If you are experiencing one of the following symptoms (e.g. bloating, constipation, diarrhea, poor sleep and eczema), you may have an unhealthy gut.
Did you know that your gut health is essential to your overall health? Trillions of microorganisms live in your gut (collectively known as “gut microbiome”). These gut microbes are vital in regulating the function of your brain, heart, eyes, skin, bone and muscle tissues. They also modulate up to 80% of your immune system.
Unfortunately, many aspects of modern life can damage our gut microbes and an unhealthy gut has been associated with multiple chronic diseases (e.g. obesity, diabetes and depression). Here we will share with you 5 tips on how to improve your gut health.
1. Reduce Your Intake of Processed Foods and Animal Proteins
Based on research, bad gut bacteria feed off fat and sugar, which further increase their prevalence. Additionally, high animal protein diets are linked to an increasingly unfavourable bacteria composition.
To enhance your gut health, you are recommended to restrict your consumption of processed, high-sugar, and high-fat foods. You should also take more plant proteins (e.g. tofu, nuts, legumes and tempeh) instead of animal proteins.
2. Take Probiotics
Probiotics are live good bacteria that enhance your gut health by balancing your system. You can take probiotics through dietary sources and supplements. Foods rich in probiotics include yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and tempeh.
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3. Take Prebiotics
On top of probiotics, you are also encouraged to take prebiotics. Prebiotics serve as “food source” for the good bacteria in your gut, helping them thrive and produce nutrients for the cells in your colon. This results into a healthier gut.
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4. Manage Your Stress Level
Stress can negatively affect the composition, diversity and number of your gut microbes. Scientists from The Ohio State University found that the exposure to stress decreased the diversity of gut microbiome and increased the levels of potentially harmful bacteria (e.g. Clostridium) in the intestines.
Hence, it is important that you learn how to manage stress. You can try out yoga or meditation, go for a walk or spend time with your friends and family to reduce your stress level.
5. Get Sufficient Sleep
Based on studies, the lack of sleep can have a negative effect on the balance of your gut bacteria. In particular, the number of bad gut bacteria linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes increased just after 2 days of sleep deprivation. Thus, it is important for you to get 7 – 8 hours of good quality sleep every night.
If you’re having difficulty sleeping at night, you may refer to our previous health tip to find out how you can improve your sleep quality (https://lifestreamgroup.com/health-tips/7-tips-for-a-better-sleep-quality).