Most of the 40 trillion bacteria in your body reside in your guts. This gang of bowel bacteria is known as your gut microbiota, and they are very important for your health, your mood, and your deuces. Here are our tips to keep your intestines happy for a healthier life and better BMs.
1. Fruits and Veggies
Eating high fiber foods, like fruits, veggies, nuts, and legumes is the best thing you can do for your microbiota. While your body can’t digest fiber, certain bacteria in your gut depend on fiber to stimulate their growth. Some of the best high fiber foods for your gut include: apples, artichokes, blueberries, almonds, raspberries, and lentils.
2. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods promote lactobacilli, a bacteria beneficial to your intestinal health. Additionally, people who eat fermented food have been shown to have fewer Enterobacteriaceae, a type of bacteria associated with inflammation and chronic disease. Fermented foods include: kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and yogurt. Avoid artificially flavored yogurts, as they can be high in sugar. Plain or natural yogurts made with only milk and starter culture are better for your bowels.
3. Exercise Your Gut
Leading a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to poor gut health. You don’t need to be an Olympian, but getting some physical exercise for about 30 minutes a day can do wonders for your gut health.
4. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
While studies have shown that aspartame, a common artificial sweetener, can reduce weight gain, it can also increase blood sugar and impaired insulin response. Rats fed aspartame had higher levels of Clostridium and Enterobacteriaceae in their intestines, bacterias associated with disease. If you’re craving something sweet, skip the sweeteners, and go for some dark chocolate or a piece of fruit instead. Your gut will thank you.
5. Sleep It Off
Not getting enough sleep can disturb your digestion and gut microbiota. Research has shown that those who get some decent shuteye have a more diverse microbiome. If you’re having trouble sleeping try turning off your devices an hour before bed and keeping your room cold.
6. Reduce Alcohol Intake
While red wine contains polyphenols, a plant compound that your gut microbiota loves, most alcohol (especially too much alcohol) is not good for your gut health. Booze affects the gut barrier, and can increase the number of pathogenic microbes. Also, overindulging in alcohol can lead to constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.
7. Don’t Stress
When you’re stressed out your microbes get stressed as well. Stress and anxiety can decrease important probiotic bacteria like Lactobacillus. Mood and digestive system health are closely linked, as we see with disorders like irritable bowel syndrome. Manage your stress with meditation, yoga, breathing techniques, and therapy.
A healthy gut means a healthy body, mind, and regular, healthy poops. Don’t forget to wipe with No.2 toilet paper. Made from 100% sustainably sourced bamboo, plastic free, and free of BPA, dyes, and scents. Trust your gut!