Your gut is home to trillions of bacterial cells which, when working in balance, are responsible for the correct functioning of your digestive system.
An unhealthy gut can occur when the bad bacteria outnumber the good. If you regularly experience gas, bloating, constipation or irregular bowel movements, it may be a sign that your digestive system is in need of some maintenance. Here are five suggestions to help you get things running smoothly again.
Naturally occurring good bacteria allow for the normal functioning of your gastrointestinal system – which isn’t possible when there is too much bad bacteria present. A good way to fix this imbalance is to improve your intake of probiotics. You can re-populate the good bacteria in your gut naturally by consuming fermented foods such as kim chi, sauerkraut, miso and natural yoghurt, or by taking a probiotic supplement.
Processed foods and foods containing sugars, along with foods such as white bread, cereal and pastries, are some of the main catalysts for bad bacteria in the gut. The best way to combat bad bacteria is to eat a healthy diet comprised of low GI fresh foods.
Increase your fibre intake
Fibre is important for your digestive system to be able to excrete waste from the body. The chance of bad bacteria developing in your gut increases when your body can’t excrete waste easily. Improve your fibre intake by including more fibre rich foods – such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, or even a fibre supplement – into your daily diet. Psyllium husks are also exceedingly high in fibre, making them incredibly effective when it comes to maintaining a healthy ‘waste removal’ system.
Drink more water
Drinking plenty of water is necessary for a healthy digestive system. If you don’t drink enough water, it makes it more difficult for your body to excrete waste and this increases the likelihood that your gut will develop bad bacteria. An ideal water intake – be it through food or fluid – is around two to four litres per day.
Lower your stress levels
High levels of stress can have a negative impact on the levels of good bacteria in your tummy, as well as wreak havoc on your immune system. Incorporating stress-relief techniques and activities such as meditation, yoga or breathing exercises can do wonders for managing your stress levels.
Do you look after your insides? Are there any special ways in which you soothe your tummy troubles? Why not share your remedies?