Yes, gut health and the connection to overall wellness is a trending topic in the wellness industry and you might have already read or heard many articles and podcasts about it, but you might also still be figuring out how to actually keep a healthy gut and general sense of wellness on a daily basis.
The gut microbiome, made up of trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in the digestive system, has been found to play a role in various aspects of health, including digestion, immunity, and mental health. A growing body of research suggests that a healthy gut microbiome is essential for overall wellness and that an imbalance of gut bacteria can lead to various health issues. As a result, many people are focusing on improving their gut health through dietary changes, probiotics, and other interventions.
Consuming a variety of whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fermented foods (such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi), can promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. But this is not all you could be doing in order to really feel the benefits of a healthy gut. Here are some steps you can take to improve gut health:
Get enough sleep: It can sound trivial, but sleep plays a crucial role in various aspects of health, including digestive function. During sleep, the body can focus on repairing and restoring various systems, including the digestive system. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can negatively impact gut health by altering gut bacteria and impairing gut function. On the other hand, getting enough quality sleep has been shown to have a positive impact on gut health by promoting the growth of good bacteria and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome.
Take Probiotics: Probiotics are live microorganisms, often bacteria, that are similar to the beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. When consumed, they can help to populate the gut with beneficial bacteria, which can improve gut health by promoting a balanced gut microbiome.
Avoid eating late at night: Eating late at night can disrupt the digestive system and impair gut health. Try to finish your last meal at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Avoid excessive use of over-the-counter medications: Antacids, laxatives, and other over-the-counter medications can disrupt gut health and should be used sparingly. If you're having digestive issues, it's a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.
Chew your food properly: Proper chewing can help improve digestion and reduce the risk of digestive issues. Take your time to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.
Exercise regularly: Exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on gut health by promoting the growth of good bacteria and improving digestive function. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days
You will also be surprised to know that red wine, in moderation, may have some benefits for gut health. The polyphenols in red wine, particularly resveratrol, have been shown to have a positive impact on gut bacteria and improve gut barrier function. However, it's important to note that the benefits of red wine are limited to moderate consumption, which is defined as one glass per day for women and two glasses per day for men. Excessive alcohol consumption can have negative effects on gut health and overall health.
It's important to remember that everyone's gut health is unique and what works for one person may not work for another. It's a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider before making any major changes to your diet or lifestyle.