5 Ways To A Healthier Lifestyle And Digestive Health
Your intestines are home to millions upon millions of microbes that help with digestion. Recently, science has uncovered numerous other connections between these microbes and the rest of your body. That makes it important to promote a healthy digestive system. Many of the things you can do to improve gut health are easy to adopt and can also contribute to other positive health outcomes.
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1) Increase your fiber intake
Fiber is a crucial part of a healthy diet. It is one of the reasons experts believe a plant-based eating plan improves overall health and wellness. A high-fiber diet is directly related to fewer digestive issues, better long-term health outcomes, and, possibly, extended life spans. However, not all fiber is the same.
Insoluble fiber or prebiotics do not dissolve in water. Instead, it travels to your intestines where it serves as food for the bacteria living there. The correct balance of prebiotics can help encourage the bacteria you want and discourage the ones you don’t. Some good food sources of prebiotic fiber include wheat bran, bananas, asparagus, and leeks. Soluble fiber, on the other hand, expands in your stomach as it absorbs water. It adds bulk to your stool and keeps the elimination process running smoothly. Although this does not directly impact digestive flora, it does encourage healthy digestive processes.
2) Reduce stress levels
Stress can seriously impact your physical health and well-being, and your gut is no exception. Some studies conducted on animals indicate that even short-lived psychological stressors can negatively impact the diversity and health of your gut microbiome. Consider implementing strategies like these to help reduce this type of stress:
- Learn a simple breath meditation sequence
- Practice progressive relaxation
- Take a yoga class
- Develop your mind-body connection with tai chi
- Find your creativity with adult coloring
It is important to remember that what works for one person may not be good for another. The best stress-reduction technique for you is one that eases tension and promotes relaxation.
3) Avoid trigger foods
Certain foods have been connected to inflammation and irritation of the digestive system. For example, highly processed foods and refined sweeteners have been linked to a less diverse gut microbiome. Some artificial sweeteners have been shown to increase bacteria that are directly linked to negative health conditions. Lectins are another food that is believed to cause irritation of the intestinal lining, possibly leading to leaky gut.
Why contribute to intestinal discomfort and disease when it can be avoided? For starters, avoiding these foods might be ideal, but it’s not always possible. Products are available to help boost digestion and protect against irritation. Lectin shield reviews show they can be effective for many people.
4) Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated can help ease symptoms of a lot of different ailments. It helps increase concentration and energy leaves, can lower blood pressure levels, and allows your body to properly digest food. Drinking adequate amounts of water helps to improve the speed and rate of nutrient uptake. It promotes a balance between cells and their surrounding environment and provides lubrication for stool as they travel through your intestines.
You should try to drink about eight glasses of water each day. It’s better to sip throughout the day instead of gulping down several glasses at once. However, a full glass of water first thing in the morning can be a good way to get your systems up and rehydrated after their all-night fast.
5) Eat gut-friendly foods
Just like certain foods can cause irritation and upset in the digestive system, others are known for their soothing and health-boosting properties. Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are increasingly popular because of their benefits to gut health. The fermentation process relies on bacteria to work, and those bacteria are also great for your gut. They can populate your digestive tract with beneficial microbes that then crowd out bad ones. Besides fermented foods, yogurt with live cultures and aged cheeses are excellent food sources of probiotics.
You don’t have to change everything about what you do to encourage a diverse and healthy gut microbiome. Start with small changes and adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors. Over time you will find what works best for you, your lifestyle, and your body.
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