gut health


Your Gut Health: Ways to Improve It

Claire Oates

Did you know your gut is the foundation of your health?! Your gut is critical in the breakdown of the foods and absorption of the nutrients that help fuel your body and keep it functioning properly. Gut health is not only linked to digestion, but also immunity, mood, and the way we think. Some common signs of an unhealthy gut may include upset stomach, bloating, disturbed sleep, and unintentional weight changes.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to help improve or maintain the health of your gut. Following these recommendations can have a positive impact on your gut health.

  • Chewing your food more slowly. This helps you enjoy your food more and reduce the likelihood of overeating.
  • Eating real and fresh food. It is important to limit processed and packaged foods, and instead eat whole foods that are packed with nutrients and contain fewer calories.
  • Managing stress. High levels of uncontrolled stress can have a negative impact.
  • Getting enough sleep. It is important to get at least a minimum of 7 hours each day.
  • Staying hydrated. Drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces each day (½ an ounce per pound) is what’s typically recommended to stay hydrated.
  • Exercising. The standard recommendation for most adults is to complete at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Consult with a healthcare professional before beginning an exercise.

When grocery shopping, it is important to consider the health of your gut. Try to avoid processed and packaged foods, and limit dairy, gluten, and sugary foods. Instead, try to eat prebiotic, probiotic/fermented, and fibrous foods. Some examples of these are listed below.

Prebiotic Foods

  • Flax Seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Legumes
  • Oats and whole grains
  • Asparagus, artichokes, garlic, and onions

Probiotic/Fermented Foods

  • Pickles
  • Yogurt and Keifer
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Sauerkraut

Fibrous Foods

  • Spinach and leafy greens
  • Bananas, Berries and Papaya
  • Avocados, Cucumbers and Celery
  • Cilantro and Parsley
  • Spices- turmeric and ginger