How Can I Improve my Gut Health Naturally?

While we may not have control over factors such as our age, or whether we have fallen ill and require antibiotics, there is one major factor for a healthy microbiome that is within our control: our diet.

We’ve all heard the popular say “you are what you eat.” We’d take it even further: “you are what your gut microbes eat.” They’re the ones digesting, after all! That’s also why eating something like the standard “Western diet,” high in both sugar and fat2, can be problematic: it’s been linked with dysbiosis9.

This probably isn’t that much of a surprise though, since what we eat rapidly modulates our gut bacteria10. Thus, we must embrace a diet rich in foods and nutrients reported to promote a healthy gut.

Along with diet, did you know that there are many other lifestyle factors that impact our microbiome such as smoking, drinking, and stress? That’s right. Along with smoking and drinking, living a sedentary high-stress lifestyle raises your risk of developing dysbiosis2.

With this in mind, consider embracing a well-balanced life free from smoking and mindful alcohol consumption.

Regarding stress, in today’s world, we are bombarded by stressors and it may seem nearly impossible to find the time to relax, however, keep in mind that these changes don’t have to be dramatic.

Gradually incorporating easy to learn stress management techniques such as mindfulness, diaphragmatic breathing (or “belly breathing”) and mediation are a few evidence-based techniques to assist with managing stress11.

Lifestyle can have a profound impact on your gut health. Here are a few easy lifestyle changes to consider:

  • Eliminate smoking 1
  • Try incorporating stress management techniques 2
  • Incorporate daily exercise 2
  • Consume more gut-friendly foods 12

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