Did you know that our digestive system is so powerful that it can function without direct input from our brain? Our gut is often referred to as the second brain because of this extraordinary phenomenon, amongst other reasons. I would want a plethora of gut health hacks too after reading those statements.
Deep in our digestive system, over 30 trillion bacteria are hard at work keeping us healthy. How our gut microbiome work together is intricately structured for our benefit.
Much research links a longer, healthier life to having a diverse gut microbiome. These bacteria in our intestines break down food, elevate our immunity, help regulate body weight, and blood sugar, reduce inflammation, influence our moods, and may even play roles in our cognitive function and memory.
5 gut health hacks
- Eat a diverse set of produce
In a study conducted with over 10,000 people, researchers at the American Gut Project found that individuals who ate 30 or more types of produce in a 7-day period had a more multifarious gut microbiome vs people who had fewer than 10 types of produce. This study more than highlights the significance of eating a diverse set of produce to increase the efficacy of our gut microbiome.
Having a variety of fruits and veggies provide a wider assortment of fiber, starches, and other necessary nutrients that feed our gut bacteria. But you don’t need gut health hacks to inform you about the significance of fruits and vegetables.
It is no cliche when nutrition enthusiasts proclaim the phrase, “Eat the rainbow.” The different colors of fruit and vegetables are the result of the various chemicals that feed different types of bacteria.
Moreover, brassica-family veggies feed beneficial bacteria in our gut that suppress gut bugs linked to multiple gut diseases like irritable bowel syndrome. Members of this family include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, bok choy, arugula, and Brussels sprouts.
- Add Fermented Foods to Your Diet
Fermented foods are foods or beverages created through controlled microbial growth (an increase in the number of cells), and the transformation of food elements through enzymatic activity.
The probiotics found in these fermented foods can help regulate the microbiome (all microbes; bacteria, fungi, and viruses that naturally live inside us) in our gut, leading to better digestion and a more fortified immune system.
These foods are beneficial for your gut microbiome:
Studies have shown beneficial changes within an individual’s gut to occur as soon as 5 days after reforming one’s diet.
Try adding a serving of fermented foods to your diet each day.
- Get Enough Fiber
Fiber is the indigestible part of plants found in fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. It is important for gut health because it basically maintains order in our stomachs and it feeds the valuable bacteria in our gut.
Fiber helps to normalize our bowel movements and prevent both constipation and diarrhea. Research shows that adding more fiber-rich foods to your diet can also assist with some of the following:
- Kidney stones
- Colon cancer
- Acid reflux
Eating fiber-dense foods can naturally boost your gut health.
- Manage Stress
Here’s gut health hacks 101 or really, life health hacks 101. When we’re stressed, part of our nervous system activates, triggering the fight-or-flight response that, primitively—was originally meant to help us fight or flee from danger. However, our bodies can’t distinguish whether we are stressing about work or running from a hungry lion.
During the fight-or-flight response, our body releases a concoction of hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, norepinephrine, and corticotropin. These hormones trigger responses in our bodies to prepare us for action. Processes that are deemed less essential in the current moment—like normal, healthy digestion are postponed to fulfill more pressing systems.
For example, blood gets redirected from the digestive system to our arms and legs so we can swiftly run from danger or fight off an attacker. Also, the secretion (substances produced or discharged from a cell, gland, or organ) of stomach acid and enzymes slows down dramatically. Our body recognizes that surviving is more important than digesting the McDonald’s fries consumed 30 minutes ago.
Now imagine being stressed throughout the day and now knowing that our body is undergoing this change every time we get in traffic or receive angry emails from our boss. This can severely impair our ability to break down food, slow digestion, and mess with motility (movement of food through the GI tract) leading to a range of digestive issues.
- Drinking water when your first wake up
Out of all the gut health hacks, this one has to be the simplest yet hard to adhere to. Our body is made up of 60-70% water and without this vital nutrient, we wouldn’t be able to function at all. Our digestive tract would suffer because it needs water for proper digestion, absorption of nutrients, and removal of food and waste.
Starting your morning routine by drinking a glass of water when you wake up helps stimulate your metabolism (cell activity). This allows your body to know it’s awake.
Drinking water at the beginning of your day also detoxifies your body by flushing your organs from toxins accumulated overnight – thus improving gut health naturally.
What we learned
Our gut is often referred to as the second brain. It can operate without signals from the brain and can also affect important components of ourselves like our mood and focus. Taking care of our gut health should be paramount if we value our overall health and well-being.
By including these gut health hacks discussed above in your daily routine, you can significantly improve your digestion, reduce inflammation, and boost your immune system.
Start implementing these gut health hacks today and see how they can help improve your gut and overall quality of life.
Please share if you found any value in this article, and make sure to subscribe to my newsletter (BELOW) for tons of free evidence-based content.
No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other licensed clinicians.
Sharing is caring! Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn Email Dominion Ezechibueze — miniontraining.com Dec 01, 2023 I haven’t encountered a single nurse who undoubtedly can’t say nursing
Dominion Ezechibueze — miniontraining.com Oct 26, 2023 Nurses are an essential component of the healthcare system and their current and most recent conditions just don’t
Dominion Ezechibueze — miniontraining.com Oct 6, 2023 In the complex and highly demanding environment of healthcare, the importance of nurse wellness cannot be overstated. Nurses