Your gut health has a lot to do with your wellbeing. To improve your gut health is to maintain the balance of the microorganisms in your digestive tract.
How to restore healthy gut flora is what we’re going to share with you today.
There are good and bad bacteria in the stomach, maintaining a higher population of good ones leads to better physical and mental health.
Studies have also shown a link between gut health and the immune system.
The bacteria, viruses, and yeasts that populate our digestive tracts are also referred to as the gut microbiome.
A lot of the microbes are beneficial, some even essential, to our health and wellbeing.
Others can be very harmful when they multiply, which will pave way for other health complications.
This is the more reason it is important to balance one’s intestinal bacteria to improve gut health.
This means having more of the good and beneficial microbes than the unhealthy ones.
That’s not all, there are about 100 trillion of these bacteria inside us.
So, having a wide variety of them will not only improve gut health but have a cascading effect on our overall health.
Before we go ahead, let us share with you some of the things you might notice if you don’t have a favorable balance of good and bad bacteria in your stomach.
Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut
The current popular lifestyle we live today, we are more exposed to high-stress levels, high-sugar drinks, processed foods, poor sleep, etc. All these can upset the balance of our guts.
When that happens, the effects are bound to show one way or another. Poor gut health can affect the heart, brain, hormone levels, skin, weight, absorption of nutrients, etc.
Below are some of the things you might notice if you are due for restoring your gut flora.
Processed foods and added sugar are some of the worst foods for gut health.
Consuming them in high quantities will throw off your gut balance and make you want more of it.
Poor Sleep and Fatigue
Serotonin is a hormone that affects mood and sleep. A large part of it comes from the gut.
So, poor gut health will affect the production of the hormone, thus impairing sleep and cause chronic fatigue.
Gaining or Losing Weight
A lot of people will be happy if they start losing weight.
However, if you have not changed your diet, or involve in some exercises, this might be a sign of an unhealthy gut.
If you have an unfavorable balance of the gut microbiome, it will affect how your body absorbs the nutrient, store fat, and control your blood sugar.
If you’re gaining weight, it could be because your body is resisting insulin.
Whether you have been noticing these symptoms or not, you should aim to improve your gut health as it comes with all sorts of benefits.
Now, let’s check out the things you can do towards healing leaky guts.
11 Best Ways to Improve Gut Health Naturally at Home
1. Probiotic to Improve Gut Health
Probiotics supplements are great for gastrointestinal health as they are the live good bacteria.
You can take this as gut health supplements.
They are available in drug stores or online.
Not only will it balance your gut microbiome, but it can also prevent inflammation in your guts and other intestinal problems.
Fermented foods too are a form of probiotics.
Eating such foods will make for a healthy gut diet plan.
Examples of fermented foods are kefir, fermented vegetables, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, tempeh, etc.
These are some of the best probiotics for leaky gut.
Kindly note that people who are diagnosed with SIBO should not take probiotics as they don’t need any more of it.
2. Consume Prebiotic Fibers
Prebiotics promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut.
It achieves this by working together with probiotics.
It serves as food for probiotics so they can thrive.
Probiotics can be affected by certain environmental conditions.
However, research has shown that prebiotics can make them tolerant to conditions such as pH levels and temperature.
Some of the following prebiotic fibers are great to include in a gut health diet if you aim to improve gut health.
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Whole grains
3. Lower Stress Levels
Studies on animals have shown that stress can disrupt the balance of gut microbiome in the body. That is even if the stressors do not last long.
In humans, the following are some of the stressors that can cause problems to the gut health:
- Disruption of the circadian rhythm
- Psychological stress
- Extreme noise, heat, or cold
- Sleep deprivation
4. Cut Down on Sugar
Dysbiosis is an imbalance in gut microbes and that is what you will get if you take too many sugars and processed foods.
A typical western diet is high in sugar and fat which has become a staple.
A study shows that an imbalance in the gut microbiome can influence the brain and behavior.
This is why you will sometimes see adverts on probiotics for mental health which are also sometimes called psychobiotics.
5. Reduce Antibiotics Intake
It is true that antibiotics are what you take to combat bacterial infections.
However, too much of it can negatively affect the health of your gut.
Research shows that antibiotics can lower immunity and damage gut microbiota.
Even 6 months after use, some beneficial gut bacteria can still be missing.
6. Get Sufficient Sleep
Good sleep is beneficial for our mood, brain function, and overall health.
It is also significant if you want to improve gut health.
Irregular sleep can throw one’s gut off balance which can lead to inflammation and other complications.
7 hours of restful sleep is recommended for an adult.
A great way to achieve this is to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
7. Eat a Wide Range of Food
The population of bacteria in your gut is quite diverse.
There are lots of different species serving different purposes.
For instance, akkermansia muciniphila ubiome is a species of the good bacteria.
A probiotic one that feeds on undigested carbohydrates.
It has anti-inflammatory properties and is linked to weight loss.
When your diet consists of different food types, you are able to supply the bacteria different variants of nutrients to cater to the well being of the diversity and keep them all healthy.
Some studies have shown that 75 percent of the world’s foods are gotten from just 12 plants and 5 species of animal.
You will agree that is nowhere near diverse enough.
8. Take your Oral Hygiene Serious
The way to your gut is through your mouth.
Studies have shown that bacteria that grow in the mouth often find their way into the gut and sometimes even into the bloodstreams.
Brushing regularly can kill those harmful microbes before they make their way into areas they are not needed.
9. Eat Nuts and Whole Grains
Nuts such as walnut and groundnut as well as whole grains such as oats and quinoa are great sources of dietary fiber.
They cannot be broken down by the intestines so they get to your colon intact.
This is a good thing because they serve as food for the good bacteria in your guts.
One benefit of maintaining these good bacteria in weight loss.
It also increases microbial diversity which will improve gut health.
10. Take some Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolates contain polyphenols which are plan-based molecules as well as fibers.
Since they are not easy to digest by the intestine, they can travel deep into your guts.
They eventually end up as nutrients for the microbiome in there to improve your gut health.
11. Stop Smoking
You already know smoking can affect the heart and lungs.
Well, they can also affect your gut health and increase the risk of cancer.
A long-term research shows that smoking can affect the balance of the gut by reducing the beneficial bacteria and increasing the harmful ones.
There have been links between alcohol and gut health as well, so you need to reduce the intake of alcohol too while you’re at it.
Apples for gut health are a thing too as vegetarian diets are a recommended way to improve gut health.
The compounds in apple help to balance gut flora.
The fiber in it too serves as prebiotic.
You now have all the information you need to bring your health back to normal starting with your gut.
If you follow these recommendations, you will soon start to notice the cascading effect we talked about.
Your overall wellbeing is closely related to improved gut health.