If you have issues with your digestion and gut health, you’re not alone. In fact, studies show that 74 percent of Americans are living with digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
While these symptoms are oftentimes nothing to worry about, they could be indicative of a larger health issue.
To make sure your digestive issues don’t get out of control, one of the best things you can do is focus on improving your gut health. But how exactly do you improve your gut health?
Check out this guide to learn how it’s done.
Taking probiotics will improve your gut health
1. Take a Probiotic and Eat Fermented Foods
Taking a probiotic is one of the best things you can do to improve your gut health. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that exist in the gut that helps your gut regulate itself.
Studies show that taking probiotics can reduce inflammation in the gut, as well as improve gut microbiota in certain diseases. They can also help improve the overall function of your gut.
In addition to taking probiotics, you should also try to incorporate fermented foods into your diet as often as possible, as these are a natural source of probiotics. Fermented foods include:
- Fermented vegetables
2. Consume Foods Rich in Prebiotic Fiber
In addition to consuming natural sources of probiotics, you should also aim to eat foods that are rich in prebiotic fiber.
Probiotics feed on prebiotics, which are nondigestible carbohydrates. This process encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Here are some prebiotic foods you should incorporate into your diet:
- Whole grains
3. Avoid Sugars and Sweeteners
By now, most of us are well-aware of the dangers of consuming too much sugar. Eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain, as well as serious health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
Eating too much sugar can also mess with your gut health. This is because sugar can cause an imbalance in your gut microbes. Therefore, you should eliminate sugar as much as possible from your diet.
And remember, sugar doesn’t just exist in things like candies and sweeteners, sugar is also hiding in granola bars, junk food, dressings, condiments, and other processed foods.
4. Reduce Your Stress Levels
When most of us think of ways in which stress affects our health, we often think of our mental health. However, stress can also affect your physical health, particularly the health of your gut.
In fact, a recent animal study discovered that psychological stressors, even short-lived ones, can disrupt the microorganisms in the gut. Therefore, it’s important to practice stress-management techniques in order to keep your whole body in check. Some of the top stress-management techniques you can implement are:
- Deep breathing
- Eating a healthy diet
5. Avoid Taking Antibiotics if You Can
Millions of Americans take antibiotics each day to improve their health. However, a recent study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 30 percent of Americans take antibiotics unnecessarily.
If you overuse antibiotics, it may lead to antibiotic resistance. Additionally, antibiotics are damaging to gut immunity and gut microbiota. Even after six months of discontinuing your medication, your gut can still lack several species of beneficial bacteria it needs to stay healthy.
Therefore, make sure you’re only taking antibiotics if necessary. If you’ve been taking them for a while, talk to your doctor about lowering your dosage or switching medications.
As you can see, there’s a lot that you can do to improve your gut health. Comment below if you have any questions. Otherwise, good luck with improving the health of your gut!