(AscendHealthy.com) – The health of your tummy is important, and a lot of factors can affect it. Could you be doing more to maintain your gut health? Check out our guide to keeping yours in its best possible shape and alleviating tummy trouble altogether.
These 7 Factors Could Help Control Tummy Issues.
1. Feed Your Gut
Your tummy needs its own set of nutrients to stay healthy and function at its best. According to Consumer Reports, this includes regular amounts of insoluble fiber, probiotics and prebiotics. Insoluble fiber adds bulk, which helps your gastrointestinal tract move more regularly, while probiotics and prebiotics replenish and fuel the “good” microorganisms that live in your gut.
Good sources of insoluble fiber include legumes, berries and whole grains. Get your probiotics by consuming yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi and miso. Keep them fed by eating high-fiber fruits and veggies like artichokes, bananas, garlic, onions and leeks.
2. Avoid Processed Foods
One of the worst directions you can take with your gut health is feeding it processed foods. The unhealthy additives and absence of nutrients are poison to your gut microbiome, the community of symbiotic microbes living in your gastrointestinal tract. Research has shown that a diet high in processed foods not only wreaks havoc on your gut, but it also sets the stage for numerous inflammatory diseases. That’s because a healthy gut is essential to a healthy body, which means eating processed foods puts you at risk for a slew of chronic conditions.
3. Exercise Regularly
Another way you can improve your gut microbiome is through exercise. One study found regular exercise could significantly improve the composition of microbes in the gut. Exercise improves energy regulation throughout the body, which in turn improves microbe metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract.
4. Get Enough Sleep
This one’s a doozy. Not enough sleep can negatively impact your gut microbiome, according to a recent Science Daily article — but an unhealthy microbiome can also destroy your sleep quality. To keep from falling into this vicious, sleepless cycle, make sure you’re adhering to a healthy sleep schedule and make sure the healthy microbes in your gut are well fed.
5. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Many cases of gastrointestinal distress could stem back to stress or anxiety. According to a Harvard Health report, psychotherapy, hypnosis and other relaxation techniques may help relieve some recurring GI problems. Like sleep, the relationship between psychological stress and gastrointestinal upset goes both ways, so improved GI health can also improve your emotional wellbeing.
6. Stay Hydrated
Your body needs the right amount of water each day to function well, and your gastrointestinal tract is no exception. A study examining the effects of different water pH levels on gut microbiomes found water pH didn’t really matter — but adequate amounts of all pH levels could increase the richness in gut diversity. Water temperature could make a difference, however; research on animal models has shown drinking warm water may improve gut diversity and reduce the occurrence of diarrhea in susceptible cases.
7. Limit Alcohol Use
Excessive alcohol consumption leads to an overgrowth of unhealthy gut microbes, which can upset the entire balance of your GI tract. This can cause intestinal inflammation, leaky gut and a host of other health issues including inflammatory bowel disease and cancer of the GI tract. Keep alcohol use to a minimum to reduce your risks.
Tummy troubles aren’t always avoidable, but you may be able to reduce their occurrence by taking charge of a few factors. See what you can do to improve your gut health. You could discover a new, improved and healthier you.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension!
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