3 Ways to Heal your Gut Naturally
The gastrointestinal tract, also known as the gut, is an essential body system that starts in the mouth and runs through the body to the anus. The GI tract includes digestive organs such as the stomach, esophagus and intestines, which are important not only for digesting food but also play a key role in immune function and your overall mood. Within the gut, there are over 200 forms of bacteria, fungi and viruses that help maintain gut health and proper function, known as the gut microbiome. Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome can help prevent diseases such as diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriatic arthritis.
Common signs of an unhealthy gut include indigestion, sleep disturbances and weight gain, among others. Read on to find out how you can maintain a healthy gut with three simple lifestyle changes.
Stress can have a variety of negative effects on the body, especially on your gut. High stress levels reshape the gut bacteria’s composition through stress hormones such as cortisol and through inflammation. As a result, the gut bacteria release toxins, metabolites and neurohormones that can negatively influence eating behavior and overall mood.
The following activities can reduce stress and improve your overall health:
- Socializing with friends and family
- Spending time with a pet
- Massage therapy
- Limiting alcohol intake
Drinking plenty of water is important to maintain a healthy and happy body, but it also helps prevent harmful bacteria from impacting your gut health. A 2022 study found that people who drink plenty of water are more likely to have less of a harmful bacterium that causes gastrointestinal infections. Additionally, staying hydrated has been shown to prevent constipation and helps flush out harmful toxins from the GI tract.
Improve your diet
To improve gut health, it is recommended to reduce the amount of processed sugars and high fat foods in your diet. Instead, consume foods that are high in fiber, as fiber has been shown to help maintain a healthy gut microbiome while preventing constipation. Also try to include foods that are high in the micronutrient polyphenol, which is found in many types of fruits and vegetables, coffee and tea.
For more information, visit a Midwest Express Clinic location nearest you to speak to one of our expert physicians about how you can improve your gut health.