Probiotics are microorganisms that live in our gut and are related either directly or indirectly to pretty much every function in our body… especially digestion.
Your digestive system is a key component of your overall health and its health affects your immune system and more. Inflammation can even contribute to weight gain so if weight loss is a goal for you, it pays to reduce your inflammation.
Our gut controls so many functions and has such an effect on our wellbeing that it is often referred to now as a second brain. (That’s huge so you don’t wanna neglect it!)
You might even be surprised to learn that most of the body’s serotonin- the happy neurotransmitter is made in the gut!
So what is the gut’s role?
To get a tad bit more specific, our gut is responsible for digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and expelling waste.
Think about those processes for a minute… Wouldn’t it suck if those were hindered by poor gut health? (spoiler… Yes, it would.)
Let’s take a look at some signs/symptoms of poor digestive health
Digestive System Symptoms of Poor Health
Do you suffer from the following symptoms on a daily or weekly basis?
And many other issues
It’s normal to experience an occasional issue after a big meal or poorly cooked food. However, if you experience these symptoms on a daily basis,
1.) that’s an indicator of poor gut health
2.)it’s time to talk to a doctor.
If you’ve been feeling “off” lately, the good news is that you can take action to heal your gut and strengthen your health.
Try these strategies for gut relief and healing:
1. Check your medications
Certain medications can affect your digestive system.
If you’re experiencing a side effect from one of your medications that is related to your digestive system, discuss it with your doctor. You may be able to adjust the medications that cause digestive issues.
If you’ve taken antibiotics, be aware that they affect digestive systems.
2. Check for food allergies
Not all food allergies are easy to detect and with the standard American diet, food allergies are at an all-time high.
Autoimmune diseases(like rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease), diabetes seem to be on the rise.
You may have a food allergy or sensitivity that is hurting your digestive system. Your body is unique, and you may not have all the symptoms that are typical.
If you suspect a food allergy is present, discuss it with your doctor.
3. Remove sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Bacteria in your digestive system can feed on the sugar and refined carbohydrates and create issues.
If you want to heal your gut, it’s important to change your diet.
Added sugars(like high-fructose corn syrup or corn syrup), artificial sweeteners (like sucralose,
aspartame, acesulfame K, saccharin) and refined carbohydrates are to be avoided.
You’ll reduce yeast growth in the gut and other unpleasant issues.
4. Add fiber.
Your digestive system needs fiber to function properly. Natural sources of fiber usually work the best. Nuts, vegetables, beans, and whole grains have the fiber you need.
5. Try digestive enzymes.
Digestive enzymes break down the food we eat. As we get older, we don’t produce as many digestive enzymes and your gut may be lacking the necessary enzymes to digest your food effectively.
6. Try probiotics
Did you know that up to 70% of your immune system resides in your gut? Probiotics will help to restore balance back to your digestive system- and overall boost your immune system.
You can find probiotics in a variety of fermented foods such as kimchi and kombucha. You can also find them in yogurts and other items.
If you’re not eating fermented food on a regular basis, then it’s important to supplement with a good quality probiotic. This is a good probiotic I recommend
7. Avoid fast food and processed food.
These foods have high levels of salt and fat and can make your gut feel worse. Fast food places use partially hydrogenated oils when they fry foods because these types of oils can be used multiple times in commercial fryers.
Partially hydrogenated oils are so attractive to the food industry because the production of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils were developed because of low cost, long shelf life, and suitability for commercial frying and transport, making it convenient for them but it wrecks havoc on your gut.
The FDA determined that Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) are not Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and not safe for human consumption. Time to cut it out of your diet.
8. Chew carefully.
Not chewing your food properly can hurt your gut as well.
Chewing gives saliva a chance to mix digestive enzymes with the food before you even swallow it and this helps your gut break down the food easier.
Experts recommend chewing each bite of food at least 20 times. This also allows you to enjoy your food more and savor the flavors.
You’ll be more mindful of what you’re eating and even end up eating less as you’re giving your body time for the satiety mechanism to come into play. Your body will give off “I’m full” signals and you’ll digest food more efficiently.
9. Warm up your food.
This one is simple.
Eating cold food puts more stress on your digestive system.
10. Sit down to eat and eat ALONE.
Relax and enjoy your food, rather than hurrying through your meal. As mentioned in point 8, slowing down and eating your food helps to increase the efficiency of digestion.
Don’t eat while texting, driving, watching TV working or just multi-tasking.
Focus on just EATING. You’ll become more mindful and aware of what you’re eating.
If you’re experiencing digestive issues, discuss them with your doctor. Your digestive system may be able to heal on its own. Following these tips will help you return your gut back to a healthier state and then maintain it.