Your gut is connected directly to your brain and it affects your mood and hormones, not to mention your overall weight and health.
With this in mind, you can see why taking care of your digestive system is important.
However, for some people, digestive issues plague them day to day and they don’t know how to correct the issues at hand.
How and Why Gut Health Affects So Many People
When we look at how much our food has changed over the last several decades and see how much stress we’re consistently in throughout a daily basis, it becomes more evident of why gut health issues occur.
Every food and drink choice that we make direct affects our gut health and digestion, not to mention our hormones which then, in turn, affect our digestion too. This cycle makes gut disorders tricky to overcome, but luckily there are some proven nutrition and lifestyle tips that you take note of and implement into your life right now for better digestion and health.
Steps to Improve Digestion and Gut Health
Eat a Healthy Diet
It’s time to fill your diet up with supportive foods and drinks for better digestion and gut health.
Start With Whole Foods:
Whole foods high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water are the most important place to start when you build your menu each day.
Vegetables and Greens:
Focus on eating at least one vegetable with each meal. Generally, squash, greens and root veggies like carrots digest very well. Include any other vegetables in your diet you enjoy as well.
Next, add in some lean protein from a source of protein that’s high in beneficial nutrients. Fish is usually one that digests easily while other people prefer options such as plain yogurt, lentils, black beans, or eggs.
It’s also important to eat healthy fats like olive oil and nuts.
When it comes to carbohydrates, choose cooked sources that digest slowly and easily such as:
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
- Yellow/gold potatoes
- Low Glycemic Fruits from berries, apples, pears, melons, and tomatoes
Supplement With Probiotics
As mentioned, probiotics can help increase the levels of healthy bacteria in your gut while also improving digestion and nutrient absorption.
Aside from probiotics, you should also focus on eating naturally fermented foods that are high in beneficial bacteria such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, and apple cider vinegar. You can even find dairy-free kefir and yogurt if you’re looking to avoid dairy at this time.
Get Enough Sleep
One of the most important parts of overcoming digestive struggles is improving your quality of sleep and how much sleep you get. Hormones that directly affect digestion are influenced by how much sleep you get. These hormones include sex hormones, cortisol, leptin, insulin, and serotonin along with melatonin.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll notice your digestion can be just as “off” or just as worse as it is when you are highly stressed out. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, but if you need more sleep than that, feel free to get up to 9 or 10 hours of sleep. Listen to your body and let it tell you how much sleep is best for you at this point in your healing journey.