5 Ways to improve Gut Health
Let's begin by acknowledging that everyone is different and therefore what works for one person, may not work for another. Therefore, if you're experiencing poor gut health, I recommend keeping a food diary to track any symptoms you may experience when consuming certain foods. Symptoms may include fatigue, brain fog, constipation, diarrhoea, bloating etc. Noticing what are triggers are will help you determine what foods perhaps don't agree with you.
To support a healthy gut, here are my 5 go-to tips:
Eat Whole Foods: try to eat fresh whole foods such as Barley, oats, quinoa, bulger, and other whole grains which have fibre that we need to bulk up our intestines and help things move through the intestines. Whole grains help feed the microbiome living in your gut, thus keeping everything working well. Also include fresh vegetables, beans and legumes, and a variety of fresh fruits to support good bacteria in your gut. Try to shop local and in season.
Avoid Processed Foods: research studies suggest that processed foods and artificial sweeteners may increase blood sugars and interfere with the normal productivity of the gut. Because of the high processing of these foods, the body can struggle to not only break them down, but the body then doesn't receive anything of nutritional value impacting the gut microbiome.
Move your Body in nature: any movement is great for gut health as it helps activate your digestive system to help move food and waste through the intestines. But walking in nature has been found to increase the diversity of the microbiome in the gut, which makes walking in nature a great activity to add to your daily habits.
Include Fermented Foods: fermented foods contain a high count of lactobacilli bacteria, which is highly beneficial for good gut health. Simply adding a small amount to your daily diet can make a big difference. Here are some examples of fermented foods to try:
0% fat Greek Yoghurt or Plain Yoghurt (not low fat)
Deep Diaphragmatic (Pelvic) Breathing: This kind of breathing helps stimulate the vagus nerve and activates the relaxation response of the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system. Not only beneficial for bloating and abdominal pain, but it also helps support the nervous system to help you find a sense of calm.