Gut Health: What should I do to improve Gut Health?

Gut Health: What should I do to improve Gut Health?

by Dr. Marli Botha

Gut health refers to the balance of micro-organisms that live in the digestive tract. Looking after the health of the gut and maintaining the right balance of these micro-organisms is vital for physical and mental health, immunity, and more. Fortunately, just like there are a lot of things that can contribute to an unhealthy gut, there are a lot of things you can do to improve your gut health and bring your body back into balance:

 Tips to Improve your Gut Health:

  1. Identify and eliminate your specific triggers. While there are some foods, like refined sugars, that are known to contribute to poor gut health across the board, it’s possible that you have specific food intolerances that are causing a problem even though the food itself isn’t inherently bad for your gut. The simplest way to identify food intolerances is an elimination diet, in which you eliminate common food triggers for 30 days and then slowly reintroduce them, looking out for symptom flare-ups.
  2. Getting regular exercise is also an important step in getting your gut back into balance. According to one review on the effects of exercise on the microbiome, aerobic exercise can increase the amount of bacteria in your gut and contribute to overall bacterial diversity.
  3. Stress wreaks havoc on your entire system, and your gut is especially susceptible. Chronic stress causes an inflammatory response that contributes to gut dysbiosis. And this effect is seen with any type of stress—physical, emotional, and environmental.
  4. A 2014 animal study indicated that irregular sleep habits and disturbed sleep can have negative outcomes for the gut flora, which may increase the risk of inflammatory conditions. Establish healthy sleep habits by going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. Adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

It is important to mention that no food is meant to be a cure-all for any condition, though there are certainly health and skin benefits contained within them. The one thing you should always do before using a new skin care product is to do a patch test to look for allergies and sensitivities.

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