Are you struggling with digestive issues? Many people today battle daily with symptoms such as constipation, leaky gut, gas, heartburn, and/or bloating. So what are some causes for these symptoms and what steps can we take to improve our overall digestive health?
One of the main possible cause of the symptoms mentioned about is due to a change in the stomach acid, your gut immunity, and the microbiome or ecosystem of the good bacteria in your digestive system. When your gut is healthy, you are less likely to experience those discomforts and it helps boost your immunity. To help maintain a healthier gut health involves more than just what you put into your stomachs, but also an overall lifestyle. Here are five tips you can incorporate to help improve your digestive health.
So, although this is not the only method to improving your gut health, it is definitely a huge factor. One important component that we need is fiber. In fact, about 95% of Americans are fiber deficient and do not meet the recommended daily target of 25g. for women and 38g. for men. One of the big reasons for this has to do with what we now eat. Instead of taking in more fruits, vegetables and nuts, most of the calories we consume come from processed foods. About 40% of Americans eat fast food on any given day. So making sure to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables can help provide our bodies with the fiber we need to build good bacteria and maintain a healthy gut.
Another fantastic food that we can incorporate into our digestive system are foods rich in probiotics and fermented foods. A simple probiotic that you can include in your diet are yogurts (preferably yogurts that aren't loaded with lots of flavoring or sugar) and topped with your favorite fruits and nuts. Some fermented foods you can try are kimchi (a korean fermented cabbage that tastes great with rice) or pickled foods such as sauerkraut that you can easily pick up at your nearest mart.
In case you didn't know, but your gut microbiome and the quality of your sleep go hand in hand. In fact, one study showed that not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your gut microbiome which in turn can cause other health issues. Our shift between waking hours and sleeping hours also affects the rhythm of our gut microbes. Sleep deprivation can also put our appetite and increase our food cravings which can lead to weight gain. The reason? Well lack of sleep decrease the level of leptin, a hormone, that is responsible for our feelings of satiety. It also increases the ghrelin, the hormone that signals hunger. Because this, many who are sleep-deprive tend to gain weight faster. And when our digestive system is out of balance, well that can lead to digestive discomforts.
This cannot be stressed enough. Making sure to exercise is one of the best ways to stay fit and prevent digestive issues. In one study, researchers found that exercise promotes the growth of good bacteria that helped product fatty acid which promotes the repair of the gut lining and reduces inflammation. So try to make time, at least 15-30 minutes of workout five times a week to get your heart pumping and to support your gut health.
Yes our mood can have a direct impact on our gut health. In what way? Well, stress can make our intestinal barrier weak and increase gut motility and fluid secretion. This in turn can cause us to experience bouts of diarrhea or urges to urinate during or after a stressful event. Increased periods of stress can even cause a sore or ulcer. Stress can also cause many of us to overeat and drink too much alcohol or other unhealthy junk foods - both of which can affect our gut health. So if possible, try to keep your stress under control. Try to identify what is stressing you out and what is causing it. Then sort them into three categories:
- Is there a practical solution to solve the issue?
- Can this issue be resolved over time?
- What issues are out of my control?
When we take the time to split up what's causing us to stress and find practical ways to solve it, it can help us see what areas we are in control and don't need to stress about. For those that are out of our control, we can try to not think about it as worrying about it will only stress us out more. Plus, a lot of the things we worry about that are out of our control usually don't actually happen as bad as we assumed. You can also review your lifestyle. Maybe you are taking on too much? Can you delegate to someone else? Write down a to-do list and prioritize those that are most urgent.
Aside from eating right and working on healthier lifestyle habits, sometimes our bodies simply just lack the needed nutrients to maintain a healthy gut. At times, our bodies aren't able to absorb enough of the nutrients it needs from food alone. That is why many turn to digestive supporting supplements. For example, digestive enzymes are essential to help us break down food to support a wide range of body functions.
Although our bodies can naturally produce these enzymes on their own, the product of them may decrease with age, which in turn can affect the digestion process and cause unwanted negative symptoms. A great supplement to try is FarmHaven Digestive Enzymes which includes 10 types of digestive enzymes along with a billion probiotic to help support our gut health and reduce gas, bloating, and other digestive related discomforts.
Another fantastic supplement that is geared specifically to support women's wellness is FarmHaven Women's Multivitamin. It contains 22 of the essential vitamins and minerals that every women needs as well as digestive enzymes, like
protease, to help your stomach break down hard to digest foods and supports gas/bloating relief. This supplement also contains Biotin which can help promote healthy hair and nails as well as support skin health. There are many great supplements out there that can offer your body the extra boost it needs to maintain a healthy gut, so take advantage of them!