Want to improve your gut health? Here are 5 tips from guest author Areyo Dadar. Have your own tips to share on the Yoga Living Project? Email Austin at
What is Gut Health?
Gut Health is when there's a well-balanced bacteria residing in your gut. Many people don't know this, but it's the bacteria and microorganism (trillions of them and a whole variety) that processes the food and breaks it down so the body can absorb it.
But, urbanization, early exposure to chemicals and heavy metals, unhealthy lifestyle, stress, and adulteration, lack of fibre and healthy foods can take a toll on stomach health.
As a result, we experience issues like acne, hives, diarrhea, gas, bloating, constipation and so on which are signs of an unhealthy gut.. Chronic gut health can lead to Inflammatory Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, and even cancer, among other gut-related diseases.
But, don’t worry! Other than seeking medical help, you can try a bunch of natural ways to restore your stomach health.
How to Improve Your Gut Health
Eat Probiotic-rich Foods
Well, you know that the foundation of your gut health is the flora that resides in there which is made up of trillions of tiny bacteria. If you experience stomach issues regularly, chances are you are missing some of those essential microorganisms, and there's an overgrowth of the harmful bacteria.
The best way to replenish what your stomach is lacking is to ingest/consume those living bacteria directly. But how do you do that? Welcome - Probiotics! They are the holy grail of good stomach health. If you want to enjoy good stomach health, always start by making probiotics a part of your diet. You can choose from several options such as -
- Cheeses like Cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss
- Pickled veggies
These foods carry strains of live bacteria that will increase the overall gut flora. All of these foods provide an ideal pH level for probiotics to survive. Therefore, as a result - you should see significant improvement in gut health.
Eat as Many Types of Fruit and Veggies as Possible
People who experience symptoms like stomach ache, diarrhoea, constipation, food intolerances, flatulence, bloating, puffiness, and gas usually have one factor in common. Most of them are severely lacking the dietary fibre in their diet.
According to one study, including the right amount of fibre significantly improved the symptoms of gut health issues.
Ensure Oral Hygiene
Not a lot of people know this, but there's a close association between your oral health and gut health. Make sure to floss and brush your teeth regularly. Additionally, try to go for regular dental checkups and cleanings. While it may not seem like a big deal, it is. Studies show us that the harmful bacteria from the mouth can travel to the stomach and cause all kinds of gut issues.
One way to ensure oral health (other than flossing, brush, and checkups) is to avoid consuming sugary foods. Try to limit them as much as possible. Not only is sugar inflammatory to the system, but it also offers an ideal environment for yeast overgrowth. It can thus disrupt the delicate balance of the gut microbe.
Additionally, try to limit your intake of processed foods as well.
Consume dark chocolate and polyphenol-laden foods
This one is undoubtedly most people's favourite tip. After all, we could all use some sweetness in life. Besides, who doesn't love chocolates! It's rich in plant-based molecule called polyphenols. When this molecule reaches your intestines, it acts as fuel for the bacteria living there. In addition to dark chocolate, you should try to get as many foods with anti-inflammatory properties and polyphenols in your kitchen as possible. They help to reduce cellular stress, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.
Some of the best foods to get polyphenols are -
- Red Wine
- Green Tea
Get Some Movement
Movement is essential; not just for the body and for seating out the toxic - but also for ensuring gut health. It keeps the gut muscles strong and flexible and also creates a well-balanced environment for bacterial growth.
There are myriad ways to get some movement. You could go for a walk in the park. Or you could also do some Yoga. Brisk walk even for ten to twenty minutes could do wonders. Cycling is another excellent option. We know that most people lead a busy lifestyle, and it's not possible for them to commit to the gym regularly. Therefore instead of feeling discouraged by setting big goals, do whatever you can to get however much movement you can get. There's no reason you should not experience a significant improvement in your stomach issues.
There's a close link between mood and mental health disorders and gut health. If you experience sleeplessness, anxiety, stress, irritability or even depression, there's a considerable likelihood your gut needs attention.
While it's good to seek therapy and other pharmaceutical help do not forget that your stomach also plays a significant role in how you process emotions, handle everyday stresses, and lead a well-balanced life.
Some ways in which you can avoid unnecessary stress and stay happy are these -
- Do as much as physically and mentally possible for you. Do not set too high goals for yourself.
- Avoid things that do not need your attention.
- Spend some time with a pet or a friend
- Practice meditation
- Practice earthing which is walking barefoot on the ground or grass or earth.
- Set a self-care routine for yourself and stick with it.
If you can follow even a handful of these tips and make them a part of your life, there’s no reason you should see improvement in your gut health.