When speaking of overall gut health and taking care of our body, people usually focus on certain parts of the body, such as heart, brain, liver, bones, and oversee the importance of the digestive system. But, actually, the digestive system is as important as all other systems in your body. Moreover, it is the system that receives and metabolizes the food and eliminates what you don’t need.
In order to ensure your digestive system works properly, you need to maintain a healthy gut and improve it, if necessary. You can do that in many different ways, such as taking supplements for gut health, eating healthy food, consuming certain products, etc. If you don’t really know how you can do it, here are several tips to help you improve gut health and, therefore, achieve better digestion.
Eating diverse food is the best way to improve your gut health naturally. By eating a lot of different products, you receive different nutrients and bacteria. And, having a variety of gut-friendly bacteria is important for a healthy gut.
In order to ensure bacteria diversity, you should eat lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans, whole grains, and nuts. These foods are highly nutritious and rich in fiber, which is important for the growth of healthy bacteria. In fact, eating products such as apples, almonds, blueberries, artichokes, almonds, and pistachios can increase the Bifidobacteria in humans. It’s one of the good bacteria which helps prevent intestinal inflammation and improves gut health.
Apart from supporting the growth of gut-friendly bacteria, food rich in fiber (prebiotics) may also help prevent or fight against some diseases. For instance, they may reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Also, they can reduce cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and insulin in obese people.
Apart from eating fresh and clean foods, you should also eat fermented ones. The gut-friendly yeasts, or bacteria that occurs during the fermentation process, converts the sugars from the foods into alcohol or organic acids. Some products you should consider eating are yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, tempeh, sauerkraut, miso, and fermented vegetables. Also, some of these foods contain lactobacilli, bacteria that support your gut health.
Since we mentioned yogurt and kefir, we should also mention cheese. Just like its relatives, cheese is good for your gut health. As one study by the American Chemical Society found, cheese provided people with higher levels of a particular gut bacteria byproduct, which plays a role in reducing cholesterol levels.
Polyphenols are compounds found in plants that have many health benefits. Namely, they can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Moreover, some of them can increase the amount of Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli and reduce the number of Clostridia. Also, since they can’t always be absorbed by the body, they end up in the colon, where the gut bacteria digest them. Some of the foods that are rich in polyphenols are dark chocolate, cocoa, red wine, green tea, onions, blueberries, broccoli, and grape skins.
In addition to your food, you can also consider taking gut health supplements, such as prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotic supplements contain fermentable fiber, which supports the growth of good bacteria. Probiotic supplements, on the other hand, contain live bacteria that are good for your gut health and support its work. Therefore, in order to ensure the proper function of your gut and improve its health, if needed, you should take these supplements. Keep in mind to always consult with your doctor before buying any of them.
Sugar, including all sugary products and sweeteners, may lead to gut dysbiosis – gut bacteria imbalance. Not having well-balanced bacteria can cause some health problems, which are usually related to stomach and intestines, such as bloating or improper food digestion. Artificial sweeteners can also increase blood sugar levels and the number of certain bacterial strains associated with metabolic disease.
Adding salt to your food may not be so good, but spices are. It’s because spices, such as garlic, turmeric, and ginger, not only make your meals tasty but also restrain the growth of the bad gut bacteria. In that way, they ensure your gut stays healthy.
Oral health is very important for gut health because it’s the first access point of the food. Therefore, If you don’t maintain proper oral hygiene, harmful bacteria will grow in your mouth. And, when you eat something, the bacteria will attach to the food and travel with it through the digestive system and all the way to the gut. That will cause gut bacteria imbalance, which can lead to some gut issues, gut ailments, as well as some other health problems.
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