Nurture Your Gut, Nourish Your Life: 3 Lifestyle Tips for Boosting Gut Health
Maintaining digestive health is one of the most effective ways to take control of your health as the digestive system brings nutrients to the body.
As there are thousands of different types of bacteria in our intestines, it’s vital to maintain a healthy environment as doing so promotes a stronger immune system, better digestion, improved mental health, and overall well-being.
With Harvard studies finding that there’s a direct link between gut health and mental health which is penned as the ‘gut-brain’ connection, it’s never been more important to put our gut health first. With that said, here are some practical tips to help you take charge of your digestive health.
1. Eat a fibre-rich diet
According to Medical News Today, researchers have found a link between increased fibre intake over a 2-week period, and the promotion of a healthy gut microbiome. Some practical tips for incorporating more fibre into your diet could be:
- Consuming plenty of wholegrains like brown rice, oats, and quinoa
- Adding chia seeds or flaxseeds to dishes for an added fibre boost
- Ensuring your daily fruit and vegetable intake is as high as possible
If you struggle to keep yourself accountable with ensuring that enough fibre is being consumed, the Best-You platform is an excellent resource for logging your meals, and how many portions of fruit/vegetables you’ve had daily. Take control of your diet by using the Healthy Eating Journey Deck here.
2. Effectively manage your stress levels
Stress management is key in reducing the levels of inflammation in the gut. Chartered psychologist Catherine Hallissey has confirmed that: “Within the field of mental health and psychological wellbeing, the gut-brain connection has seen an incredible development in recent years.”
Additionally, research carried out by the Institute for Functional Medicine found that 75% to 90% of all chronic disease is related to inflammation and stress - this again comes down to the ‘gut-brain’ connection. With that said, this is why managing your stress levels is effective at promoting gut health – activities such as meditation or doing deep breathing exercises are effective starting points.
To help you understand your levels of stress, try taking the ‘Self-Assessment Tool’ on our app, Best-You. Your Best-You well-being insight tool will allow you to better understand where you are on a scale compared to lots of other people, and it will also help you measure if you are stressed/what is affecting your mood.
3. Incorporate healthy lifestyle habits
Ensuring that your lifestyle is optimised for improving your health is fundamental in promoting a healthy gut. The British Heart Foundation has found that lifestyle factors such as exercise, sleep and stress can change the microbes in the gut, which is why setting yourself up for success by implementing positive lifestyle changes is pivotal.
Three of our favourite lifestyle habits for gut health here at Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire are ensuring you’re always hydrated, consuming probiotic foods, and getting sufficient sleep (7-9 hours).
Water is a key component of digestion – drinking the NHS-recommended amount of water (6-8 cups a day) aids towards digestive well-being. Did you know that you can add daily recurring reminders to your personal diary on Best-You? Try this next time you want to ensure that you’re meeting your hydration target.
Probiotic foods such as kombucha and sauerkraut help to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, which then aids nutrient absorption and proper digestion.
Nutritionist and founder of Evolved Foods, Dom Kristy, confirms that: “Adding probiotics – a group of bacteria-containing foods that may help our gut microbiome, and prebiotics, which supply our existing bacteria with the fuel they need to flourish – to your daily routine in supplement form can help gut health.”
Invest in your gut health today for a healthier tomorrow. If you have any lifestyle tips around improving your gut health, and general well-being be sure to share them with your Best-You community here.
Ready to take charge of your health? Join our FREE service today by calling 0800 122 3788.