Gut health – it’s the latest thing all your fit and healthy friends are talking about, but what is it and do you actually have to drink kombucha every day?
Why is Gut Health Important?
Research about gut health is still fairly new. In a bid to find ways to make us healthier, scientists everywhere have been exploring nutrition and the gut (by the way- the “gut” is your whole digestive system).
What the research is telling us is that the microbiome- all the little bugs that are naturally found in a healthy gut, play a much larger role in maintaining general health and wellbeing than we ever thought before.
But wait, what- there are bugs in my gut?
Yes we actually have trillions of bugs in our stomach, but those bugs are what make up our natural, good bacteria and yeasts. As with everything in life, we want a balanced microbiome level. When an imbalance of bad microbiome occurs in the gut, that’s when we see common issues like irritable bowel syndrome and Chron’s disease.
What are the impacts of poor gut health ?
Poor gut health actually causes more issues for us than just bloating and discomfort. Some people suffer from diarrhoea or constipation, excess wind and pain. In fact researchers are now finding links between poor gut health and mental health issues.
The best way to improve gut health is by eating foods naturally high in fibre, these foods will feed all the good bugs. Keep away from a diet that heavily features processed foods and meals filled with salt and sugar. And gut health is not just about wholesome food and drinking the recommended amount of water daily. Good microbiomes thrive when a person is physically active and have a balanced lifestyle.
Simple steps to get a healthy gut
Here are some simple ways to improve your gut health that you can do at home.
- Start taking a probiotic- you can find them at any good pharmacy or health food store and to can choose from either shelf-stable probiotics, or refrigerated ones. Research suggests that probiotics may prevent gut inflammation.
- Increasing your fibre intake- good news is that fibre rich foods are kind yum. They include things like: asparagus, bananas, garlic, onions and whole grains.
- Reducing sugar and salt- diets high in salt and sugar can negatively affect your microbiome production and lifespan.
- Reduce stress- if only it was that easy! We get it, actually reducing stress is so much harder than it should be. Consciously trying to reduce added stress can go a long way in living a balanced and healthy life.
- Exercising regularly- again we know this easier said than done, but exercise can be done in so many easy ways, like taking the stairs instead of the lift, or parking your car just a bit further away at the shops. Do it for your microbiome!
- Sleep more- do we even need to try and sell you on this. If so, then here is it: we give you permission to sleep in this weekend.
What can I do about it?
If you’re still concerned about any gut issues you might be experiencing, you can talk to one of our doctors – anytime, anywhere from your mobile, laptop or tablet device. Doctors on Demand can offer advice, diagnosis and treatment for digestion problems 24 hours a day, seven days a week. See an online doctor now at www.doctorsondemand.com.au for more information.