Gut-Friendly Lifestyle: Proven Ways To Support Your Digestion
Our digestive system’s role isn’t just to break down that delicious brunch or cause occasional bloating. Our digestive microbiome plays a starring role in how we feel, from our energy levels to our emotional well-being.
In this article we’ll explore the world of digestion, learn how it affects our overall health, and understand how we can support it.
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- Gut Feelings ® Probiotics- A blend of probiotics that helps support healthy gut function, digestion, and immunity.*
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- Bye Bye Bloat ®- A blend of digestive enzymes and herbs that alleviates bloating fast.*
Why Is Gut Health Important for Overall Health?
When you dive deep into the ins and outs of the digestive tract, you'll encounter a bustling community of good bacteria and microorganisms that play key roles in everything from weight loss to our immune system function.
For instance, have you ever felt mentally down and out? It could be your gut trying to send you signals — courtesy of the gut-brain connection. Keeping our digestive health in balance means ensuring that the whole of us (AKA our mind and body) functions harmoniously.
What Are the Common Culprits Behind Digestive Discomfort?
If you've ever experienced the unwelcome sensation of bloating or the discomfort of constipation, you know that not all foods sit right with our systems. So, what specifically ruffles the feathers of our digestive health?
Processed foods: These can often disrupt the natural rhythm of our digestive process. Ingredients that aren't natural or that are too complex can be harder for our bodies to break down.
Lactose: Found in many dairy products, lactose can be tricky for many to digest. If you've ever felt uneasy after a cheese platter or glass of milk, lactose could be the perpetrator behind your digestive symptoms.
Fried foods: While occasionally indulging is part of life's pleasures, consistently consuming fried foods can take a toll on your digestive tract, leading to issues like bloating and discomfort.
Certain carbohydrates: Not all carbs are created equal. Some types of carbs, especially in large quantities, might upset the balance of our gut bacteria.
In our journey to wellness, it's important to understand the consequences of these culprits and ensure we make choices that serve both our taste buds and gut.
10 Ways To Support Your Digestion
Understanding how our gut microbiome works can be complex. So let’s unwrap these 10 thoughtful approaches to supporting digestive health. Remember that it's not just about what we eat but how, when, and why.
1. Introduce Probiotics
Maintaining a healthy balance of helpful bacteria is crucial for digestive health, and probiotics are the heroes in this equation. Consuming foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi not only adds a delightful flavor to meals, but they’re a great way to introduce good bacteria to our digestive tracts, which can offer multiple health benefits.
Plus, with the convenience of supplements like our Gut Feelings ® Probiotics, even the busiest bees can maintain a flourishing gut ecosystem that supports immunity and overall health.*
2. Stay Hydrated
Picture water as the lubricant of a healthy gut. Without it, things can get sluggish, leading to issues like constipation.
Drinking enough water can help break down the food we eat, making it easier for the intestines to absorb nutrients and move waste through. Getting enough hydration can mean the difference between feeling light and refreshed or bloated and uncomfortable.
3. Mindful Eating
Beyond just a trend, mindful eating connects us deeply with the food we consume. Taking the time to slow down and chew not only enhances the pleasure of eating but also aids our digestive enzymes, particularly those in saliva, in breaking down food effectively. This eases the load on our gastrointestinal system, allowing for efficient digestion.
4. Incorporate Fiber-Rich Foods
Think of fiber as the unsung hero of our digestive system. It sweeps through, cleans things up, and moves things along.
Consuming foods like whole grains, brown rice, and legumes will not only help support a consistent digestive rhythm, but they’ll also significantly decrease the days you feel bloated or deal with uncomfortable constipation.
5. Limit Processed Foods
While they might save time, processed and fried foods can wreak havoc on our gut. They often contain elements foreign to our bodies, leading to digestive issues. While they’re often a large part of the American diet, eating too much of these foods can disrupt the natural flora of our intestines, leading to long-term digestive health problems.
6. Exercise Regularly
While we often link exercise to toned muscles or cardiovascular health, let's not forget the benefit it has on our gut. Regular physical activity, even a daily walk, can enhance blood flow and stimulate the muscles associated with our digestive tract. This simple act can amplify the efficiency of our digestive process.
7. Manage Stress
Our gut is often referred to as our "second brain." Emotional turmoil or prolonged stress can have a tangible effect on healthy digestion, resulting in symptoms like stomach cramps or diarrhea. Introducing calming practices like meditation, yoga, or even a simple nightly ritual can provide significant relief.
8. Limit Lactose if Sensitive
It's essential to listen to our bodies. Some might find that dairy products lead to discomfort. For those who are sensitive to it, limiting lactose or switching to alternatives can provide immense relief and prevent symptoms like gas or diarrhea.
9. Consider Supplements
Our modern diets, while convenient, might not always provide all we need. Supplements can help bridge this gap.
Just make sure you speak with your primary healthcare provider before incorporating any new supplement into your routine. They can help you identify specific needs and give medical advice as to which supplement will support your unique health situation.
In some cases, they may even refer you to a gastroenterology expert to make sure you aren’t dealing with an underlying digestive disorder or health condition, which would require immediate medical treatment.
10. Avoid Overeating
Our digestive system thrives on balance. Overburdening it with large meals can lead to inefficiencies and even cause indigestion. Instead, opt for smaller, balanced portions. This ensures that our stomach and small intestine can process nutrients effectively without being overwhelmed.
Wrapping Things Up
The more you understand gut health, the clearer it becomes that gut health is the foundation of overall health. As we've explored, digestive problems can stem from various factors, and our bowel movements and digestive sensations can offer important insights into our overall well-being.
From integrating prebiotics to considering probiotic supplements, being proactive about your gut health can create a transformative difference. These subtle shifts can lay the foundation for a lifetime of health and happiness.
Remember, every positive change, no matter how small, has the potential to ripple out and impact your entire well-being. By prioritizing your digestive health, you're not just nurturing your gut but your entire self.
To learn more about holistic wellness, visit our blog.
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