Updated: Feb 22, 2021
The term "gut health" is super buzzy these days - but wtf does it even mean?
Growing scientific evidence shows that our overall mental and physical health has a strong connection to our gut (aka our gastrointestinal tract). So, when our gut is healthy, we are more likely to be healthy!
The health of our gut effects immunity, mood, mental focus, digestion, nutrient absorption, skin health, cravings, and more. We've broken down some "do's & don'ts" to make sure you're doing everything you can to be set up for gut health success.
• Consume enough fiber. Over 90% of adults in the United States don't get enough fiber, which acts as food for the healthy bugs in our gut.
• Sleep 7-9 hours each night. Sleep is important for all kinds of rest and recovery functions in our body, including our gastrointestinal tract.
• Have a healthy social life. Meaningful relations improve gut health.
• Exercise regularly. People who exercise tend to have more diverse microbiomes.
• Take a probiotic to replenish helpful bacteria lost to stress, antibiotic use, and other factors.
• Drink alcohol excessively.
• Use artificial sweeteners - they are poison to good bacteria.
• Consume a lot of added sugar. Sugar is unhealthy for good bugs and can change our microbiome to crave even more sugar.
• Eat constantly. Our gut microbiome responds well to periods of limited digestion. Try skipping breakfast a few times per week and finishing your final meal at least 3 hours before bedtime.
• Sit in stress. Our mental health impacts our gut, and our gut impacts our mental health. Implement a regular meditation, mindfulness, or a gratitude practice.