Gut Health

7 Steps to improve your gut health

John Feltham

June 30, 2020

Have you noticed how "gut health" seem to be the talk of town nowadays?

Well, there is a good reason for that! Did you know:

  • More than 80% of serotonin (the ”happy” hormone) is produced in our gut
  • Around 70% of the cells responsible for maintaining us healthy actually live in our gut, where they help modulate our immune system
  • Research shows that bacteria in your gut can send signals to your brain, influencing your mood and even the foods you crave
When it comes having a healthy gut, which in turn means you will also have a beautiful skin, bountiful energy and blossoming health, researchers say the greater the variety of good bacteria in your gut (aka gut microbiota) the better. This is because these bacteria help you digest and absorb your food more efficiently whereas an imbalance in your gut microbiota (known as dysbiosis) can lead to symptoms like bloating, flatulence, and allergies

      As you can see, having a healthy gut is essential for you health and well-being. So, now, let’s check the 7 easy steps you can take to improve your gut health:

      Step 1: Clean your pantry

      Are you eating any processed or fast foods, gluten, dairy, refined sugar, and white flour containing foods such as biscuits, cakes and pastry? 

      Those foods that are harmful to your gut bacteria. They cause damage to your gut lining whilst being overall nutritionally poor. 

      Removing those foods from your diet can make a huge difference to your health!

      Step 2: Create new eating habits

      As you start to eat clean, you will notice that it is important to plan your meals ahead otherwise you will end up falling into your old habits as soon as your fridge is empty.

      Add fresh vegetables to your shopping list. You can pre wash and cut them so they are ready for a salad when you feel hungry. 

      Start loving legumes! Things like chickpeas, lentils, and beans are a rich source of protein as well as a source of prebiotics - your gut bacteria's most loved food!

      Think fibre: whole grains, leafy vegetables, fruits. Fibre keeps you regular, removes toxins from your body and helps soothe your gut lining. Gradually increase them to avoid bloating and wind, and drink plenty of water. 

      Step 3: Call in the army 

      Since we now know that we have more bacterial cells than human cells in our bodies, it is very important to make sure we are housing the good ones! 

      The best way to do that is by adding fermented foods to our diet: yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, tofu and tempeh are all good sources of beneficial bacteria. 

      Look also for probiotic supplements containing Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium lactis, or Lactobacillus acidophilus, as those have been found to help balance our microbiota.

      Step 4: Feel good about being healthy

      Changing habits can be challenging, so it is important to honor your health and remind yourself that what you eat impacts how you feel and look.  

      By starting each day with a healthy breakfast you set the tone for a bright day ahead! 

      Eat a high protein/high fibre breakfast. It could be porridge, a coconut chia pudding or even a smoothie.

      Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, protein from white meats, eggs and fish, as well as good fats from avocados, seeds and nuts. 

      Eating well is an act of self-love and self-care. Surely enough your body will feel it!

      Step 5: Practice mindful eating

      The way you eat is just as important as what you eat. 

      Good digestion relies on you being relaxed and chewing your food properly. But the benefits go beyond your gut. Mindful eating also helps reduce anxiety and weight gain. 

      Try to be fully present when eating - that means no phones or TV. Observe your body sensations while you eat, noticing all the tastes and textures. Visualise the benefits that food can bring to your body. 

      Step 6: Be active

      Exercising helps strengthen all your muscles, including your belly. It also helps to move your meals along, towards your bowels where it gets absorbed and then eliminated. 

      According to the Gastroenterological Society of Australia, exercising has also been shown to reduce problems such as heartburn, flatulence, stomach cramps and constipation. 

      Step 7: Sleep like a Goddess

      Ever wondered why sleeping is so important? It is during our slumber that most of our repairing & regulation mechanisms take place. This is because during our sleep, the parasympathetic system, which regulates things like mood, immunity, reproduction, and digestion, becomes fully active. 

      To get the most out of your slumber time, try to sleep on your left side as researchers found that this promotes better digestion, thanks to the gravity moving waste towards the descending colon and from there, out of your body in the morning — just like clock work!

      Now that you know how what you feed your body impacts your health and wellbeing, make sure you are not just eating but nourishing yourself through good nutrition, good thoughts, good friends, and good sleep!

      And if you need support and guidance in your healing journey, we are here for you!

      Click here to book an appointment, or contact us to find more.


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