As a regular citizen of the world who, until the past couple of years, spent close to zero hours learning about the different ways my body functions, I admit that one of the things I never considered taking care of–or more precisely, never knew I had to take care of–was my gut health.
Many researches have shown the undeniable relationship between gut health and diseases including mental health, autoimmune diseases, emotional stress, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and even neurological conditions like schizophrenia and dementia and cancer. It’s important to keep this in mind because many of the things we do on a daily basis affect our gut in more ways than one.
So what is a healthy gut? According to a Time article released in April 2019, a properly functioning gut or gastrointestinal system is one that has a healthy balance of inflammation-fighting and inflammation-promoting bacteria. If that balance is disrupted and the latter type of bacteria take over, the inflammation can spread to other parts of the body–causing all sorts of illnesses.
In general, taking care of your gut health is as easy as making sure you take enough fiber and eat real whole foods, stay away from processed foods, get enough sleep and exercise, and of course, hydrate. But if you’ve been taking yours for granted, then we have just the thing for you.
Our tips to improve your gut health are fun, super easy to do and delicious too!
One of the external factors that greatly impact gut health is stress. According to the American Psychological Association, “The gut has hundreds of millions of neurons which can function fairly independently and are in constant communication with the brain, explaining the ability to feel “butterflies” in the stomach. Stress can affect this brain-gut communication, and may trigger pain, bloating and other gut discomfort to be felt more easily.”
Everyone knows how pampering sessions can greatly reduce stress, and in turn, maintain gut health. Get a pedi or massage. Just make sure to abide by Covid-19 safety guidelines. You can also take long, warm baths with scented candles if that’s your thing.
One of the best ways to improve gut health is by having your regular dose of food and drinks that have lactobacilli, a type of bacteria that helps the body break down food and absorb nutrients more efficiently. And one of the most delicious ways to get lactobacilli–especially this summer–is by regularly drinking a refreshing bottle of kombucha. For those of you who don’t know what kombucha is, it’s a type of fermented tea that a lot of celebrities usually take to help keep their gut health in tiptop shape.
There are many kombucha brands out there, but a personal favorite is Kombucha Town, which recently released their first Live Seltzer products. This new product is perfect for the season as it combines all the best things about Kombucha Town’s signature products (a.k.a. organic and non-GMO raw kombucha cultures) with crisp pure water from the North Cascade Mountains and lots of bubbles! At only two calories per serving and with absolutely zero sugar, this product comes in ginger, grapefruit, and cucumber flavors, and is an absolutely delicious way to make sure your GI system is healthy.
If there’s one good thing that came out of this quarantine, it’s people rediscovering the delights and many benefits of making their own food at home. Take it from Jennifer Garner–it’s such a good stress reliever plus you get to enjoy the fruit of your labor.
Cooking at home is not just relaxing though, it also helps you learn new things, which exercises your cognitive skills, as well lets you track exactly what goes into what you eat. Again, rule of thumb for maintaining gut health, less sugar, more veggies, and fruits. Speaking of fruits and veggies, did you know that one of the easiest ways to make sure you get your fill of the nutrients they provide is by making immune system-balancing drinks? Try it yourself. Playing chef can be one of the most rewarding things you can do.