I remember when I first heard of kombucha. My aunt sent me my first scoby (the tea mushroom, a rubbery, slippery disc), I brewed up a batch and patiently waited for it to ferment with the hope that it would cure all of my digestive woes.
Fast forward 20 years and gut health is now big business. Kombucha and other fermented foods as well as probiotics and prebiotics line supermarket and drugstore shelves.
And for good reason…
It’s been proven that poor gut health can lead to not only stomach problems but to weight gain, poor mental health, fatigue and even a foggy brain.
The enteric nervous system in your gut operates like a second brain, influencing your mental state and playing a key role in certain diseases throughout the body.
Your gut is primarily where serotonin, your happiness hormone, is produced. The bacteria in your gut can both directly and indirectly influence your levels. When your gut is not working right it’s a road block to your health and happiness.
Taking control of your gut health and making real improvements is as easy as 1, 2, 3… or at least steps 1 through 6.
#1 — Address bowel issues
It’s hard to improve your gut health when nothing in there is moving like it should. So, if you live with constipation and bowel issues, good gut health begins by taking care of the problem.
I recommend natural colon support to optimize your bowel function:
- Ancient aloe — Naturally stimulates your bowel and softens stool for easier elimination.
- Inulin — Supports the natural production of beneficial bacteria in your colon by providing the intestinal fertilizer needed for healthy gut flora.
- Potassium — Helps keep stool hydrated and moist promoting a healthy transit time from your digestive tract to toilet.
- Cascara sagrada — Helps promote bowel contractions and the urge to “go” so you can have normal healthy bowel movements.
- Senna leaf — Promotes normal bowel health and healthy stool consistency for regular, gentle bowel movements.
- Slippery elm — A natural anti-inflammatory that helps regulate anal tissue swelling.
- Black walnut hulls — Helps eliminate harmful organisms from your digestive tract to support healthy digestion and regularity.
#2 — Get moving
New research has shown that exercise improves the diversity of your gut microbiome, leading to better health. And a study by researchers from Indiana University found that women with higher cardiorespiratory fitness had significantly greater gut microbiota diversity compared to less fit participants.
#3 — Eat more vegetables
Veggies provide the nutrients and fiber your gut needs to run efficiently. This also applies to whole grains, fruits, nuts and legumes so increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet.
#4 — Add probiotics and prebiotics
The best probiotic sources are foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt and kombucha. But don’t forget the prebiotics (a source of non-digestible fiber) as well. Prebiotic-rich foods include onions, garlic, bananas, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
#5 — Drink right
While water is absolutely vital for good gut health, alcohol can have a negative impact. Get plenty of clean, fresh, filtered water each day to stay well hydrated and limit the number of alcoholic beverages you consume. Also be wary of sugary juice drinks that can disrupt your microbiome.
#6 — Skip the junk food
Our standard Western diet (also called a SAD diet) is packed with processed foods and sugar that can destroy your gut health. Skip the fast food line and instead focus on cooking healthy, fresh meals at home with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and wild caught, fatty fish.
There you have it… six steps to better gut health and the better overall health that comes with it. Get started today.