Have you ever heard or felt you or someone else has had “a gut feeling”? That is because our gut can tell us whether something feels right or not, and when that gut feeling kicks in we have to take a moment and try to listen. It has been proven that most of our overall health relies on the state of our gut, and our gut does not only depend on what we eat or stop eating, but also on every activity we do, how well we are sleeping, how stressed we are feeling and even if our mood has been changing negatively.
You’ve probably heard the term “gut health” and know that “good” gut health is desirable. But what does it really mean to have a healthy gut? It means having the right balance of tiny bacteria and other microbes in your digestive tract. Researchers are increasingly discovering ways these microorganisms contribute to overall health. Experts are now realizing that digestive, or gut, health is linked to many diseases, so keeping your digestive system on track is one way to prevent serious illness down the road.
On this occasion, we have prepared a list of 5 activities you can start doing, doing more or doing better in order to help your gut heal and stay healthy. Take a look!
1. Exercise / Move often
As you probably already know, working out or staying active is a big factor in living a healthy life. Movement is medicine for so many parts of the human body, including the microbiome. In both animal and human studies, researchers have found that exercise promotes an increase in diversity of healthy bacteria in the gut. Exercise also helps relieve digestive complaints, such as constipation and bloating, and allows your body to absorb nutrients more effectively.
2. Limit / Control your alcohol intake
Even though we all know that grabbing a beer every once in a while or drinking a couple of cocktails on girls night can be fun and sometimes feel necessary, the problem comes with the abuse or lack of control. Drinking too much may negatively affect your microbiome. Repeated alcohol use is linked to gastritis, an irritation of the gut in which it becomes inflamed. Such inflammation can lead to heartburn, chronic discomfort, ulcers and bacterial infections. Drinking a lot is also associated with intestinal inflammation.
3. Meditate / Take a moment to breath and disconnect in order to connect
Research suggests anxiety and depression are affected by the gut and vice versa—they can increase the risk of IBS, and people with IBS are more likely to experience these mental health disorders. Stress isn’t just mental: Think about those butterflies you feel when you’re excited or anxious. Experts in gut health often cite the “gut-brain connection” and refer to the gut as “the second brain.” That is why, a good idea to keep it healthy is to practice your favorite meditation or yoga poses for a couple of minutes every day or even turn off all of your electronics and go out to breathe fresh air in order to connect with your thoughts, ideas and feelings.
4. Drink / Hydrate yourself
We have all heard how we should drink up to 8 glasses of water a day, but sometimes it is not as easy as just “doing it”. Not everyone likes or enjoys the taste of plain water and it could also even get boring just drinking water with every meal every day. A good suggestion is to add chunks of your favorite fruit (like chopped strawberries, pineapple or orange) or drops of lemon. And another one is to drink a bottle of Waku with your biggest meal of the day. Waku has 6g of prebiotic fiber and 0g of sugar! These fruity prebiotic herbal teas are deliciously refreshing and maximized for gut-health.
5. Sleep / Rest on your left side
Ancient Ayurvedic medicine, India’s most trusted health system, emphasizes the importance of using the left side for rest and sleep to see health and longevity benefits. Sleeping on the left side allows gravity to encourage food waste to move more easily from the small intestine into the large intestine through the ileocecal valve. Also, make sure you are sleeping all of the hours your body needs and rest in complete darkness without any light or sound interruptions (such as the phone or television).
Hope you enjoyed this blog, make sure you share it with all of your loved ones and help them take care and improve their gut health (and overall wellness).