Did you know that the body is actually composed of more bacteria than cells? It’s true! Most of these bacteria live in our gut and believe it or not, they play multiple roles in our overall health. As we know, the guts purpose is to help us with all aspects of digestion, but what you may not know is that it's actually considered a key player in regulating inflammation and immunity. In order to boost your immune system the first thing you need to do is heal your gut.
Here are 5 ways on how you can achieve a happy and healthy gut.
Remove the Possible Offenders
In order to rebuild a healthy gut, you have to remove what could potentially be causing the damage. This includes refined sugar, gluten, dairy and most processed foods. Especially refined sugar because it feeds the bad bacteria and depletes the good.
Replace With Nutrient Dense Foods
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, dark leafy greens, easy to digest grains (gluten-free oats, quinoa, millet and amaranth), and healthy fats from avocado, flax, hemp, pumpkin seeds, almonds, raw coconut, and walnuts. These are foods that will reduce inflammation and support your gut. If you need a sweetener for your meals try stevia, coconut nectar or raw honey.
Re-inoculate With Good Bacteria
The reason we bring in the good guys (beneficial bacteria) is to extinguish the bad guys (bad bacteria), which by the way love to wreak havoc in your gut. The good guys come in two forms, probiotic supplements and fermented foods. Kefir, miso, sauerkraut, kimchi and tempeh are all foods that are abundant with good bacteria. You can also give the good guys a helping hand by consuming prebiotic rich foods, such as raw asparagus, garlic, onion, leek, bananas, dandelion greens and Jerusalem artichokes. By introducing more good bacteria you can help restore a healthy balance in the gut.
A Proper Sleep Routine
Sleep has a major impact on the digestive system as it allows our digestive organs to rest, repair and replenish. During this time, the body detoxifies itself and gets rid of wastes from the day. The amount of hours your body needs really comes down to you, but to ensure a restorative sleep cycle aim to get at least 7-8 hours a night.
We live in a world where everything is go-go-go. This derives from our sympathetic nervous system and is associated with fight-or-flight. This response may help you become more focused and alert, but it inhibits your digestion in the process. Digesting food requires a parasympathetic nervous system aka rest and digest. This response will help you decrease stress levels, so you can digest, repair and heal your gut. In order to achieve this you need to start by engaging in calming exercises, such as walking, listening to calming music, yoga, or meditation. All of these activities can help decrease your stress levels.
Start today by using these five rules to get your gut back into shape! Happy healing!