Looking to heal your gut? Do these simple steps first

Think of your gut as a carefully balanced machine with connections to other aspects of your overall health. The gut microbiome, specifically, has been a hot topic in the wellness world as researchers continue to untangle its connection to digestive system function, Psychological health and more.

the microbiome It refers to the trillions of microorganisms (also called microbes) that live in your body, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The gut microbiome refers specifically to the microbes in your gut, particularly the large intestine. These microbes help us metabolize food we can’t digest, boost our immune function and control inflammation. They also generate metabolites (substances our bodies use to break down food), including vitamins, enzymes, and hormones, according to Jill Kreshi, a microbiome researcher and registered dietitian in the division of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition at Cleveland Clinic.

Krishi told CNET that you should think of your gut microbiome as “the little pets that live inside your gut.” What we eat fuels them, which can affect our health.

Here are some tips for keeping your gut healthy and how to spot one you might be discontented with.

Signs of an unhealthy gut

“If you’re bloated or have a lot of gas, you may have a malfunctioning composition and function of your gut microbiome,” Kreshi said, adding that the only way to be sure is to get it checked out. measured.

Other signs of an unhealthy bowel may include vomiting or an upset stomach, fatigue, trouble sleeping, skin irritation, and food intolerances. and other symptoms. While it’s important to see a doctor to get to the root cause of your health concerns and rule out other conditions, making changes to your diet or routine that may improve your gut and overall health is a good first step.

But it’s also important to keep in mind that there’s no exact standard for a perfectly healthy gut microbiome, Kreshi said, since everyone’s makeup is so different.

Illustration of the gut microbiome, magnified with a magnifying glass

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1. Eat these gut-friendly foods

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Our gut microbiome favors foods we can’t digest. This includes foods that contain a lot of fiber, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts – foods that we already know we should be eating for their nutritional properties.

According to Cresci, foods that should be removed from your gut, or eaten in smaller amounts, include foods that are high in sugar and fat and low in fiber.

“All of these are associated with consuming a Western diet, which is also associated with a malfunctioning microbiome,” she said.

Beyond a gut-healthy diet, which not coincidentally coincides with a A heart healthy dietEating fermented foods can help replace the good microbes and their metabolites. Cresci lists yogurt, kombucha, and kefir as examples.

2. Write down the medications you take

It is a known fact that taking antibiotics Disrupts, at least temporarily, the ‘good’ family of bacteria thrive in your body. Some Common side effects From taking antibiotics include nausea, diarrhea and the development of yeast infection. If you’ve been prescribed an antibiotic or you have recurring infections that make you take antibiotics more frequently, ask your doctor what you can do to lessen the disruption of your microbiome.

Other medications that can disrupt our microbiome, Kreshi says, include those that change the pH of the stomach and remove acid. Examples include proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine H2 receptor antagonists (H2 blockers), which are used to reduce acid reflux symptoms and may be available without a prescription.

By keeping track of the medications you take, you can help determine the cause of your symptoms and take appropriate steps to improve your gut health.

3. Find a file right probiotics or nutritional supplements

In addition to incorporating more yogurt or fermented foods into their diet, some people may do so Find a probiotic Hoping to bring balance to their gut, as they were designed for Mimicking healthy germs. If you’re considering taking a supplement, including probiotics, Krishi tells CNET it’s important to know that probiotics are strain-specific, and “each strain has its own way of working.”

For example, some probiotics are designed to help people with diarrhea caused by antibiotics, but this won’t work for someone who takes them for bowel regularity.

“You want to take the person studied, whatever your problem,” she said.

Also, unfortunately, keep in mind that probiotics will not completely outpace what you eat.

“If you’re on a bad diet, and you want to continue eating a bad diet but want to improve your microbiome, probiotics won’t help,” said Kreshi. “You have to do the other part, too.”

Diagram of the intestine surrounded by healthy foods

Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are great food choices if you want to start treating your gut.

piotr_malczyk / Getty Images

4. Get more sleep and move your body

“Get better sleep” or “exercise more” may sound like tired advice, but improving your sleep hygiene and Squeeze in more physical activity Are tried and true ways to improve your health, including the health of your gut.

Getting good sleep is another general wellness tip directly linked to the health of our guts. Specifically, according to Cresci, our microbiome is bound to circadian rhythm, also. And if we eat when our gut microbiome is not ready, we will not be equipped to properly process the nutrients in our food.

Lack of sleep also increases stress and cortisol negative mindset and physical effects.

“There’s so much going on with the interaction between the gut and the brain that the signals go back to the microbiome, and vice versa,” Kreshi said.

Perhaps most important is the fact that when we’re exhausted, we don’t have the energy to check out many of the things that keep us healthy. Including exercise or finding a nutritious meal – both of which affect gut health.

“When you’re sleepy, tired, and exhausted, you tend not to do the things that we know are good for your microbiota,” Kreshi said. “So it’s kind of self-perpetuating.”

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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