Improving your gut health is not only important to minimize gastrointestinal problems, but it can contribute to positive changes in your overall health. Integrating a few lifestyle changes can promote a better functioning digestive system.
Start With Fiber
Having adequate fiber is important for overall gut health and motility. You should start by attempting to increase your fiber intake through natural sources, such as whole grains, leafy greens, and fruit. Try to include the skin of certain fruits and vegetables, such as potatoes and apples, because this is where the fiber is located. When you are aiming to increase your fiber, start slowly. Just add a single serving each day and after a week, add another serving. This will give you an idea of how your body reacts to the increased fiber. Many people find increasing their fiber intake causes constipation. This can usually be avoided by increasing your fiber slowly and drinking extra water since the fiber needs something to absorb.
Probiotics have numerous benefits for improving gut health. They can help normalize the balance between good and bad bacteria, and yeast in your intestines. When too much bad bacteria or yeast predominates in your intestines, it can contribute to diarrhea, gas, and bloating. Another benefit of probiotics is to reduce gut inflammation that may have a domino effect and contribute to widespread inflammation.
When there are adequate amounts of good bacteria, they keep the bad bacteria and yeast under control, reducing the inflammatory response by your immune system. Inflamed gut probiotics are easily incorporated by using supplements. Make sure the supplements you purchase have enough colony-forming units and you use your supply well before the expiration date. Many retail products, such as sweeteners and dairy, are fortified with probiotics.
Stress can have a profound effect on your gut. When you are stressed, you may notice an increase in either constipation or diarrhea. People who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often find stress can trigger an episode. Learning relaxation techniques is helpful for managing daily stress. Another way to manage stress and also help your gut is to use exercise. Yoga, walking, and running are among many types of exercise that can help reduce stress but also encourage normal bowel function. Some people find when they engage in regular exercise, they experience less constipation and may have regular bowel movements.
Gut health is not just about your digestive system; it has systemic effects. Small steps toward better gut health can help you develop better bathroom habits and make you feel better overall.