How often do you consider the health of your gut? Until something is wrong, it is easy to forget about this vital system within the body. However, the gut plays a very important role in the body, helping to process food and distribute the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. It is also thought to be critical to a healthy mental outlook, so much so that it has earned the title of ‘the second brain’.
The gut starts in the mouth, working to break down food as soon as it enters the body. It finishes at the anus and it is important to keep it healthy to prevent autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s, IBD and ulcerative colitis which can have a debilitating effect on the body. Even short-term bouts of constipation can be irritating, so here are some tips for keeping your gut in tip-top condition.
Get Your Biotics!
In order to have a thriving gut, you need to feed your gut flora. These healthy microorganisms within your body are responsible for breaking food down into the different nutrients so they can be used efficiently in the different systems. Probiotics help to boost this flora, while prebiotics act as a fuel for them. They can be consumed in supplement form, but they are also available readily throughout your diet. Find your biotics in fermented foods, whole grains, bananas and asparagus. You should also refrain from over-indulging in sugary foods to avoid inhibiting these friendly bacteria.
Meditate for your Gut
It might sound slightly unlikely, unless you already know the value of meditation, but this passive practice is thought to have a very positive effect on your gut health. The benefit comes from the stress-relief of refocusing your mind, concentrating on your breath and realigning your chakras. Stress is known to cause inflammation in the body, including the gut, so anything you can do to reduce your response to high-pressure situations is certain to be useful.
Give it a Break!
The benefits of a good night’s sleep are rarely argued, but this opportunity for your body to relax and recharge is just as important for your gut health. This overnight fast gives your gut the chance to catch up, so that you feel energized and revived in the morning.
Pharmaceuticals have the ability to improve our quality of life, allowing us to get on with our day-to-day activities without pain or stress. However, it is not a good idea to pop a pill every time you feel slightly out-of-sorts. Sometimes, headaches can be relieved by rehydrating and seasonal colds just require a little extra sleep. Only reach for the tablets when you really feel like you have no other option in order to protect your gut.
Drink More Water!
Like every other function in the body, a hydrated gut is an efficient one! Maintain a proper amount of hydration throughout the day and you can be sure everything will flow just as it should!
Our gut is a high-functioning, tough part of the body, but once it becomes damaged it is rarely reversible. Look after it today and enjoy a healthy gut for longer!