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5 Ways to Maintain Gut Health + Why It’s so Important

Jessica Gomes
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As Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” Our gut is like our second brain. It controls and regulates so much of our body’s processes, from mood, to sleep, metabolism, illness, and digestion. Obviously, the health of our digestive tract is imperative for our overall wellbeing.
 
70% of your immune system lives in your gut, which means if you do not maintain a healthy gut, it can leave you vulnerable to contracting illness, and affect your ability to lose fat, along with disrupting your mental health.
 
The good bacteria in your digestive system can affect your body’s vitamin and mineral absorption, hormone regulation, vitamin production, immune response, and the ability to eliminate toxins.
 
Good bacteria also regulates your overall mental health. Pretty important aspects of our life and health, right?!
 
All these good bacteria that are hanging out in your gut create their own ecosystem that scientists like to call the microbiome. This microbiome is the regulator of your body, which means we better take extra good care of it!
 

The good bacteria in your digestive system can affect your body’s vitamin and mineral absorption, hormone regulation, vitamin production, immune response, and the ability to eliminate toxins.

 

Here are 5 different ways to maintain optimal digestive system health:

 

1. Avoid refined sugar and processed food

Processed food is the enemy of all things healthy. There are additives, preservatives, ingredients you can’t pronounce, and even chemicals you aren’t meant to consume in the first place!
 
Refined sugar and processed foods wreak havoc on your gut, causing imbalances and killing the healthy bacteria that resides there. Instead of choosing the boxed and bagged items at the grocery store, choose whole foods that are raw and organic.
 
Recommended read: Get Healthy and Ditch the Sugar!
 

2. Load up on Magnesium

Magnesium is the wonder nutrient, regulating over 300 processes in your body. It boosts mood and improves your quality of sleep, calms nerves and reduces anxiety, relieves muscle soreness, regulates your calcium, potassium and sodium levels, prevents headaches, is essential for heart health and helps with digestion – just to name a few benefits!
 
You can obtain this nutrient from flaxseed and leafy greens or by using a supplement like Natural Calm or a magnesium spray you apply topically.
 

 

3. Don’t forget your pro- and prebiotics

We’ve all heard it before – probiotics and prebiotics are essential for gut health. So what exactly are probiotics and prebiotics? Probiotics are live cultures – a kind of good bacteria – that are found in your gut. They balance your gut flora (the community of microorganisms found in your intestinal tract) which boosts immunity and your gastrointestinal health, which directly influences your health overall. A good way to start your day is by taking a 50 billion probiotic with a full glass of water on an empty stomach.
 
*Taking a 50 billion probiotic supplement (a high potency probiotic) in the morning will greatly benefit your digestive system by improving digestion, boosting your immune system. Probiotics also help fight foodborne illnesses, help you lose weight, fight multiple ailments, and combat fatigue.
 
Prebiotics are nondigestible fiber components from the food we eat that pass through our system and feed the good bacteria in our gut. You can find your prebiotics in foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut and prebiotics in foods like bananas, leeks, onion, garlic, asparagus, and artichokes.
 

4. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential when it comes to keeping your gut healthy. Water flushes toxins and moves waste through your digestive tract, keeping it fresh and happy. Rule of thumb is to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. Get drinking!
 
Psst! Want to learn more about why it’s so important to stay hydrated? Then read 6 Undeniable Reasons to Drink More Water.
 

5. De-stress

Your brain and your gut are directly related, especially when it comes to stress. Once you are in a stressful situation or feeling stressed, your brain goes into fight or flight mode which can freeze up your digestive tract, slowing down your metabolism and causing a whole range of problems. Try to decompress through meditation, yoga, fun activities, therapy, working out, getting outdoors – whatever helps you relax!
 
Using these techniques will enrich your gut health and function and maintain your health for the best possible you. You will see improvements in your mood, sleep, motivation, ability to fight illness, circulation, along with other numerous health benefits. Now get to loving your gut and making it healthy – the rest of your body will thank you for it!
 

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Chew on This: 5 Tips for Better, Healthier Digestion
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Jessica Gomes

Jessica Lynn Gomes is a twenty‐something creative writer and health enthusiast living in Laguna Beach, California. As an athlete, she develops her own workout routines and practices a clean eating lifestyle. She is constantly experimenting in the kitchen, creating new ways to cook for her gluten‐free lifestyle, without sacrificing taste and nutrition. To get to know more about Jessica, head over to her personal blog, The Naked Bohemian.

thenakedbohemian.com

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