A balanced gut microbiome is the cornerstone of good health. But the balance can easily be affected by diet and lifestyle factors, leading to health issues and increased risk of a variety of diseases.
So, is it possible to rebalance the gut microbiome? And what changes should we introduce to help achieve this?
What can you do to improve the health of your gut?
Improving the health of your gut isn’t a quick fix. There are lots of factors to consider to help achieve a holistic approach to good gut health.
Avoid Antibiotics if possible.
It's no secret that antibiotics are widely prescribed for a variety of illnesses, however if used when not necessary it can have drastic and lasting consequences. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, but the sad truth is they do not discriminate in which bacteria - meaning friend or foe, both types get abolished.
There can also be fallout from long term antibiotic use so you must avoid taking them unless medically necessary. As they can only be prescribed by Doctors and other Healthcare prescribers, and the medical community is now very aware about the dangers of over prescribing antibiotics you should follow whatever advice is given.
Include Natural Probiotics in your diet.
If you want to improve your gut health and feel better overall, then eating natural probiotics, such as plain yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha or kimchi can do just that.
Probiotic foods are known for their ability to balance out the good and bad bacteria in your digestive system, leading to increased nutrient absorption, enhanced digestion, a stronger immune system, improved mental clarity and many other benefits. From fermented vegetables to kefir dairy products and beyond – incorporating these natural probiotic sources into your diet can have profound effects on your overall health and wellness.
Avoid Processed Foods
By now, you’ve probably heard that consuming processed foods can wreak havoc on your health – but did you know they could be affecting the health of your gut as well? Unfortunately, many processed foods, tasty though they are, can have negative impacts on both the composition and balance of bacterial populations in our guts. Indeed, processed foods contain additives and preservatives that may negatively impact the balance of good bacteria in your digestive system, potentially leading to various gastrointestinal symptoms. You should aim to reduce the levels of heavily processed food that you consume for a healthy, balanced, gut microbiome.
Eat Prebiotic Foods
One of the best ways to effect positive change in the composition of your microbiome act is by eating prebiotic-rich foods. Prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates found in natural foods such as Onions, Bananas and Leeks that promote beneficial bacteria growth within our guts and help maintain a healthy system functioning at its highest level. The Blue Horizon Microbiome Test Report lets you know some top prebiotic foods you should include in your diet for maximum benefit, specifically for the microbiome make up of YOUR gut.
Stay Well Hydrated
For centuries, people have known that staying hydrated is vital for our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. But now there's growing evidence that sufficient water intake can be especially beneficial for maintaining a healthy microbiome.
If you want to give yourself an upper hand in achieving the balance of bacteria necessary for optimal digestive health, then ensuring adequate hydration levels should be part of your routine. Not only does staying properly hydrated help with better nutrient absorption, it can also reduce inflammation in the body which can lead to more balanced bacteria colonies.
We all know that stress can take its toll on our physical and emotional wellbeing, but did you know that it can also wreak havoc on your gut microbiome? It’s true: research has shown that chronic stress does indeed have a very real impact on the health of your gut bacteria. If you find yourself feeling run down more often than not, experiencing bloating or digestive issues, these may be signs that your microbial populations are out of balance. By taking steps to reduce your stress levels it is possible to positively affect your gut bacteria, which may in turn help reduce your cortisol levels.
Getting a good night's sleep is essential to your overall wellbeing, and it plays an even bigger role in the health of your gut microbiome. Poor, disturbed, or irregular sleeping patterns not only impact how you feel mentally and physically on a day-to-day basis but also throw off the delicate balance of microbes that live in the intestine. Keeping up with consistent bedtimes, giving yourself enough time for undisturbed rest, and protecting yourself against poor circadian rhythm can all help ensure you’re getting quality sleep and supporting your gut microbiome.
Eating often feels like one of those tasks that gets overlooked when life is busy, but it's actually vital for keeping your gut microbiome in balance. One way to make sure you get the most out of each meal and promote good health for your gut bacteria is to eat slowly – and it turns out this has a range of benefits which extend beyond just digestion. Making sure that you take the time to chew your food properly ensures that digestive enzymes can do their work from the moment the food enters your mouth, and when a properly chewed bolus arrives in your gut for microbial breakdown.