several factors that can cause poor gut health. If you make improvements in the following areas and implement some of these efforts, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier gut, which then translates to a healthier you.
Efforts to Make to Promote a Healthy Gut
Make Sure You’re Getting Plenty of Sleep
You know that getting a good amount of sleep improves your mood and cognition, but did you know that it also promotes a healthy gut as well? When your body is at rest, it naturally restores itself, and the same goes with your gut. When your sleep is disturbed or you’re simply not getting enough sleep, it increases your likelihood of inflammation.
According to the CDC, the average adult needs seven hours or more of uninterrupted sleep. To ensure you’re getting the necessary amount, consider putting yourself on a sleep schedule; go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.
Go on a Juice Cleanse
Many people think that going on a juice cleanse is specifically for detoxing and weight loss, and it does indeed aid in those areas, but going on a juice cleanse also improves the health of your gut as well.
The thing to keep in mind about a juice cleanse is that they’re not all created equal. The juices from certain fruits and vegetables aren’t necessarily for gut health, so in your efforts, make sure you’re doing research to make sure you’re going on the right juice cleanse.
As a good rule of thumb, you can’t really go wrong with a green juice cleanse for gut health, and it’s a juice you can drink everyday too! By drinking one green juice daily, you can drastically improve the health of your gut almost immediately.
Take Probiotics or Eat Them
As you know, there’s good bacteria in your gut and bad bacteria, and to improve your gut health, you want to make the good bacteria stronger than the bad. To do this, you need to consume probiotics; you can eat them or take them in supplement form.
Some foods that contain probiotics include fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, miso, and kombucha… These foods are an acquired taste for some people but if you don’t like these foods, just take your probiotics in supplement form.
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
This might be hard for many people because sugar is everywhere, but consumption of sugar, and even artificial sugars, cause what’s called gut dysbiosis, which is the imbalance of the microbiome. If you remember reading earlier, in order for your microbiome to be healthy, it has to be balanced, and sugar can completely throw it off.
Sugar is the very thing linked to diabetes and heart disease, and research has shown that artificial sugars can actually increase blood sugar despite it not being a real sugar! So, you can’t just avoid sugar completely but to the best of your abilities, you should put forth the effort to reduce your sugar intake as much as possible.