If you want to change your overall health for the better, you need to start with your gut health. A lot of the focus should be on the microbiome and a healthy balance of beneficial microbes. You have more microbes than you have cells and how they function can determine your overall health. Some are beneficial, some are harmful and some are absolutely necessary for good health.
Make sure you have adequate nutrients.
Magnesium is one of those nutrients that’s necessary to create enzymes that help break down food and absorb the nutrients. Lack of magnesium can cause muscle aches, spasms, chronic headaches, constipation and even chocolate cravings. Another way to boost your nutrition is by consuming bone broth. Bone broth contains collagen, which is necessary for creating connective tissue throughout the body. It also has loads of nutrients and improves nutrient absorption.
Feed those beneficial gut bacteria what they need.
Fiber, fiber, and more fiber should be your chant if you want gut health. Introduce it slowly or you’ll end up with cramps and enough gas to power a fleet of 18 wheelers. Fiber can’t be digested by the body. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber is found in almonds, beans, prunes and wheat germ. Soluble fiber is in beans, apples and other produce. While the body can’t digest fiber with enzymes, it passes to the intestines where the beneficial microbes in your gut feast on the soluble fiber and the insoluble fiber builds bulk for your stool.
Avoid sugar and move.
Sugar is not only bad for your body, it’s bad for your gut. It can cause an overgrowth of Candida albicans, which creates many gut problems. It also feeds other harmful microbes. You’ll be surprised at how many processed foods contain sugar, which includes soft drinks. Don’t think the sugar free type are better, they also affect gut bacteria negatively. Also, the more you move around and exercise, the better your gut health. It helps food pass through the body more efficiently and also boosts the friendly bacteria in the gut.
If you’ve taken antibiotics, give your gut a boost of beneficial ones. Eat fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt and kimchee. An imbalance of microbes can cause leaky gut syndrome.
Get adequate sleep. Lack of sleep can affect gut health by causing stress, which is bad for gut health. Also drink plenty of water, which also is necessary for healthy digestion and a healthy microbiome.
Prepare grains, nuts and beans properly. Sprouted grain bread is one way, soaking them and rinsing thoroughly before cooking is another. Grains are seeds, and many contain phytic acid, to prevent digestion so animals can spread the seed in their excrement.
One study that lasted six weeks, showed that people who exercised improved the gut microbiome by increasing the amount of friendly bacteria.