Easy Ways to Support and Improve Gut Health
Improve your gut health by adopting these four habits.
Did you know that trillions of bacteria live your digestive tract? Because your gut is incredibly important to your overall health, even the slightest change to diet, sleep, stress levels, or environment can change that bacteria and manifest itself in unusual ways. In fact, imbalanced gut flora– also known as gut microbiota– may result in everything from obesity, indigestion, brain fog, and fatigue to skin conditions, depression, and autoimmune diseases. To improve gut health and restore the balance of bacteria in your gut, try adopting the following habits.
What Causes Unhealthy Gut Flora?
In recent decades, an increasing amount of the American population is suffering from digestive conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), leaky gut, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). While some medical professionals may argue that this increase is due to an increased interest in the gut microbiome– and there certainly is some truth to that theory– the more likely causes are due to our modern lifestyle.
Some of the most common habits that contribute to unhealthy guts include:
- Diets lacking high-fiber foods
- Diets that are high in carbs and sugars
- Taking antibiotics
- Chronic stress levels
- Lack of sleep
Now that you know the most common causes of unhealthy guts, learn how you can protect yours from bad bacteria and improve your overall health.
4 Simple Ways to Improve Gut Health
Are you ready to take control of your gut health? Here are just a few of many ways to improve gut health. By incorporating these habits into your lifestyle and working with your primary care physician to address any ongoing conditions, you can rebalance your digestive system’s bacteria and get back to living a healthy life!
Incorporate Prebiotics and Probiotics Into Your Diet
Try incorporating prebiotics and probiotics into your daily diet to improve gut health. Probiotics are the live “good” bacteria in your gut and are thought to prevent intestinal problems and inflammation. While you can take probiotic supplements, you may also consider eating fermented foods as they tend to be an excellent source of probiotics. Fermented foods to incorporate into your diet include yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, kefir, fermented vegetables, and more.
To help support the healthy bacteria in your body, try eating prebiotics as well. Prebiotics are like food for the good bacteria in your gut. They can help support and multiply the probiotics, as well as help probiotics adjust to environmental changes. To incorporate more prebiotic fiber into your diet, you can take a prebiotic supplement, or even start eating more garlic, asparagus, whole grains, onions, and bananas.
Consume Less Artificial Sweeteners
Think twice before reaching for that diet soda! Recent research suggests that consuming artificial sweeteners may negatively affect your gut flora and in turn, may cause glucose intolerance. Start reading the labels on the food you’re consuming, paying particular attention to anything marked “diet” or “sugar-free.”
Minimizing your stress levels is easier said than done, but it’s a critical step in taking charge of your gut health. Chronic stress can negatively impact your overall health, mental health, and digestive health. To decrease your stress levels, try relaxing by working out, meditating, doing yoga, or spending time with family. Additionally, exercising and following a regular sleep schedule may reduce your stress levels.
Avoid Unnecessary Antibiotics
Sometimes taking antibiotics is necessary to combat infection; however, overuse of antibiotics is becoming a significant public health concern. In addition to damaging your immune system, antibiotics can also damage your gut bacteria. In fact, recent findings suggest that the effects of an antibiotic to the gut can be seen anywhere from six months to two years after the treatment.
If you’re concerned about your gut health or are uncertain if you truly need antibiotics, talk with your physician. There are alternative approaches to treating infections that may be worth exploring.
If you’re experiencing digestive issues, inflammation, bloating, or chronic pain, contact the physicians at Supro Direct. Our team of experienced physicians can help you identify the root of the problem, and ultimately, achieve better gut health. Plus, with short wait times, in-house lab testing, and same or next-day appointments, there’s no better personalized primary care office in Indianapolis, IN.
To request an appointment with our physicians, please call our office at 317-300-7424.