Ancient wisdom says nothing beats your gut feeling. Well, it is indeed the truth. A healthy gut aids in the right digestion, thus leading to proper absorption of essential nutrients into the body. In fact, gut health is the foundation of your overall health and well-being.
Our overall health and well-being stem from our gut. Digestive health is the epicenter from which our entire health begins.
Gut health is a testament to the fact that we are indeed what we eat. A healthy gut has the right amount of beneficial bacteria or also known as gut bacteria, that aids digestion and keep us healthy. An unhealthy gut is associated with fatigue, autoimmune disorders, lifestyle diseases, and even skin disorders.
There are bad bacteria that can adversely affect our health and good bacteria that are beneficial to us. Good bacteria thrive in a healthy gut. Any healthcare provider will tell you that unhealthy eating habits, stress, lack of sleep, and a plethora of other factors can negatively affect your gut health.
So the million-dollar question is how to heal your gut?
When answering the question of how to heal your gut, there is indeed a lot of data available. It can be pretty overwhelming to find a solution for solving the gut imbalance.
A healthy gut can solve many gut issues like leaky gut syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances, and even food allergies.
Signs Of An Unhealthy Gut
Since our entire health depends upon our gut, a spike in gut problems is characterized by several unpleasant symptoms.
The classic sign of an unhealthy gut is constant abdominal issues. Digestive symptoms are one of the primary indicators of a gut imbalance. An unhealthy gut is followed by cramps, constipation, heartburn, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and indigestion.
You will feel frequent discomfort as a result of poor gut health. You can even experience bad breath due to an unhealthy gut. Acid reflux can occur due to gut issues as well.
Poor gut health is characterized by chronic illness and tiredness. You will feel fatigued and low on energy all the time. It is also common to experience insomnia or a general lack of sleep due to gut health issues.
The circadian rhythm can get affected, leading to a disturbed sleep cycle during the night. This, in turn, can lead to you feeling tired and overly fatigued during the day.
Peaceful and uninterrupted sleep is necessary to maintain our mental health. Lack of sleep can lead to increased stress and poor mental health. The stress leading to poor gut health would result in a vicious cycle wherein higher levels of stress can disrupt the proper functioning of the digestive system.
The gut-brain axis encompasses even the gut bacteria composition, which is why better gut health is so crucial in maintaining our body’s overall health.
Poor gut health is often associated with inflammation. Inflammations lead to interruptions in the proper functioning of the body’s immune system. A disturbed immune system can result in autoimmune diseases. Certain strains of gut bacteria, Enterococcus Gallinari and Bacteroides fragilis are associated with various autoimmune diseases. It has been proven by many scientists that gut bacteria causes autoimmune diseases.
The gut balance is thrown off guard when these harmful bacteria multiply, and the beneficial bacteria fall in numbers. The immune system can function promptly only when the balance in gut microbiota is maintained.
An ideal balance in the gut microbiome is instrumental in maintaining good gut health.
Consuming large amounts of high sugar foods, mainly processed foods, can decrease good bacteria and a rise in harmful bacteria in the gut. When the bad bacteria thrive, you can experience constant cravings, especially for sugar. This can further aggravate the harmful bacteria, which causes intense sugar cravings, leading to overall health issues.
A sugar-rich diet can also lead to inflammation. In addition, processed foods trigger various diseases like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome in many people.
Fluctuations In Weight
Unintentional fluctuations in weight are a result of poor gut health. When gut health is threatened, it hampers the proper nutrition absorption into the body. The body metabolism gets affected due to this, and you can experience constant weight gain or weight loss. You can experience obesity as well despite not changing the quantity of food you consume.
Most diseases stem from a poor diet. In this case, the digestive process becomes haphazard and prevents the correct assimilation of food into the body. Moreover, when the proper absorption of nutrients into the body is hampered, it ultimately affects brain health.
Our diet reflects the health of our skin. When the gut is unhealthy, it can result in many skin issues like breakouts, eczema, dullness, and psoriasis. An unhealthy gut can lead to skin inflammation, causing various skin disorders like those mentioned above.
The gut bacteria can directly influence the bacterial balance on your skin through the gut skin axis. Moreover, a healthy gut is responsible for maintaining skin health.
Intolerance To Food
When gut health is affected, one of the primary effects is intolerance to specific foods. Poor gut health manifests in the form of food intolerance. A food allergy or food intolerance is characterized by indigestion, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. The body finds it difficult to digest certain foods, resulting in many discomforts.
Do you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms? Have you been suffering silently on account of these problems? If you answered yes to these questions, you might have poor gut health.
It is also advisable to get yourself checked by medical professionals and ascertain the cause of these symptoms. You don’t have to worry if it is indeed poor gut health; a healthy gut is easily achievable. It is indeed an imaginable feat to improve gut health.
We will look at ways and means how to restore gut health. From altering your diet to including high fiber foods to taking probiotic supplements and exercising, various solutions are available to keep the gut healthy.
1. Follow A Fiber-Rich Diet
The primary solution to how to heal your gut is to change your diet. Include more fiber-rich foods in your diet. Eating food rich in fiber makes the job easier for the gut flora in your digestive tract.
Whole grains like quinoa, barley, whole wheat, oats, and bulgur provide the much-needed probiotic fiber that helps survive the healthy microbiome in the intestinal lining. The probiotic fiber has proven to be beneficial in improving the probiotic bacteria and simultaneously inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria. The dietary fiber, in addition, acts as fodder for the good bacteria helping them thrive and multiply, thus improving gut health.
It is impossible to answer the question of how to heal your gut without considering the diet that one is following. It is always wise to maintain a healthy diet with enough fiber content. The fiber in the food is responsible for preventing constipation and facilitating the smooth movement of the bowels.
2. Eat Your Greens
Various studies have shown that eating a predominantly vegetarian diet consisting of plant foods improves gut health. The gut microbiome benefit from the high fiber present in vegetarian foods.
According to studies, the gut microbiomes of vegetarians and meat-eaters are significantly different.
The high levels of prebiotic fiber found in a vegetarian diet may help to promote gut health.
For example, in one small study, obese people maintained a strict vegetarian diet for one month, avoiding all animal products such as meat, dairy, and eggs.
Another sure-shot way that is the answer to your prayers of how to heal your gut is by taking supplements. The gut microbiome plays a vital role in absorbing vital nutrients into the body.
When gut health is threatened, and gut flora levels are low, one tends to become anemic. While taking steps to heal your gut, it is also crucial to restore other vitamins and minerals that might have been compromised due to gut imbalance.
Iron supplements must be consumed to maintain optimum levels of ferritin. Ferritin is an essential protein responsible for storing iron in our bodies. Ample levels of iron are necessary to maintain a robust immune system.
L-glutamine is an amino acid essential in the human body. The loss of good gut bacteria can inhibit protein synthesis in the body. It is hence crucial to aid the body by taking protein supplements. L-glutamine is instrumental in healing leaky gut. Bone broth is said to be a natural source of L-glutamine. Lean protein can also be consumed to combat deficiencies.
Digestive Enzymes Supplements
Taking digestive enzyme supplements can help your gut lining while it’s recovering. They aid digestion and make the work easier for the gut bugs.
Perhaps the most talked-about remedy how to heal your gut and restore the gut microbiome is consuming prebiotics. Prebiotics are complex carbohydrates that cannot be digested in the human digestive tract. They act as the food for the good bacteria in the intestines. This remedy is on top of the list among all solutions for how to heal your gut.
Probiotic supplements and food rich in probiotics aid the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Probiotics are directly linked to maintaining skin health.
In addition to supplements, probiotics are found in plenty of foods.
Prebiotics are instrumental in promoting the growth of beneficial gut microbiota.
Listed below are some of the best prebiotic food you can consume to restore the good bacteria in your gut.
- Cocoa powder
- Sweet potatoes
Consume Probiotic food
While prebiotics act as the food for the gut microbiome, probiotics, on the other hand, are live bacterial cultures found in certain foods naturally. Fermented foods innately contain these living bacteria.
Probiotics are that category of food that is unavoidable while on your journey on how to heal your gut. Probiotics are imperative to support the immune system. Probiotic food help keep the gut healthy.
Probiotics also help in healing irritable bowel syndrome and alleviating inflammatory bowel disease; Processed foods are characterized by the absence of probiotics in them. Yogurt and other fermented foods are the major sources of probiotics are most people are familiar with. There are a plethora of other sources that help restore gut microbiota.
Some of them are listed below.
- Soft cheeses
- Red wine
- Dark chocolate
- Sour pickles
Consume foods that boost collagen production
Food that can boost collagen production in the body is beneficial for the gut microbiota. Mushrooms are an excellent source of collagen for the body.
Cut Down On Sugar And Processed Foods
The problem with sugar cravings is that they disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome. This, in turn, leads to further cravings. Eating too much sugar can lead to many health issues like food intolerances and a leaky gut. Limit your intake of sugar-rich and processed foods.
Artificial sweeteners have been demonstrated to have a deleterious impact on the microbiota in animal experiments.
Aspartame-treated rats had higher blood sugar levels and could not use the insulin their bodies produced appropriately.
The same blood sugar spike was seen in another human trial. Artificial sweeteners may be best avoided completely for intestinal health.
3. Get Moving!
Exercising at least 3 times a week can significantly help with healing your gut. Studies have shown that athletes have better gut health and health history than non-athletes. Exercising helps in weight control and curbing obesity. In addition, moving releases endorphins in your body. This can have a positive impact on your mental health as well.
4. Curb Unnecessary Antibiotic Intake
Although antibiotics are frequently required to treat bacterial illnesses, their overuse is a serious public health risk that can lead to antibiotic resistance.
Taking antibiotics frequently can kill the beneficial bacteria in the gut. It is advisable to refrain from taking antibiotics unnecessarily.
Antibiotics are also harmful to the gut flora and the immune system. Some research shows that the gut continues to lack many varieties of helpful bacteria even six months after the antibiotic treatment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 30% of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary.
As a result, the CDC advises patients to consult their doctor before using antibiotics or other alternatives.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Ensure that you get at least 8 hours of sleep every day. Not getting enough sleep can alter the composition of the gut flora. Lack of sleep is associated with a leaky gut. Adequate sleep can positively influence mental health as well, in addition to gut health. A disturbed gut can lead to inflammatory diseases of the gut.
6. Keep Yourself Hydrated
It is imperative to drink adequate water to get our bodies functioning properly. Drinking enough water facilitates proper digestive health and maintains the right composition of the gut microbiome. The same goes for maintaining gut health as well.
7. Chew Slowly And Properly
Chewing your food properly aids inappropriate absorption and assimilation of nutrients into the body. This improves digestive health and heals your gut.
8. Spice It Up!
Who would have thought that spices had numerous health benefits?
Whole and powdered spices render flavor to the food and have great health benefits.
Garlic, turmeric, ginger, and other flavorful spices are always welcome additions. These spices aid in the elimination of dangerous microorganisms in the intestines. They won’t harm the healthy bacteria, either.
9. Do Not Take Stress
Too much stress primarily results in poor gut functioning. Remember the familiar gurgling in your tummy when you are nervous? Stress can affect gut health in a similar way. The digestion is thrown off balance, and overall gut health is affected due to stress. Small amounts of stress are beneficial to us. When stress exceeds a limit, it can be detrimental to overall health. Practicing mindfulness, meditation, and yoga can help release stress.
10. Consume Antimicrobial Herbs
Gut issues are aggravated when there is a proliferation of harmful bacteria in the gut. To combat these, oral antimicrobial herbs can be consumed. These reduce the population of harmful bacteria and provide that extra advantage in healing your gut. Some of the best herbs for gut health are Triphala and licorice roots.
11. Intake Of Anti-Inflammatory Food
Healthy fats are a great example of anti-inflammatory foods. These reduce the inflammation of the gut lining and keep your gut healthy. A few of such food products are
- Fish that contain Omega-3 fats include Salmon, Sardines, and Mackerel
- Chia seeds
12. Quit Smoking
Studies have shown that people who smoke have a lesser concentration of beneficial bacteria in their gut. Smoking causes a spike in bad bacteria and other harmful microorganisms in the gut.
Smoking affects intestinal flora by raising potentially hazardous microbes while decreasing the number of helpful ones, according to a 2018 assessment of data published over 16 years.
These effects may raise the risk of inflammatory bowel disease and other intestinal and systemic disorders.
13. Try Various Disinfectants
This might seem like a bizarre suggestion when considering how to heal your gut. From the findings of a particular study, it is known that certain disinfectants can affect the composition of the gut microbiome.
The intestinal flora of nearly 700 newborns aged 3–4 months was studied in 2018.
The researchers discovered that those who lived in homes where disinfectant cleaning solutions were used at least once a week had twice as many Lachnospiraceae gut bacteria, which are linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
These newborns had a greater Body Mass Index at the age of 3 than children who had not been exposed to such high doses of disinfectants.
Maintaining the health of the gut is imperative to achieving a healthy body and mind. All health begins from the gut. When the gut is healed, the entire bodily functions take place in order. Here we saw many remedies on how to heal your gut.
Problems with the gut can occur due to lifestyle problems, stress, improper eating habits, and so on. If these are remedied, we would have answered how to heal your gut.
A healthy gut is linked to improved overall health and immunological function.
People can improve the diversity and amount of bacteria in their gut by making proper lifestyle and dietary adjustments.
Taking probiotics, eating a fiber-rich vegetarian diet, and avoiding the use of antibiotics and disinfectants are all positive adjustments that can be made.
Getting enough sleep and exercising frequently are two more basic lifestyle improvements that can be made.
However, before making any major dietary changes, a person should consult their doctor.
Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.