Top Tips To Reset Your Gut
Whilst many of these tips may seem simple, the fact is that many people are still not doing what it takes to keep their gut healthy. Try them all for a complete gut heath reset.
1. Ditch the white
Choosing wholegrain varieties of bread, pasta and rice over white varieties is one of the simplest steps to help improve the health of your gut. Wholegrain varieties of these staple foods have much more fibre assisting with the transit of food through the gut and helping to reduce the risk of constipation.
2. Love your wholegrains
These include oats, brown rice, barley and rye. Unlike refined grains the bran and germ remain intact so they are higher in fibre and other key nutrients. Pseudo-grains such as quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth are also high in fibre and can make an interesting alternative to traditional grains.
3. Get down with pulses, beans and lentils
These foods are not a common choice but are one of the richest sources of dietary fibre. Hugely versatile, they can be used as a base for vegetarian meals or added to salads, soups, one-pot dishes and made into dips. If youre new to these foods, then introduce them slowly as they can cause a little bloating at first.
4. Beef up on veggies
5. Eat probiotic foods
6. Eat prebiotic foods
7. Eat mindfully and manage your stress
Importance Of Gut Flora
Our gut microbiome is a community of different microbes like fungi and bacteria. It is concluded that about 300 to 1000 types of tiny living organisms contribute to the overall functioning of your gut . In order to establish a balanced environment inside, you need to eat different kinds of foods and practice physical activities consistently. This also means eliminating certain fatty and sugary foods from your diet. Its time to control your cravings for the greater good!
Here are 8 tips you can adopt today to improve the number of healthy bacteria in your gut.
When To Wake Up
Let your body wake up naturally
Sleeping in line with your bodys natural circadian rhythm is important for good sleep and a healthy gut.
The gut microbiota has a circadian rhythm like we do, said Azcárate-Peril. Our gut microbiota will fluctuate in terms of composition and abundance based on our rhythm of when we eat and sleep. If that circadian rhythm is disrupted, we are going to have issues. We dont want to interrupt that cycle.
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Why Gut Health Matters
Your gutotherwise known as your digestive system or your gastrointestinal system digests the foods you eat, absorbs nutrients from it and uses those nutrients to fuel and maintain your body.
The gut plays a huge role in the health and well-being of our bodies, says Alicia Romano, a specialized clinical dietitian at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In addition to digesting food and absorbing nutrients, the gut is in tight communication with the brain, playing a constant game of telephone and influencing a number of factors, including immune activity, GI muscle contractions and fluid secretion. And the gut is a key player in the bodys immune systemover 70% of your immune cells reside in the gut.
No Dodgy Kebabs On The Microbiome Diet Menu
Greasy, processed food goes hand-in-hand with a boozy night out. Put them together and you have a recipe for digestive mayhem.
Weve all been there and eaten something which just didnt agree with our gut. Bacteria is a common cause of food poisoning with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, and incapacitating stomach cramps. In severe cases, it can be deadly. Thats why proper food handling and hygiene in restaurants is critical.
So its worth considering the possibility that your dodgy Saturday night takeaway may be a culprit in temporary digestive discomfort. When pathogens invade, they rapidly multiply and produce toxins. In turn, the gut lining reacts with inflammation. So if you are heading out to paint the town red, line your stomach before you go out and dont eat that dodgy takeaway.
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Prepare Your Grains & Nuts The Right Way
The vast majority of people and restaurants do not properly prepare their grains and nuts. When you dont prepare your grains or nuts the right way, it results in what most people may consider a food intolerance. In fact, wrong grain preparation may be the reason so many people claim to get digestive issues from grains such as wheat. Personally I have found that my body digests grains much better when I take the time to prepare them ahead of time.
So what is the right way to prepare grains and nuts?
Usually the proper preparation of a grain or nut involves a pre-soak in water. Dr. Weston A. Price, author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, discovered that traditional societies who never stepped into the modern world all intuitively did the same thing with their nuts and grains: they always soaked before eating or cooking. To them it was ridiculous to eat a nut or grain without soaking it first.
Nuts, grains, and legumes all contain substances which make it hard for our gut to digest them.
Many grains, for example, contain a substance called phytic acid which prevents the grain from being digested and even steals nutrients before we can absorb them. That means when you eat a whole grain, you are not getting all of the amazing stuff like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fiber.
If you want to learn more on this subject, you can check out this article on grain soaking.
Leave Something On Your Plate
Most of us grew up with the phrase Finish everything on your plate! or words to that effect repeated over and over Well for many of us these words have stuck and we rightly perhaps dont like to see wastage.
Well rather the underlying message hear is not to condone or encourage wastage and signify wealth and excess but rather for us to make a conscious effort to recognise when we are full or better still nearly full and stop eating at that point.
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Move Your Body Regularly
Getting regular exercise is also an important step in getting your gut into a balanced state.
According to one research review on the effects of exercise on the gut microbiome, aerobic exercise can increase the amount of bacteria in your digestive tract and contribute to overall bacterial diversity.
While any movement can help, it appears that the more physically fit you are, the more diverse your microbiome is.
If youre sedentary, start small by exercising a couple days a week, then work your way up to including exercise as part of your regular, everyday routine.
Take A Prebiotic Or Probiotic
While research is ongoing, adding a prebiotic or probiotic supplement to your diet may help improve your gut health. Prebiotics provide food meant to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria.
People who have a severe illness or weakened immune system should not take probiotics. Also, not all probiotic supplements are high quality or beneficial for your health.
Its best to speak with a healthcare professional when choosing a probiotic or prebiotic supplement to help improve your health.
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Exercise In Your Gut Health Diet
Who knew that getting the heart pumping and the sweat pouring was good for the diversity of your microbiome? Well it is, and heres why.
Research has shown that individuals who lead a sedentary lifestyle have a less diverse microbiome. Therefore, its not just what you put into your body that counts, there are so many other lifestyle aspects involved in improving gut health.
But dont despair, there are simple things you can do about it. Athletes, for example, have a more diverse gut than nonathletes. But you dont need to be an Olympian to make a difference. Walking, jogging, and dancing all count, just aim for 150 minutes each week alongside some strength exercises. Trust us, your gut bacteria will love you for it.
All Things In Moderation Including Moderation Itself
One of my favourite sayings I cant remember who or where I first hear this from but it applies to all walks of life.Exercise self restraint most of the time but reward yourself when you deserve it and dont let your discipline prevent you from enjoying the odd indulgence.As has been noted in many studies stress has been found to be just as harmful as a bad diet so remember to enjoy life and treat yourself once in a while.
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Ways To Strengthen Your Microbiome
The microbiome consists of TRILLIONS of living microbes inside your gut. These little mood elevators work around the clock producing happy-chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Making sure that you have a diverse and thriving microbiome can help not only with your mental health, but can prevent things like the urge to over-eat, and can help regulate your digestive system.
Below, we have compiled a list of ways you can ensure that you have a happy and healthy microbiome!
Try This Trick To Make The Transition Easier
The key to using healthy food to restore gut health is making it a true lifestyle change. All of these steps listed above play a role in that, but most importantly, keeping foods you love in your diet can make this a much more accessible change. Once you know what you need more of in your diet, you can make a list of foods you enjoy that fall within each category, and use those as a starting point.
We all tend to incorporate and adhere to those things in life that we like, and food is no different, advises Griffith A simple starting point to improving gut health is to outline all your favorite high fiber and high-polyphenol foods . Try to incorporate these items daily.
Again, you dont need to go on a diet or detox in order to restore your gut health. Making a few mindful changes can help populate your gut with more beneficial bacteria , leading to improved overall health and wellbeing.
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Shop The Edge Of The Supermarket Avoid The Aisles
The edge of the supermarket or grocery store contains all the fresh fruit and veg, fresh meat and dairy near the loading docks, where it can be replaced when it goes bad. The aisles meanwhile are home to processed foods and sugary drinks foods that dont go off and that harm your gut.Work your way round the edge of teh supermarket first filling your trolley or basket with real food that goes off.Shop the aisles for whole grains, pulses and packaged whole foods such as tinned tomatoes, beans.Buy real food that goes off!
Feed Your Gut A Healthy Diet
Take a good look at your diet. If its high in added sugars, refined fats, ultra-processed foods, and fatty animal protein yet low in fiber and vegetables , not only are you not feeding yourself well, but you are killing off the beneficial bacteria in the gut too. This includes some of the most beneficial species, like Bifidobacterium and Eubacterium.
What should you eat instead? A diet that focuses mostly on whole-food nutrition is a great place to start. Increase your consumption of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Decrease your consumption of highly processed foods.
If this type of eating is new to you, though, ease into it. Going from minimal fiber to the recommended amount of at least 25 grams per day may overwhelm the system, and you may experience gas, bloating, and other uncomfortable side effects as your gut bacteria catches up.
One of the best diets to follow to set your gut up for success is the Mediterranean diet, which recommends a high intake of vegetables, fruits, cereal grains, nuts, and legumes a moderate intake of fish and light meat and dairy products and a low intake of sweets.
When compared to the standard American diet, the Mediterranean diet is higher in fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. In other words, the nutrients needed to cultivate a healthy microbiome. But it also provides delicious foods, and it doesnt restrict any food types, so its easier to follow than many other plans.
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Start With An Intermittent Fast
Just like you, your gut needs a period of rest and rejuvenation to function optimally.
Giving it a break can support antioxidant and anti-inflammatory processes, cellular cleanup and even help shed water weight and reduce bloating.
Studies are coming out all the time supporting the benefits of intermittent fasting, which gives the body a break for a set number of hours each day so that your gut can repair, reset, and rest. Even a seminal research review in the journal Cell identifies intermittent fasting as a key pillar of longevity nutrition .
The night before you start your gut reset, plan to fast for 12 to 16 hours.
To put this in perspectivea 12-hour fast means stop eating at 7 in the evening and don’t eat again until breakfast the next day at 7 in the morning.
Types Of Food For Gut Health
Diet and gut health appear to be very closely linked. Avoiding processed foods, high fat foods, and foods high in refined sugars is likely important for maintaining a healthy microbiome, as these foods may promote the growth of damaging bacteria.
There are also foods you can eat that actively promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, contributing to your overall health. These foods include:
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Eat What Is In Season
One of the biggest benefits of eating seasonally is that you save money on food. At the peak of the harvest it costs less for farmers and the supply chain to get the food to you local store.
However the other notable benefits are that if you buy food thats in season it will be fresher, having been picked more recently and travelled less distance to you and therefore taste better and be better for you.
It may seem like common sense, but with the incredible supply chains meeting demand for exotic foods its one of those things many of us ignore when were shopping.
If You Can Breastfeed For At Least 6 Months
A babys microbiome begins to properly develop at birth. However, studies suggest that babies may be exposed to some bacteria even before birth .
During the first 2 years of life, an infants microbiome is continuously developing and is rich in beneficial Bifidobacteria, which can digest the sugars found in breast milk .
Many studies have shown that infants who are fed formula have an altered microbiome with fewer Bifidobacteria than infants who are breastfed (
A number of studies have shown that vegetarian diets may benefit the gut microbiome, which may be due to their high fiber content.
For example, one small 2013 study found that a vegetarian diet led to reduced levels of disease-causing bacteria in people with obesity, as well as reductions in body weight, inflammation, and cholesterol levels .
A 2019 review noted that plant foods are rich in specific nutrients that can increase levels of beneficial bacteria and decrease harmful strains of bacteria to support gut health .
However, it is unclear if the benefits of a vegetarian diet on the gut microbiome are due to a lack of meat intake or if other factors may also play a role.
Vegetarian and vegan diets may improve the microbiome. However, it is unclear if the positive effects associated with these diets can be attributed to a lack of meat intake or if other factors may be involved.
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When To Sleep: 11 Pm
But that doesnt mean that adults dont benefit from the fuzzy snuggles, too.
Garden. Play outside. Lounge on the grass. Exposure to the natural microbes around us can help replenish our microbiota and encourage diversity.
Its probably not wise to go around licking subway poles or eating undercooked chicken, but most of us could benefit from a little less cleanliness.
Eat Food With 5 Ingredients Or Less
This rule is intended to help differentiate between lightly processed foods such as olive oil, flour and yogurt and highly processed foods such as ready meals, chips and fast foods.
When we say 5 ingredients we mean on the label not in the recipe. The number of ingredients a packaged food contains is a very good indication of how processed it is and therefore how bad it is for you.
Whats more you should be extra fearful if you dont recognise or worse still cant pronounce any of the ingredients on the label.
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Plant A Vegetable Garden
Plant a Vegetable Garden if You Have the Space, a Window Box if You Dont. Our relationship with food and nature has been severed with the advent of industrial agriculture. The soil is rich in microbes and getting our hands dirty as well as eating foods that we have planted and grown at home is a rewarding activity with untold benefits for our gut health.
Whats more your grocery bill is likely to increase if you are buying a lot of fresh food. By growing some of your own vegetables you can cut down on costs. You can even grow some vegetables all year round in a green house or even on your kitchen windowsill.