A healthy gut is essential for overall wellness. With so many diets, supplements, and products available, it can be overwhelming to know what to do to optimize your digestion health and feel your best.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to the top 11 ways to boost your digestive health.
1. Whole Foods Diet
The most important dietary rule is to eat whole foods. Whole foods are nutrient-dense and help to ensure that your body is receiving all the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to function optimally. It’s best to opt for organic foods, especially when it comes to meat, as toxins can accumulate in the fat of non-organic meat. Eating a diet rich in vegetables, particularly fresh produce, and high-quality fats, such as ghee, coconut oil, and MCT oil, is key.
2. Listen to Your Gut Instinct
It’s important to be aware of how you feel after eating. Do you experience bloating, gas, or constipation? One way to determine if you have a food intolerance or allergy is to do an elimination diet. This involves cutting out the main allergens, such as corn, wheat, sugar, dairy, eggs, and soy, and then reintroducing them one by one after 2-3 weeks. This way, you can clearly see which foods are helpful or harmful to your body.
3. Clear Pathogens
Parasites, SIBO, SIFO, candida, and dysbiosis are becoming increasingly common in today’s society. These pathogens increase inflammation, decrease proper digestion and nutrient absorption, and increase intestinal permeability. To diagnose and clear these pathogens, it’s best to work with a healthcare practitioner.
4. Restore Gut Integrity
The lining of your gut is only one cell thick. Eating foods that cause inflammation in the gut or taking antibiotics that kill both good and bad bacteria can lead to leaky gut, where particles of food can escape from the gut. This can cause the immune system to go into overdrive and increase the likelihood of food allergies and autoimmune issues. To restore gut integrity, consider supplementing with bone broth, collagen, beneficial bacteria (probiotics), and CBD.
Probiotics help to reintroduce beneficial bacteria into the gut. Unfortunately, many probiotics don’t survive the digestive process, so it’s important to choose a high-quality probiotic. Spore-based probiotics, such as BioOptimizers and Thrive, tend to be more effective than others. It’s also important to rotate probiotics and increase your intake of fermented foods, such as kimchi, raw sauerkraut, and kefir.
Prebiotics are a specific type of fiber that serve as food for beneficial bacteria. They help to establish and maintain a healthy bacterial balance in the gut. Prebiotics have even been found to be beneficial in reducing obesity. You can take prebiotic supplements or eat foods rich in prebiotic fiber, such as bananas, garlic, and onions.
7. Digestive Enzymes
Digestion begins in the mouth. Chewing your food releases digestive enzymes in your saliva, and various digestive enzymes are released throughout the gastrointestinal system to help break down food. Supplementing with digestive enzymes can also help to break down specific proteins that may be difficult to digest, such as lactose and fat.
8. Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)
Stomach acid levels naturally decrease with age, and this can impact your ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Signs of low stomach acid include bloating, gas, indigestion, and even nutrient deficiencies. Supplementing with hydrochloric acid (HCL) can help to improve digestion and nutrient absorption, but it’s important to work with a healthcare practitioner to determine the right dose for you.
9. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water is essential for hydration and digestion. Adequate water intake helps to flush out toxins and promote regular bowel movements. It’s important to drink water with meals to help with digestion and to sip water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
10. Get Regular Exercise
Physical activity helps to stimulate the muscles in the gut, promoting regular bowel movements and helping to flush out waste. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, every day.
11. Stress Management
Stress can have a significant impact on digestive health, leading to increased inflammation and decreased digestion and absorption of nutrients. To reduce stress, consider practicing stress management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga.
Digestive Health Conclusion
In conclusion, by following these top 11 ways to boost your digestive health, you can improve your overall wellness and feel your best. Remember to always listen to your gut instincts and work with a healthcare practitioner to determine the best approach for you. By taking a holistic approach to digestive health, you can optimize your gut and support a healthy, happy life.