When your stomach is in good condition, the rest of your body frequently follows suit. This is due to the fact that your gut controls everything from digestion to your brain and immune system.
However, if your stomach isn’t functioning properly, your body will send you messages. This might manifest as apparent digestive support requirements (for example, gas, bloating, or irregularity concerns) or as some less evident indications (poor concentration, tiredness, and skin issues).
Fortunately, there are several methods to check in with your body to discover whether you have gut health issues, as well as expert-backed coping tactics.
- Eat Fiber-Rich and Probiotic-Packed Foods
According to a study, fibre is a plant-based nutrient that lowers the risk of metabolic illnesses by increasing the development and variety of healthy bacteria in the gut. Fibre-rich foods include sweet potatoes, spinach, beets, carrots, and fennel. Whole grains, in addition to fruits and vegetables, are a good source of fibre.
Fermented foods, such as yoghurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha, are especially praised for their gut-boosting properties due to the presence of bacteria. Yoghurt, in particular, may aid in the relief of gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhoea, inflammatory bowel disease, and constipation. According to one study, persons who eat yoghurt on a daily basis had more lactobacilli, a gut-beneficial bacteria, and fewer enterobacterium, a kind of bacteria connected with inflammation, in their intestines.
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- Consider a Supplement
Probiotic pills are becoming increasingly popular as awareness of the importance of gut health grows. While probiotic supplements aren’t a cure-all for gut health, there is some evidence that they help improve the microbiota and restore gut health in specific circumstances.
If you are prescribed an antibiotic, your doctor may also advise you to take a probiotic supplement. Evidence shows that this may aid in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.
Consult your doctor if you want to take a probiotic supplement. While such supplements appear to be safe, especially in healthy people, the risk of adverse effects is higher in persons with impaired immune systems.
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- Exercise Often
Many aspects of the human body, including the microbiome, benefit from movement. Researchers have discovered that exercise increases the variety of beneficial bacteria in the stomach in both animal and human trials.
While multiple studies have highlighted the implications that exercise and food may play in improving gut health, a 2019 review expressly stated that exercise has the capacity to modify gut bacteria composition and functionality irrespective of diet. Longer workouts and high-intensity aerobic exercise, in particular, were found to contribute the most to gut bacteria diversity and function in connection to overall wellbeing. They also discovered that persons who are slim are more likely to benefit from exercise’s gut health advantages than people who are overweight or obese.
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- Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Drinking too much may negatively affect your microbiome, too. Repeated alcohol use is linked to gastritis, an irritation of the gut in which it becomes inflamed. Such inflammation can lead to heartburn, chronic discomfort, ulcers and bacterial infections.
Drinking too much is also associated with intestinal inflammation, which is a sign of an unhealthy gut. Research suggests that this kind of inflammation alters the microbiota—including how well it works—and can throw it off balance.
- Reduce Stress Levels
Think about how you feel when you’re thrilled or nervous, and you’ll see that stress isn’t only mental. Gut health experts frequently mention the “gut-brain link” and refer to the gut as “the second brain.” We don’t know everything about their relationship, but we do know that mental health and gut health are inextricably linked.
Anxiety and depression, according to research, are impacted by the gut and vice versa—they can raise the risk of IBS, and persons with IBS are more likely to suffer from these mental health issues.
Finding techniques to manage your mental health and stress levels may aid in the reduction of unpleasant GI symptoms and the restoration of your body’s balance. Are you stumped as to where to begin? Try to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine. A regular stroll might benefit gut health, according to studies, because exercise has been shown to raise the quality and quantity of health-promoting gut microorganisms.