BLOG NUTRITION, FOOD, SLEEP, MOOD, SUPPLEMENTS, HEALTH
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July 25, 2017
Keeping Your Gut Healthy
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In our previous blogs posts we discussed the intricate relationship between how bad bacteria not only affect disease, but can potentially affect our daily mood. Today we are going to get to the nuts and bolts of the matter. What can we do to keep our guts healthy?!
The promising part about your gut biome, is that it is easily changed by our behaviors. If we are in a state of imbalance or dysbiosis, there are things we can do to help change our gut flora and improve our health. Today we will discuss these easy steps that can be put into action right away to improve GI health.
1. Clean up your diet.
Treat your gut like your gut bugs would. This means more fiber, more protein and more colorful variety of whole foods. It also means less sugar. Bad bacteria thrive on sugar.
2. Maintain a regular sleep cycle.
Research has shown that just like our bodies follow a regular sleep and wake cycle and normal meal schedule, our gut bacteria do as well. If our circadian rhythm gets thrown off then the normal rhythm of our gut does as well.
3. Lower your stress.
Stress hormones (like cortisol) have been shown to worsen leaky gut by breaking down the proteins between epithelial cells in the intestines. Also, stress hormones can alter the growth and virulence of bad bacteria. A good rule of thumb is that eating when your stress is high is not going to be a good environment for your gut.
4. Add more good gut bugs.
Include foods with naturally occurring probiotics in your diet. This may include items like Greek yogurts which are also high in protein, beverages like kefir and kombucha, or fermented foods like miso and kimchee. Supplementing can also be helpful as well. See more about supplementing in our blog post about supplementing post antibiotic use.
Goehler L. Understanding the Gut Brain: Stress, Appetite, Digestion & Mood. In:Understanding the Gut Brain: Stress, Appetite, Digestion & Mood.; 2015
Willett, G., PhD., R.D., & White, B., Ph.D.; R.D. (2016, January 14).Understand Diabetes: New Ideas on a Serious Epidemic. Lecture presented at INR: Understanding Diabetes, Renton, WA.
Konturek PR, Brzozowski, T. Korturkek SJ. Stress and the gut: Pathophysiology, clinical consequences, diagnostic approach and treatment options. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2011 Dec;62(6):591-9
To read more of our Probiotics Blog Series: follow for What is a Probiotic, What is Dysbiosis, Dysbiosis and Disease, and Dysbiosis and Your Brain, and Rebuilding the Gut After Antibiotics.