20 years of research has found that gut health is directly linked to overall health. A gut that isn't healthy can lead to a plethora of diseases including chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, diabetes, depression and autism spectrum disorder. A healthy gut can also keep your immune system working in top shape. Even Hippocrates was way before his time when he said, "All disease begins in the gut."
One of the biggest culprits destroying our guts is the modern lifestyle. Medications like antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) and birth control are all really hard on gut health. Antibiotics are especially damaging because they not only destroy the bad bacteria making us sick, it also destroys the good bacteria in the gut that helps us stay healthy. The modern diet consisting of simple carbs, sugar, processed food and low-fiber is also really harmful. Add the stress of modern life to the mix and you have the perfect formula to make an unhealthy gut.
So, what can we do about it? Simply take a lesson from people who have healthy guts. Below are 6 things people with a healthy gut do.
1. They stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water helps the gut rid itself of waste and other toxins. Staying hydrated also helps you avoid other digestive issues such as constipation, inflammation and bloating.
2. They eat a good diet
A diet that is low in processed sugars, simple carbs, fat and high in soluble and insoluble fiber is imperative to a healthy gut. Processed sugars and simple carbs feed the bad bacteria and yeast, like Candida, and can lead to illness.
3. They exercise
Exercise keeps everything in the gut moving smoothly because it helps maintain good gut flora. It can help to reverse changes in gut flora that can lead to obesity while increasing flora diversity.
4. They get plenty of sleep
Not getting enough sleep can change the composition of and throw off the balance of flora in your gut. And, if you pair a poor diet with not enough sleep, it's an even bigger nightmare for your gut!
5. They eat probiotic foods
Probiotic foods contain the live bacteria cultures that make your gut very happy. Some probiotic foods are yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir. But, be careful. If you already have an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut, adding more bacteria to it is not wise.
6. They keep stress to a minimum
Stress and/or anxiety wreaks havoc on your gut and can lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. So be sure to incorporate some stress busting activities into your day. Things like exercise, meditation and laughing can all help to reduce stress.