Your gut, or gastrointestinal system, is a group of essential organs in your body which extracts nutrients from food, absorbs energy and expels waste from your body. Your gut is comprised of your mouth, esophagus, tomach, gallbladder, livir, small intestine, rectum and colon among other important organs and body parts.
Due to the integral role your gut plays in managing both your physical and mental health, it is important that you take good care of it. To help you keep your gut functional and healthy, here are a few steps you can follow.
1. Get sufficient amounts of high-quality sleep
Sleeping is an essential process that your body performs to let your body and brain rest, repair and re-energise. Your gut system also relies on your body to have enough energy to operate. Thus, it is important to have between seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night (for adults).
2. Keep hydrated
Drinking adequate amounts of water will also have beneficial results on your body and in the gut specifically, will improve the quality of your mucosal lining of the intestines. For adults, it is recommended that men drink 3.7 litres of fluids a day and women drink 2.7 litres a day.
3. Take prebiotics or probiotics
Prebiotics help with promoting the growth of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut and probiotics are also considered beneficial bacteria to keep in the body. Hence, taking prebiotics and probiotics can have positive effects on balancing the bacteria in your gut and maintaining high levels of health.
However, there are some instances in which individuals should not take prebiotics or probiotics (for example, if you are experiencing bacterial overgrowth), meaning it may be best to consult with a health practitioner before taking any prebiotics or probiotics supplements.
4. Keep your stress levels low
High levels of stress can have harmful effects on your gut – for example reduce the rate of your nutrition absorption and prevent your body storing fat. You can keep your stress levels low by regularly meditating, spending time in nature, decreasing your caffeine intake and exercising.
5. Eat slowly
One of the easiest ways to help keep your gut health in check is to eat slowly. Chewing your food through thoroughly as well as eating your meals overall slowly can help ease the digestive process in your body and give your body the chance to absorb necessary nutrients. Eating slowly (or at a reasonable pace) will also help reduce digestive discomfort.
6. Make sure you are not eating foods you may be intolerant to
Although this step may seem obvious, it is important that you know which foods are not ideal for your body – to help keep your digestive system working well and subsequently, your gut healthy as well. Eliminate or reduce the consumption of common trigger foods from your diet and keep an eye out for symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, acid reflux and rashes.
Take your food allergies into account and visit a health practitioner for a more accurate analysis on your body’s own food intolerances.
Performing these above steps will make sure you take care of your gut health and your body receives the nutrition it needs. If you need more help with understanding how to take good care of your gut’s health, don’t hesitate to visit your local health practitioner for advice.