8 Gut Health Tips for Improving Your Microbiome
You may not realize how it relates to your overall well-being, but balancing good gut bacteria with self-care practices can substantially enhance your quality of life. Everyone can implement these recommendations and gut health tips. Understanding the importance of a well-functioning gut is vital to feeling healthy and maintaining your physical upkeep.
A body has trillions of microorganisms in the stomach, collectively known as the gut microbiome. Beyond its role in shaping gut health, it dramatically influences metabolic processes, weight management, mental soundness, and skin conditions.
Every person has a unique ecosystem, which is why only you and your doctor can make the right decisions to improve your wellness. However, trying a few of these home remedies can get you started in the right direction.
Tips for Improving Gut Health
1) Increase Sleep Quality and Quantity
Unsurprisingly, allocating adequate time for rest holds profound importance for overall health, digestion, and your gut. Every aspect of our bodies is interconnected, and your entire day is affected when you don’t get enough sleep. The significance of sleep goes beyond its duration, encompassing the quality of rest attained.
Fatigue often correlates with poorer dietary choices and heightened susceptibility to stress. Remarkably, the influence also extends the other way, as gut microbiomes can influence the quality of sleep. So, you’ll want to get the recommended six to eight hours of undisturbed sleep. Some ways to see noticeable improvements within days include:
- Creating a calming nighttime routine;
- Giving yourself enough time to rest;
- Providing an environment to promote healthy sleep;
- Avoiding food and brain-based activities before bed;
- Keeping the room dark and cool;
- Reducing noise.
2) Decrease Stress and Find Ways to Relax
That uneasy feeling in your stomach when you are worried or upset? That is stress affecting your gut. It’s one of the most damaging things for a digestive system, and that’s a sign that gastrointestinal health and mental health are linked. As with many of the gut health tips in this list, stress may look or feel different to you than to someone else with gut issues. That’s why understanding your own body’s reactions to stressful situations or even everyday life is key to healing an unhealthy gut.
Drinking a stress-reducing tea, such as Stress Blend Tea, can encourage you to feel calmer and more relaxed. Test swapping out a few cups of coffee with relaxing tea blends throughout the day. Having a cup before bed is also beneficial for transitioning into a peaceful evening. Applying a stress massage oil when feeling overwhelmed is also a quick way to ease your mind.
3) Drink Enough Water and Avoid Bad Beverages
Hydrating your gut helps to assist in digestion, move bowels, and generally regulate your body. Most people need around 10-12 cups daily, but many fall short. Hydration doesn’t have to be only water, though certain drinks can dehydrate you instead (coffee, soda, and alcohol are culprits). Natural and fermented drinks are recommended to improve gut health.
Keep in mind that you can actually drink too much water. When this happens, kidneys can’t remove the excess water, and your body can develop a condition known as hyponatremia. Listen to your body and drink what you need.
To stay hydrated, keep track of your consumption by marking how many cups you drink daily. That way, you know whether you need to increase your intake. Set reminders to drink and keep your favorite motivational water bottle nearby.
4) Introduce More Fiber into Your Diet
If you want to know how to introduce more fiber into your diet, there are fantastic options available that are also easy to put into practice. Among them, fiber powder is one of the easiest. The husks of the psyllium plant are harvested to create fiber powder, readily available in many flavors or unflavored if that’s your preference. Fiber powder can be mixed into liquids or food, including some very creative uses that make getting healthy more accessible and enjoyable.
When it comes to healthy fiber and the amount you should take, look at the food you consume often to determine your needs. You may already get enough fiber, although only about 5% of people do. Adding a scoop of fiber powder to your next drink or snack couldn’t be easier and can have you feeling better in no time.
5) Take Supplements to Improve Your Microbiome
In addition to or while working your way up to a healthier diet, consider including prebiotics, probiotics, and other gut-friendly supplements. While probiotic supplements aren’t advised for everyone, there are specific strains that can help gut health. Gut-friendly supplements often include vitamins C and D, ginger, licorice, curcumin, and digestive enzymes. It is common to find proprietary formulas that offer different blends to address specific gut health issues.
6) Plan a Healthier Diet
Inflammation in the stomach can be improved by eating fiber-rich foods. If you suffer from diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating, then looking at your diet is the first step. Fortunately, it’s simple to find healthy foods high in fiber.
Naturlax’s Chief Scientific Officer and trusted physician, Dr. Duke Nguyen, MD (Gastroenterology), offers this advice: “To boost daily fiber intake, prioritize whole grains like oats and brown rice, include a variety of fruits and vegetables, opt for legumes like beans and lentils, and snack on nuts and seeds. These choices enhance digestion, promote fullness, and support overall gut health.”
As you’re planning your healthy diet, you should also consider these food-focused gut health tips:
- Slowing the speed at which you eat;
- Avoiding sugar and processed food;
- Consuming smaller portions.
Fasting is another way to jumpstart your new diet, but you should think twice about taking supplemental fiber during your fast.
7) Keep Active, Especially After Meals
We know exercise can positively impact physical and mental health, but it’s particularly important for gut health. Moving your body is essential to healthy gut microbiomes. Aid your digestion by walking after a meal or several times throughout the day. Standing instead of sitting, even for a few minutes, is also helpful.
Yoga, stretching, and biking are excellent options for staying active. For a diverse approach, consider finding enjoyable activities that encourage movement—such as dancing, hiking, or swimming. Having a friend or family member join you can further enhance the experience.
8) Avoid Antibiotics for Good Gut Bacteria
One of the most noteworthy gut health tips is to avoid antibiotics when possible. While antibiotics play a crucial role in combating bacterial infections, it’s necessary to acknowledge their potential impact on beneficial gut bacteria.
Naturally, you’ll want to follow your doctor’s advice, but you should feel comfortable initiating a discussion about your gut health when your doctor gives you an antibiotic prescription.
As you can see, there are many ways to improve gut health, and your overall well-being along with it. Start changing your life for the better today with our eight tips for improving gut health.