Here are ten steps to better gut health.
1. Take a probiotic supplement. A daily probiotic supplement will help boost the good bacteria in your gut, keeping the bad guys under control, boosting your immune system and easing digestive issues. This is especially helpful when you’re taking antibiotics which wipe out good bacteria. If you eat a diet high in sugar or are taking oral contraceptives these can also deplete your good bacteria. Some recommended brands: Perfect Pass Probiotics, Dr. Ohhira’s and Visbiome.
2. Have your stool analyzed by Doctor’s Data or Genova Diagnostics. This will educate you on the state of your gut. If you have parasites, bad bacteria, yeast overgrowth and other gastrointestinal issues, you can tailor your supplement plan to your particular health issues.
3. Reduce stress. Your gut and brain are intrinsically linked. Not only are the feel good neurotransmitters produced in our gut but it works the other way as well. Constant and chronic stress will have a negative effect on your digestion. Try taking up yoga, meditating or walking out in nature to lower your stress levels.
4. Give your gut a much needed break by taking digestive enzymes to ease digestion and help break down food.
5. If you’ve been focusing on your gut health for a while and still have symptoms, you may want to try additional supplements to restore balance and heal a leaky gut. Dr. Frank Lipman, MD recommends taking taking a glutamine-based formula to repair your gut lining. We recommend Professional Botanicals Leaky Gut Formula.
6. Eat probiotic whole foods that are fermented and contain large amounts of good bacteria. Some examples are Kimchi, Sauerkraut, miso, kombucha and coconut kefir are fantastic plant-based probiotic-rich foods.
7. Feed your good bacteria with prebiotic foods or a prebiotic supplement. Prebiotic foods support the growth of good bacteria. By eating more whole, plant-based, fiber-filled foods, you’re fueling the bacteria that support your health. Some options are garlic, dandelion greens, artichokes and bananas. Our clients have the best results when taking Perfect Pass Prebiotic with their probiotic.
8. Keep snacking to a minimum and don’t eat late at night. Give your gut a chance to rest from digestion and clear out bad bacteria and waste. Every 90 minutes to two hours, the smooth muscle in your intestines process and move food through your digestive tract. This process is put on hold every time you eat. For this reason it’s best to allow enough time between meals.
9. Stay hydrated. A good rule of thumb for staying hydrated is drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 130 pounds, you should drink about 65 ounces of water. That’s about eight 8-ounce glasses of water. Your gut needs water to keep bacteria and waste moving through your digestive system, which will help prevent constipation and bloating. When you’re dehydrated, these issues can throw off the balance of bacteria in your gut and lead to inflammation.
10. Minimize sugar and processed foods. When you eat these foods you are actually feeding the bad bacteria and giving them a chance to multiply.