What does it mean to have a healthy gut? A healthy gut means you have the right balance of tiny bacteria and other microbes in your digestive tract. It leads to a stronger immune system, a better mood, and effective digestion. If you’re experiencing digestive system problems like heartburn, gas, bloating, or constipation, these can all be signs of an unhealthy gut. To help improve gut health, take a look at these gut health hacks:
1. Take a Probiotic
Probiotic supplements are a popular choice when it comes to improving gut health. Probiotics include “good” bacteria and are used to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. An imbalance can be caused by illness, antibiotics, poor diet, and more, and probiotic supplements are often taken to balance them out. Probiotics have also proven to prevent diarrhea or reduce its severity, reduce the severity of allergies, and improve mental health. You can find probiotic supplements at our independent pharmacy!
2. Watch Your Diet
One of the most important gut health hacks is to watch your diet. Diet plays a major role in gut health. We recommend eating fiber-rich and probiotic-packed foods. Fiber reduces the risk of metabolic diseases by stimulating the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Foods that are full of naturally gut-enhancing fiber are sweet potatoes, spinach, beets, and carrots. Whole grains are a great source of fiber as well. Yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and other fermented foods are also known for their gut-boosting abilities. Be sure to include a variety of produce in your diet as well, including broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. They feed beneficial bacteria that help suppress gut bugs. Other foods you can include in your diet are fish like salmon or cod, coffee and/or green tea, bananas, garlic, and asparagus.
Foods to avoid are artificial sweeteners, fried foods, red meat, and processed foods. You should also watch your intake of alcoholic beverages.
3. Reduce Stress Levels
Stress doesn’t just have an impact on mental health, it also can affect your gut health. Studies show that high levels of stress are associated with symptoms of several digestive conditions, including IBS, peptic ulcer disease, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Stress leads to an increase in gut motility and fluid secretion. And, in some cases, stress can lead to overeating and alcohol consumption. Finding a way to manage your mental health and your stress levels may help reduce these symptoms and get your body back in balance. Some helpful tips for better managing stress include taking slow and deep breaths, taking time for yourself to relax, and monitoring your negative thoughts.
More Ways to Help Gut Health
The gut health hacks listed above are just some of the main things to do to improve gut health. There are plenty of additional ways you can help your gut health as well. We recommend exercising regularly, which increases healthy bacteria in the gut and reduces stress. There are also a few things you can pick up from our pharmacy that aid gut health! We offer OTC PPIs, gas aids, anti-diarrheals, and calcium carbonate like Tums.
Do you have any more questions about these gut health hacks or ways to improve your gut health? Talk to one of our experienced pharmacists! Schedule a consultation today to take steps toward bettering your health.