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Are you aware that your gut is much more than just an organ where your digestion process takes place? More and more science is now pointing to the fact that your gut is actually the epicentre of your entire wellbeing. Having a harmonious balance of gut bacteria is becoming more crucial to maintain good health, because of the proliferation of antibiotic abuse over these past few decades. Most of us have been prescribed antibiotics at some point, but depending on your the balance of your gut flora, antibiotics can make a significant impact by increasing the bad bacteria. This means the reduction of good bacteria in your gut can eventually lead to several dealing with negative consequences, ranging from gas, bloating and diarrhoea to severe conditions like the malabsorption of nutrients from the food you eat, chronic inflammatory response, autoimmune disease and metabolic disorders. So, let’s delve into why a happy gut is essential and provides actionable tips to maintain optimal gut health.

The Importance of Gut Health

The human gut is the host for trillions of bacteria, which is collectively known as the gut microbiome. While the idea of bacteria living in your body might seem rather concerning at first, you need to understand that these microorganisms are actually vital for processing the food you eat into energy, as well as synthesising essential vitamins and maintaining your immune function. So, when the balance of these beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics, is disrupted, it can lead to a multitude of health problems, such as:

Digestive Issues: Gas, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain
Chronic Conditions: Autoimmune diseases, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), chronic acid reflux
Nutrient Deficiencies: Vitamin B-12 deficiencies, nutrient malabsorption
Systemic Problems: Fatigue, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), skin problems, mood disorders, weight fluctuations, inflammation, allergies

5 Tips To Harmonise Your Gut

In order to maintain a healthy gut, you’ll need to take a multifaceted approach to do it, but luckily these five strategies will go a long way to keep the good bacteria in check……….

Tip #1: Opt for Quality Probiotics

Probiotics have long been recognised for their ability to support gut health. However, to be completely effective, probiotics must meet specific criteria, such as being of a high enough potency that will survive passing through your stomach, which contains digestive acids that can kill the good bacteria before the pills even reach your intestines. You should also make sure that your probiotic contains a variety of bacterial strains that will provide you with a comprehensive array of benefits. My top probiotic pick is Nature’s Sunshine’s Pro B11, a high potency and multi-strain blend of almost 11 strains of good bacteria, with almost 12 billion in each serving………

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON NATURE’S SUNSHINE PRO B11

Pro B11 will help you to maintain a healthy gut flora balance and contains inulin, a built-in prebiotic that will nourish and spread the bacteria throughout your gut.

Tip #2: Use Antibiotics Sparingly

Antibiotics remain essential for treating some infections, but you should only use them if you really need them, because they also indiscriminately destroy both the harmful and beneficial bacteria in your gut. This means that overuse of antibiotics will eventually lead to a compromised gut microbiome. So, to maintain a healthy gut diversity, only use antibiotics when necessary and explore natural alternatives for more minor ailments.

Tip #3: Embrace Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut microbiome. By choosing to include these foods into your diet, you will significantly enhance the balance of good bacteria in your gut flora. Examples of fermented foods include:

  • Organic yogurt that contains live active cultures (it will say it on the label)
  • Organic kefir, which is a fermented milk drink that’s packed with probiotics
  • Organic sauerkraut and kimchi, which are fermented vegetables (with chilli in the case of kimchi) that are rich in Lactobacillus bacteria
  • Kombucha, a fermented tea that will provide your gut with a variety of probiotic strains

For maximum benefit, you could also add a digestive enzyme into this mix. I love Nature’s Sunshine’s Proactazyme, which is a plant-derived enzyme supplement that helps to break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and other difficult to digest foods, so that any fermented food that you eat can do its job properly……….

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PROACTAZYME

Tip #4: Cut Back on Sugar

Refined sugar, especially white sugar, agave syrup, malt syrup and glucose-fructose syrup, can also disrupt the balance of your gut bacteria by promoting the growth of harmful microorganisms that will make you crave even more sugar. So, in order to maintain a healthy gut, you’ll want to reduce your intake of sugary foods and beverages. If you have a sweet tooth, then you should focus on using more natural sweeteners like organic honey and maple syrup (but sparingly!!!). And eating a balanced diet of whole foods like organic fruits, vegetables and whole grains like quinoa will help to support a more balanced microbiome.

Tip #5: Release Stress for Gut Success

The connection between your stress levels and gut health is well-documented. Not surprisingly, chronic stress can negatively impact gut function and microbial balance, so implementing stress-management techniques can significantly benefit not only your gut, but also your nervous system. Incorporating practices like mindfulness and meditation will help to lower your stress levels, exercising outside will decrease your stress and boost your mood, while having a relaxing aromatherapy bath using lavender and chamomile can have calming effects that you will love. And don’t forget laughter, because having a good laugh will not only decrease your stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol), but also increase your feel-good hormones (endorphins), which will contribute to boosting your overall sense of wellbeing.

Beyond the tips that I’ve outlined above, you can also consider these additional tips to support your gut health:

Stay Hydrated: I know I always go on about this, but drinking enough adequate water is crucial not only for hydration, but also for digestion and nutrient absorption. Just make sure that you take sips throughout the day and leave at least 30 minutes between drinking and eating.

Get Enough Sleep: Quality sleep is essential if you want to maintain good health, which includes your gut function.

Limit The Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can cause the bad gut bacteria to proliferate.

Avoid Smoking: Smoking negatively impacts gut health, while it also increases cellular inflammation.

Your gut microbiome plays a critical role in your overall health, so by focusing on quality probiotics, not misusing antibiotics, incorporating fermented foods into your diet, reducing sugar and managing stress, you can easily do the work necessary to support a healthier and more balanced gut. And that’s how to have a happy and harmonious gut.

Love, Gaynor x

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