Simple ways to improve gut health
The world of gut health can be a complex one, full of jargon and conflicting evidence. However, luckily, there are a few simple things that have been proved to improve and support gut health that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine.
How can you support your gut health?
1. Eat more plants – aim for at least 30 different plant based foods a week. Remember diversity is key!! Opt for a range of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and pulses (they all count!).
2. Reduce stress – chronic high levels of stress can be detrimental to you physical, mental and gut health. Therefore, try reducing stress by practicing mindfulness and meditation or just make more time to do things that make you relax, like going for a walk in nature or a coffee with a friend.
3. Get more sleep – good quality sleep is key for optimum health and wellbeing. Good sleep allows your gut to reset and recharge and be ready for the next day ahead. Try to prioritise getting 7 – 9 hours sleep per night. Ways to enhance a good nights sleep include:
- reducing caffeine intake in the afternoon
- reduce screen time – blue light can disrupt the bodies natural circadian rhythm, so try and avoid screens an hour before bedtime.
- avoid afternoon naps (however tempting they may be!)
- get more sunlight throughout the day – go out, go for a little jog or light stroll, get that sunshine and vitamin D. Studies show that exposing our eyes to bright light during the day can improve mood and focus in the day and enhance sleep quality at night.
- stick to a constant sleep schedule – irregular bedtimes are not ideal for prime sleep. Try and keep a good routine if you want to improve your sleep.
4. Eat more fibre – fibre is key for optimum gut health. Aim for that tasty prebiotic fibre to feed your good gut bacteria. You can find this in things like onions, garlic, unripe bananas, leeks, apples, asparagus, oats…
5. Add fermented foods and drinks to your diet – fermented foods contain probiotics which is essentially the good bacteria for our guts. Fermented foods include things like kefir, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, tempeh, yoghurt… and our apple cider vinegar. Grab yours here!
6. Stay hydrated – aim to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. Drinking lots of water and staying hydrated has been linked to a positive effect on the lining of our guts, as well as on the balance of good gut bacteria. Water helps to avoid gut dysbiosis (imbalance of bad gut bacteria) but promoting our good gut bugs and flushing out our not so friendly gut bacteria There are some simple ways to make sure you’re drinking enough throughout the day:
- have a glass of water with every meal
- have a glass of water as soon as you get up
- keep a water bottle with you when you’re out and about
- have a glass of water with your tea, coffee or alcohol
- try adding some fresh fruit or lemon to jazz it up a bit!
I hope you found this useful and are going to incorporate some of these tips into your routine to keep you gut healthy and happy.