Did you know that 70% of your immune system is housed in your gut? Gut health impacts your entire body and when your gut microbiome is off balance it can have a huge impact on your overall health.
What is a gut microbiome, you might ask? It's pretty straight forward, your body is made up of a bunch of tiny microscopic organisms of which 90% live in your gut and this is where the gut microbiome originates. It is essential for our health that these microbiota are in balance, having enough healthy microbiota to balance out the unhealthy (ie. too much fungal or yeast buildup) and because so much of our immune system lives in our gut it essential that we take care of our microbiome.
Have you ever experienced bloating, gas or lethargy after eating certain meals? This could be a result of your gut microbiome being out of balance and lacking enough healthy bacteria. The good news is that the bacteria in your gut is very responsive to dietary changes so if you start to alter your diet your body will start to make changes on a cellular level. Believe it or not, the more diverse your gut bacteria, the better. Two thirds of our gut microbiomes are uniquely ours without taking our genes into account so everyones gut has different needs and you aren't necessarily doomed to the same health struggles your mom, dad or grandparents experienced. With that said, it's important to experiment with different foods in order to illuminate what works best for you, individually.
Eating for microbiome health is one way that you can help to keep your digestion on track and gut bacteria in balance. If you have experienced any gut dysbiosis and are looking for ways to bring your gut back into equilibrium here are some of my top tips for giving your gut a reset.
Incorporate more fermented foods into your diet
Fermented Foods like kimchi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, pickled veggies, tempeh and yogurt help to provide the gut with healthy bacteria while also crowding out the bad bacteria.These foods are also rich in probiotics, which help to aid in digestion and boost your immunity.
Eliminate eating processed foods
Processed and pre-packaged foods typically are lower in bio-available nutrients and higher in sugar and fillers. It's important to limit these foods because they can spike blood sugar, contribute to weight gain and still leave you feeling hungry even after you've eaten them which leaves you reaching for more and feeling unsatisfied.
Eat a whole foods diet
This goes along with limiting processed foods. The best way to ensure that your body and gut are getting the proper nutrients is to eat whole foods from the earth. Think: vegetables, fruits, pasture raised eggs and meat and foods in their whole form as opposed to something that looks like a former version of itself. (i.e. a whole baked potato vs. a bag of greasy potato chips).
Limit alcohol and increase H20 consumption
Alcohol turns into sugar and having too much sugar in your system can wreak havoc on digestion and cause systemic inflammation. Drinking more water helps to keep your body hydrated, keeps your kidneys flushed and aids in moving things along digestively.
Lower your stress levels and get plenty of sleep
It's not all about food. Stress and sleep greatly impact our health both physically and mentally. If you are not taking care of your mental health and resting your body or finding ways to manage your stress your body will start to manifest that stress physically, which could show up as constipation, headaches, frequent trips to the bathroom, etc. Pay attention, tune into your body and listen to the cues it's giving you. You are often your own best health advocate.
If your digestion is out of whack and you are looking to take a deeper dive, don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or for a free 30 minute health coaching consultation.