How to Improve your Gut for Better Health

Improve your Gut

There are many ways to improve your health, but none are as significant as when you improve your gut health. It’s literally where everything begins and its importance can’t be overstated.

It’s your mental wellness, your immune system, your metabolism, your sleep cycle and your overall digestion.

When I talk about gut health, I am talking about the trillions of bacteria that have taken up residence in your gut. These guests determine your health outcomes, and it’s all contingent on who is living there.

‘Bad ‘bacteria will wreak havoc, creating anxiety, malabsorption and reduced immunity, whilst the ‘good’ guys will ensure that your food is digested properly, so you can fight off disease and manage your stress. I know who I want to cohabitate with, and so do you!

So I have a plan for you to improve your gut, something that will actually change your cells.

You need to get the good guys in. You need to invite them in and it all starts with ferments.

Let’s start with your bacteria first. 

Although they can grow naturally, humans have come to have an innate need for fermented foods, foods that utilise the wild bacteria in the air, to colonise the food or drink and create the perfect bacteria to propagate your gut. 

These foods you might already have in your fridge, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, yoghurt, kimchi, kombucha, cheese, kefir, and other fermented fruits and vegetables.  These bacteria are commonly referred to as probiotics – derived from the Latin preposition, ‘for life’.

Next, you need to make them comfortable.

That involves giving them the foods they like, and creating a perfect environment.  This relies on prebiotics, which are compounds in foods that feed the probiotics and keep them thriving. They are typically high fibre foods, things like Turkey Tail mushroom, whole grains, bananas, leafy green vegetables, onions, garlic, soybeans and artichokes. You need to be having these every day to improve your gut.

The key part? Diversify your diet. 

Researchers have found that if you eat 30 or more different plant foods per week, you will have greater diversity in your gut bacteria and greater protection against disease-causing microorganisms – that means more beneficial bacteria on your team. And although this sounds daunting it’s quite easy.  The 30 plant foods can include herbs and spices, as well as fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and anything that is derived from a plant.

Oh, and there is something else…

Avoid all heavily processed foods, fizzy drinks, artificial sweeteners and anything your great-grandmother would not recognise as a food.  These kinds of food ‘like’ substances wreak havoc on your beneficial gut bacteria often creating inflammation and killing off the good guys.

Eat, sleep, move – and chill out! 

Your gut biome also loves to sleep, and loves it when you breathe deeply, relax and exercise…they love it when you move your body.

It’s so hard to comprehend that your existence relies on the presence of these bacteria, but it’s true. 

Your Better Gut Checklist:

I have a challenge for you for the next month to really set your gut health up for the rest of the year. 

▢ Include fermented foods in your meals every day

▢ Build your plate around prebiotics (or take Turkey Tail)

▢ Eat 30 different plant foods in a week

▢ Avoid processed foods

▢ Move every single day

▢ Go to bed at the same time each night

▢ Set 10 minutes aside for deep breathing exercises

Do it like your life depends on it – because it literally does.

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