Last updated on September 23rd, 2023.
Did you know there are a bunch of microorganisms living insides of you? It’s true. They inhabit your gut or your digestive system and help with the process of breaking down and converting food so your body can use it. When these microorganisms are out of balance, this can lead to many health problems.
Gut health is very important to your overall health, which is why you should work to improve it. There are many ways to improve your gut health, and what works for you will depend on your individual lifestyle and diet.
Want to learn the best way to improve your gut health? Then keep reading because below are 10 ways to improve your gut health.
What is Gut Health?
The words ‘gut health’ are often used to describe the delicate balance of microorganisms that live in your gut. When these microorganisms, some of them bacteria, get out of balance, this can cause health problems related to the digestive tract.
When your gut is healthy, your body can break down the food you consume and convert it to the energy that keeps you going each and every day. But more often, when you hear the words ‘gut health,’ it’s because someone has poor gut health. This means the bacteria in the gut are out of balance, and the person is not getting the nutrients they need.
Why is Gut Health important?
There is no way to survive on this earth without food. Think about it. If you are unable to eat, you will likely die within 30 days of starvation. This means that life begins with the digestive system.
Besides just keeping you alive, your gut health also dictates your quality of life. This is because people with poor gut health tend to develop issues in other parts of the body. These issues can be painful, embarrassing, and even debilitating.
This means that in order to live a happy and healthy life, you need good gut health, and this makes it very important to learn about.
How Can I Improve My Gut Health Fast?
When it comes to improving your gut health, there is no 30-minute fix. Instead, you will have to embark on a journey to changing your diet, which could take 30 days or more.
There are some non-diet-related things you can change in your life that can improve your gut health, but many of these aren’t quick fixes either. If you truly want to change your gut health, you will need to make a commitment to doing these activities for the long term.
Regardless of these non-diet changes, you can make, the best way to improve your gut health is by changing different aspects of your diet. So if you want to change your gut health, you need to start with what you eat. What you change in your diet will depend on your lifestyle and food choices.
10 Tips for Improving Your Gut Health
Before you start cutting foods out of your diet, you should know there are some very specific changes you should make when you are trying to improve your gut health. These changes may include removing some foods from your diet and adding others.
Ready to improve your gut health and the quality of your life overall? Then scroll on to learn 10 tips that will help you make changes in your life that will improve your gut health.
Drink Water Every Morning
Juice, coffee, milk, it’s all delicious, but these things can wreak havoc on your digestive system, especially when they are consumed first thing in the morning. Instead of waking up to a cup of sugar, start each morning with a glass of water.
You can also add lemon to the water, but it isn’t necessary. Just be sure you drink the entire glass before you drink or eat anything else. This will help get your body systems awake and working without the use of stimulants like coffee.
Additionally, this water needs to be lukewarm. This is because lukewarm water is best for your body, especially first thing in the morning.
Drink More Water
It isn’t enough just to drink water in the morning. You need to be drinking water all day long because it helps with many vital functions of the body. It specifically helps your body to eliminate waste and aids in digestion when it comes to gut health.
Drinking water all day long will also help relieve the symptoms of bloating and constipation and will give you the energy to keep going. It can be boring to drink water all day long, but it really is what’s best for you. Don’t add any flavorings to your water, as this defeats the purpose.
Ideally, you should consume at least 8 glasses of water each and every day. If you find this difficult, cut out all the other drinks you typically drink in a day, resolving not to drink them until you’ve had your water for the day.
Quit the Fast Food
Fast food may taste good, but it absolutely destroys your digestive system. It’s time to skip the drive-thru window and cook at home instead.
Fast food is mostly sugar and fat, which is what makes it taste so good, but this also makes it difficult for your digestive system to process. There just simply aren’t any nutrients in what you are eating. You’re better off eating cardboard.
Suppose you struggle to have time to cook every night, consider meal prepping, where you will make all your meals for the entire week in one sitting. Cook some brown rice, vegetables, and lean meat. This is a balanced and healthy meal that will save and reheat easily for you to eat all week long.
Say Goodbye to Sugar
Having a sweet tooth is difficult. But sugar causes the bacteria in your gut to go crazy and multiply out of control. This can lead to a major imbalance in your gut which can later lead to very serious illnesses like diabetes.
Saying goodbye to sugar means no more soda, no more sugar in coffee (you’re drinking water anyway now, right?), and watching the pre-packaged foods as these often contain lots of sugar. When you find yourself craving something sweet, reach for some fruit instead. This will curb the craving while giving your body the vitamins it needs.
Eat Fermented Foods
This tip isn’t for everyone, but when trying to get your gut health back in balance, you should try to eat fermented foods. Fermented foods are natural probiotics that help manage the bacteria in your gut.
Fermented foods include items like miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, and tempeh. Although these any not sound the most appetizing, including some of these in your everyday diet can really help improve your gut health overall.
Is it difficult to stomach the idea of the fermented foods above? You aren’t the only one that thinks so. This is why there are so many probiotic supplements (gut supplements) on the market. This makes adding probiotics to your diet as easy as taking a pill with breakfast.
Taking a probiotic can help balance the bacteria in your gut, but notice that it isn’t quite as good for you as eating fermented foods (so try that first). You also should discuss what probiotic supplement you plan to take with your doctor, as they aren’t all created equal, and some need to be taken with additional vitamins to be processed by the body. Check out the 11 best iHerb supplements to get the most benefits.
Reduce Your Stress
Did you know that stress plays a huge part in your gut health? It’s true. Stress not only leads you to make poor food choices, but it also disrupts the microorganisms in your gut. Therefore you should take whatever steps you can to reduce the stress in your life.
Start by getting enough sleep every night, as this is a huge stressor. Then be sure that you are taking plenty of time to care for yourself and are engaging in healthy practices like yoga and meditation to help you relieve stress on a regular basis.
Exercise is also great when it comes to reducing stress and keeping your gut bacteria healthy. This is why, as hard as it may be, you need to work regular exercise into your schedule.
This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym every day. It just means you need to be sure that you move each and every day. Five days a week, you should do the vigorous activity that increases your heart rate, such as a job or bike. But on the other two days, even a walk around the block after dinner could suffice.
As difficult as this may be, you will find that regular exercise makes you feel better, and your gut health will thank you.
You may not realize this, but smoking can actually have a huge effect on your gut health. This is because when you smoke, the smoke gets inhaled through your esophagus and mouth. The same route that your food will later take.
Therefore, when you eat or drink anything, bits of the tar, nicotine and other ingredients in cigarettes actually end up in your stomach. And these bits disrupt the presence of your gut bacteria in ways that could be permanent and lead to conditions like Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
So quit smoking right away. You may want to enlist friends, family members, or even your doctor to help you, as quitting smoking can be difficult on your own.
You read that right. Unfortunately, the diet which most American’s indulge in, which is filled with meats and dairy products, is very rough on your gut microbiome. Part of this reason is that the amount of prebiotic fiber in a vegetarian diet.
This doesn’t mean you should quit meat only to load up on tofu and other fake meat products—as this is just swapping one evil for another. Instead, up the vegetables in your diet, indulging in portobello mushrooms instead of a burger patty, and making cashew curry instead of chicken curry.
These simple swaps will change your gut biome and probably your life, so as difficult as it may be, you should look into changing your diet to one that is more vegetarian right away.
If you’ve found yourself with poor gut health, it’s time to try some or all of the above tips to help improve your gut health today. Because if you don’t work to improve your gut health, you could develop serious conditions that will be around for the rest of your life. Plus, when your gut is happy, you’re more likely to live a long and happy life.