Our gut is like our second brain. It controls and regulates so much of our bodies’ processes, from mood to sleep, metabolism, illness, and digestion. Therefore, our digestive health is imperative for our overall well being.
Seventy percent of your immune system lives in your gut. This means if you do not maintain a healthy gut, it can leave you vulnerable to contracting illness. It can also affect your ability to lose fat, and disrupt your mental health.
The good bacteria in your digestive system can affect your body’s vitamin and mineral absorption, hormone regulation, vitamin production, immune response, and the ability to eliminate toxins.
Good bacteria also regulates your overall mental health. Pretty important aspects of your life and health, right?!
All these good bacteria that are hanging out in your gut create their own ecosystem that scientists like to call the microbiome. This microbiome is the regulator of your body, which means we better take extra good care of it!
1. Avoid Refined Sugar and Processed Food
Processed food is the enemy of all things healthy, including your digestive health. It’s full of additives, preservatives, ingredients you can’t pronounce, and even chemicals you aren’t meant to consume in the first place!
Refined sugar and processed foods wreak havoc on your gut health, causing imbalances and killing the healthy bacteria that reside there. Instead of choosing the boxed and bagged items at the grocery store, choose whole foods that are raw and organic.
2. Load Up on Magnesium
Magnesium is the wonder nutrient, regulating over 300 processes in your body. It boosts mood and improves your quality of sleep, calms nerves and reduces anxiety, relieves muscle soreness, regulates your calcium, potassium, and sodium levels, prevents headaches, is essential for heart health, and helps with digestion – just to name a few benefits!
You can obtain this nutrient from flax-seed and leafy greens.
3. Don’t Forget Your Pro- and Prebiotics
We’ve all heard it before – probiotics and prebiotics are essential for gut health. So what exactly are probiotics and prebiotics?
Probiotics are live cultures – a kind of good bacteria – that are found in your gut. They balance your gut flora (the community of microorganisms found in your intestinal tract) which boosts immunity and your digestive health, which directly influences your health overall.
Probiotics also help fight food borne illnesses, help you lose weight, fight multiple ailments, and combat fatigue.
Prebiotics are nondigestible fiber components from the food we eat that pass through our system and feed the good bacteria in our gut. You can find your probiotics in foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut and prebiotics in foods like bananas, leeks, onion, garlic, asparagus, and artichokes.
4. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is essential when it comes to keeping your gut healthy. Water flushes toxins and moves waste through your digestive tract, keeping it fresh and happy. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Get drinking!