Our gut (gastrointestinal tract) is one of the most complex organ systems in the body. Many think the gut is responsible for just digestion and absorption of food. But, I tell you what, the gut does much more. Gut secretions can help the maturation of red blood cells (An intrinsic factor of castle produced in the stomach), as well as impact immunity. This makes it clear that we ought to pay attention to our gut health.
In this article, I explore 5 science-backed ways to improve your gut health and stay healthy.
1. Prebiotic Fiber
One great way to improve your gut health is to take more prebiotic fiber.
Prebiotic fiber is a non-glycemic carbohydrate (meaning it has no glycemic effect—an effect to increase blood sugar levels) that helps provide an environment where needed gut bacteria thrive.
2. Stay Away from Processed Sugar
The state of our gut happens to be quite related to microbial balance. When the balance is maintained properly, the gut functions optimally, but when a shift happens, in a condition called dysbiosis, the gut may start to become unhealthy.
Too much-processed sugar can have an impact in affecting the microbial balance of the gut.
Some research has yielded evidence proving that too much sugar is able to increase blood sugar levels because of the impact sugar has on gut bacteria.
Try as much as you can to eat just enough sugar.
Men are advised to eat no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar every day: it is best if women stay within the 6 teaspoons a day range.
3. If you Can, Avoid Certain Medication
We realize that it is almost impossible to completely avoid medications like antibiotics when you come down with certain disease conditions. That is why we are suggesting that you only take these medications when there is a strong need to. Antibiotics can deplete gut bacteria and further worsen gut health.
Overall, stress is bad for our bodies. It can make you gain a lot of unwanted weight as well as become depressed and anxious. And also, it can alter your gut health.
Stress can be a cause of dysbiosis, which was mentioned earlier to be an imbalance in gut bacteria.
As much as you can, have just enough rest—both physical and mental rest. Whenever you feel as though you have had enough, it is likely you really have had enough. Take some time out and rest.
Be especially careful not to lose sleep. Sleep deprivation is a common stressor and may be able to make your gut unhealthy.
5. Don’t Smoke
Smoking is associated with a number of risks, and rightly so. Smoking has an impact on your gut health, as well as on your heart and lungs. It is no news that smoking a lot is associated with cancer.
It has been shown that smoking can deplete useful gut bacteria, simultaneously increasing harmful ones.
- MedicalNewsToday: 10 ways to improve gut health. medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325293#_noHeaderPrefixedContent
- Markowiak P, et al. (2017). Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Human Health. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622781/
- WebMD. What Is Dysbiosis?. webmd.com/digestive-disorders/what-is-dysbiosis
- Johnson R. K, et al. (2009). Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19704096/
- Karl J. P, et al. (2018). Effects of Psychological, Environmental, and Physical Stressors on the Gut Microbiota. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6143810/#B212