Many people are totally unaware of the signs of an unhealthy gut. Some signs of digestive distress include: gas, bloating, chronic stress, mental issues (depression, anxiety and “brain fog”), vitamin deficiencies, allergies, auto-immune diseases, headaches, reflux, fatigue, abdominal distention, irregularity and constipation, skin problems, mental disorders, and the list goes on and on.
Like most things in life, gut health is all about balance. At its prime, about 80-85 per cent of the bacteria in your gut are good guys and the rest are baddies. It is with this healthy balance that you feel great, your body is strong, you are rarely sick, you are full of energy, and life is, well, good.
If you want better immunity, efficient digestion, improved clarity, and overall wellbeing, follow these 10 simple tips:
1. Eat healthy foods, first and foremost.
Plain and simple. Fuel your body with nutrient-rich, high-fibre, fresh and whole foods.
2. Avoid processed foods.
These foods are loaded with chemicals, which our body recognizes as toxic invaders, placing an unhealthy burden on our body.
3. Chew your food until it is liquid.
It just makes sense.
4. Stay hydrated.
A simple increase in water intake can dramatically change your health.
Living a lifestyle of high stress activates the fight or flight response, ultimately putting a stop to the digestive process to preserve energy for survival.
Our body cannot differentiate the stress of a work deadline versus being chased by a lion. In simple terms, we need to relax in order to activate the rest and digest system.
6. Get to know the brain and gut connection.
Most of us have felt our digestive system amp up to overdrive when feeling nervous or stressed, however, the connection is much more than that. The gut has its own nervous system, and sends chemical messages to the brain, which can in turn affect your feelings and emotions, and overall mental state.
7. Avoid highly caffeinated, sugar-sweetened, and artificially sweetened beverages.
8. Drink wise.
If you drink alcohol, enjoy in moderation and allow yourself at least two consecutive alcohol-free days per week.
9. Be active and stay upright around meals.
This will help prevent reflux and aids the digestion process. Also aim for larger meals earlier in the day when you need the energy most, and avoid big meals before bedtime.
10. Follow the 80/20 rule.
When eating, leave 20 per cent of your stomach empty to have enough energy for digestion.
By looking after your gut health you could see chronic health issues such as fatigue, fogginess, colds, and aches and pains totally diminish and you will feel an abundance of energy that you once only dreamt of. Modern science is emerging connecting issues with the gut to issues throughout the whole body and mind.
Improving your gut health just might be the first step to changing your life!
Add lemon, apple cider vinegar, kumbucha, celery or cucumber to your water to facilitate the digestive process.