8 Easy Steps To Having A Healthy Gut
Keeping your gut healthy
Being healthy starts in the gut. This is because our gut has important functions that are essential to good health. A healthy gut means an effective process of digestion and absorption of foods and the right balance of our “gut microbiome” which promote many aspects of our physical and mental health, as well as our metabolism and our immune health.
The key to a healthy microbiome is to have a wide variety of different bugs, all with different functions, often referred to as our gut microbiome “diversity”.
To achieve gut microbiome diversity and a healthy gut, we can modify our diet by including specific foods in our diet regularly (to promote a healthy microbiome) and to limit some foods (which reduce microbiome diversity and negatively impact our health). We also help to maintain our gut microbiome diversity through exercise, good sleep and exercise.
If you want to eat well and improve and maintain a healthy gut, here are 8 east steps to having a heathy gut:
1. Eat fibre-rich foods and prebiotics
To help our beneficial bacteria grow, we need to feed them with non-digestible fibres. These are called “pre-biotics” and they provide energy to your gut microbiome and help them grow. Most vegetables have some insoluble fibres. The best sources include whole grains, garlic, onions, asparagus and bananas. We can also take powders with prebiotics such as guar gum and slippery elm.
2. Have a diet high in vegetables or a vegetarian diet
Research has shown that a diet high in vegetables supports a healthy gut microbiome more so than a diet that is high in meats. A vegetarian diet contains a high levels of prebiotic fibre, that is essential for the microbiome to grow. A diet higher in vegetables also favours lower levels of gut inflammation, and this allows for a better digestion, absorption and metabolism.
3. Eat fermented foods
Eating fermented foods may help to increase the number of beneficial gut microbiomes. This is because fermented foods are actually a natural source of probiotics. All vegetables can be fermented. We can also use consume sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kefir, kimchi, and kombucha.
4. Take probiotics and only take antibiotics when necessary
Probiotics may be beneficial in supporting a healthy gut microbiome. They may help reduce gut inflammation. They should be taken after a course of antibiotics to rebuild your natural healthy microbiome. Antibiotics are prescribed only to treat bacterial infections and should only be used as directed by a GP. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance so they become ineffective.
5. Eat less sugar and sugar-based foods
If you eat a lot of sugar, it causes an overgrowth of some of the gut microbiome while inhibiting some of the essential microbes. This caused an imbalance of gut microbes, called ‘Gut Dysbiosis”.
6. Move your body, stretch and practice deep breathing
You don’t actually feel it but standing, stretching, breathing deeply, even laughing and some regular physical activities actually promotes a healthy gut microbiome and increases the variety of microbiome in our gut. Our gut microbiome has a positive effect on our heart health, our liver and cholesterol metabolism and maintaining a healthy weight.
7. Manage stress and getting regular restful sleep
Can we “stress” our gut microbiome? Research suggests that stress can alter our gut microbe in a negative way. Stress can be environmental and it can be over-worry, and imbalance in work-play-sleep balance. Stress causes sleep disruption, with problems getting to sleep, staying asleep or waking up feeling tired. We can manage stress by having time out, doing gentle exercise such as yoga, self-hypnosis or meditation or even having a relaxing bath or relaxation massage. For many people, regular exercise will help sleep and in turn, getting 7 to 8 hours solid sleep will help manage stress. Start by setting a goal to go to bed and get up the next day at the same time.
8. Breath clean air and avoid smoking
Research has shown that smoking negatively affects gut health by increasing the potentially harmful microbes and increasing gut inflammation as well as the circulatory system and lungs.
A healthy gut is an important part of having a heathy body, supporting our metabolism, maintaining our immune system and reducing systemic and gut inflammation. By incorporating some of the choices above, we can increase (improve) the diversity and number of microbes in our gut and improve your overall health. A nutritionist or naturopath may be able to give specific dietary interventions and if you have any gut discomfit that persists for more than a few days, talk to one of our clinicians at Evidence Sciences Wellness Clinic.
Current clinical trials
If you want to know about the bugs in your own gut, we’re currently conducting a clinical trial. We’re investigating if a prebiotic fibre supplement taken over a 3-week period without any changes to the usual diet would get you more ‘regular’ and help improve your gut health. You’ll get your personal microbiome tested free and we’ll give you advice on how to stay healthy.
To find out if you’re eligible might be eligible for our study click on this link https://www.evidencesciences.com.au/gut-function-clinical-trial/
Evidence Sciences Wellness Clinic
At Evidence Sciences Wellness Clinic our specialist healthcare practitioners can help you put in place a strategy for these 8 Easy Steps To Having A Healthy Gut. If you’re not sure if you’re where to start, give us a call on 0431 256 393 or visit click here to book in with one of our gut health practitioners to discuss how to become the healthiest person you can be.
Dr Beth Steels
Evidence Sciences Wellness Clinic
Contact Evidence Sciences Wellness Clinic