You probably know that good gut health is important, but you may not realise just how crucial it is to your long term, overall wellbeing. So many of the daily symptoms we are regularly plagued with are often a result of an imbalanced gut microbiome.
Common warning signs of an unhealthy gut include:
Skin issues such as eczema, acne and rosacea
Bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea
Too many of us suffer from the above symptoms in silence, trying over the counter remedies in the hope of a quick fix. Unfortunately, that is not a long term solution.
The good news is that by rebalancing your gut you can reclaim good health, greatly enhancing your physical and emotional wellbeing.
so what is your microbiome, and why does it matter?
To properly improve your gut health, it’s important to get acquainted with the inner workings of your gut microbiome. Still not quite sure what it is exactly? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Essentially your microbiome is composed of communities of good and bad bacteria (along with viruses and fungi) that are said to have greater complexity than the human genome itself.
why is it important to take care of your microbiome?
Studies now show that a healthy, well-balanced gut microbiome is crucial for overall health. An unbalanced microbiome, on the other hand, has now been associated with the onset of many chronic health conditions, including but not limited to:
irritable bowel syndrome
inflammatory bowel disease
what easy changes can you make to improve your gut health?
fertilise your gut with prebiotics
Just as flowers cannot grow in bad soil, good bacteria cannot thrive in an arid microbiome. Simply put, prebiotics act as fertilisers that work to enhance the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Unfortunately, the Western diet often lacks insufficient prebiotic intake, so it is usually a good idea to supplement with a quality prebiotic to better heal and strengthen your gut. By taking a daily prebiotic you can easily promote a change in your gut flora, encouraging the dominance of the good bacteria as opposed to the bad.
populate your microbiome with probiotics
You’ve probably heard of probiotics, but what are they? In a nutshell, probiotics are live organisms, or strains of bacteria, that add directly to the number of good bacteria in your gut. When consumed on a daily basis, probiotics can help to support your digestive health, boost your immune function, and greatly enhance the overall health of your microbiome. In addition to the host of benefits they provide to your physical being, probiotic supplements may also improve some mental health and autoimmune conditions including anxiety and depression.
They say that knowledge is power, and this is certainly true when rebuilding your gut health. Since your microbiome is populated with both good and bad bacteria, it’s important to feed the ones that will make you well, and starve the ones that will make you sick. By knowing which foods fuel what organisms you can ensure you’re cultivating an inner environment that will leave you feeling happy and energised.
eat foods that are good for your gut
When it comes to rebalancing your microbiome, food really can (and should) be an essential component of our wellbeing. The simplest way to increase gut health is to enhance the variety of foods you are consuming as greater diversity in your diet leads to a more diverse microbiome, which experts say is an indicator of good gut health. Not sure where to start? Foods such as legumes, beans and fruits contain healthy fibres that promote the growth of healthy Bifidobacteria, one of the friendliest and most important bacteria when it comes to staying strong and well. Fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi also contain high levels of healthy bacteria, mainly Lactobacilli, which can reduce the amount of disease-causing species in the gut when consumed on a regular basis.
make sure you are getting enough sleep
You’ve probably heard this one before, but don’t underestimate its importance. Studies have now shown that irregular sleep patterns can have negative outcomes for your gut flora, which may, in turn, increase your risk of inflammatory conditions. When you establish a regular sleep routine you automatically improve your health, plus it’s free and relatively easy. Have trouble nodding off? Practices such as meditation have been shown to enhance melatonin levels and assist your brain in reaching a state where sleep is far more easily achieved.
avoid toxins at all times
Many people do not realise what a toxin truly is. Many over the counter medications can negatively impact the health of your gut, as can a range of commonly prescribed medications including antibiotics so only use these when it’s absolutely necessary. Eating foods that have been sprayed with pesticides may also harm the balance of bacteria in your gut, so try to eat organic whenever you can. Keep your home free of toxins by investing in environmentally friendly cleaning products that do not contain nasty chemicals such as Sodium Hydroxide, Chlorine or Ammonia.