Gut Health In 2022!
It's a new year, which means it’s a great opportunity to set new resolutions and goals for 2022. This is a time where many people want to feel and look better, with many jumping straight to creating a vigorous exercise routine. However, what is often overseen, is that a powerful first step to feeling better is by starting on the inside.
An unhappy gut can have a huge effect on your overall health and wellbeing. It can cause bloating, acid reflux, constipation, as well as countless other side effects that stop us from feeling like ourselves. It’s also estimated that around 80% of our immune system and 90% of our body’s serotonin (the happy hormone) is produced in our digestive tract. So when our gut thrives so do our mind and body.
So what can you do to recharge your gut health? We’ve highlighted key areas to remember when it comes to giving your gut the TLC it needs.
Get your Zzz’s
Your sleep affects the health of your gut, that’s a fact! Take the deep sleep phase for example - this is where our body goes into repair mode. This is a big deal for our gut, as our intestinal cells are replaced and regenerated every 3-5 days. Your body is literally getting rid of damaged gut cells and replacing them with brand spanking new ones. With all of this in mind, let’s look at some ways you can help improve the quality of your sleep.
Go outside - try your best to get outside during the day. Exposure to sunlight is said to increase the brain's release of serotonin, boosting our mood and helping us to feel calm and less anxious
Dim your lights - if you can, follow the natural sun cycle and dim your lights in the evening to reflect the time of day/light outside. At night, darker lighting triggers the brain to make melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for helping you sleep.
No screens in bed (you knew this was coming) - Most people find staying away from screens a difficult change to make. We live in a world where we are expected to be constantly connected to our devices. However, this will really help to supercharge your sleep quality. If you do use your phone to unwind in bed, listen to a podcast instead of scrolling. Try to do this with something lighthearted and avoid the news!
Food For Thought
Don’t worry, we’re not going to tell you what you can and can’t eat, but what we will say is a balanced diet is so important. Don’t deprive yourself of the foods you love, but make sure you’re fueling your body and the good bacteria inside, with the nutrients it needs. A healthy gut has a really diverse community of microbes and they each prefer different food. The best way to fuel your gut’s bacteria is to eat a wide range of foods, from fruits and veggies to nuts, pulses, whole grains, even herbs, and spices. This is a great opportunity to get creative in the kitchen and let out your inner master chef.
Stressed? If you are then so is your gut! If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, which many of us most definitely are at the moment, your gut will be feeling it too. For some of us, stress can slow down digestion, causing bloating and pain just to name a few. Keeping beneficial bacteria in your gut happy and healthy is super important for improving your body's resilience. Although it’s much easier said than done to just stop stressing, try to allow yourself some downtime where you can - incorporate some calming techniques into your daily routine like breathing exercises and meditation - read that book you’ve been dying to read that has been sitting on your bedside table gathering dust for months. There are so many ways to help bring down the stress levels in your body, which in turn will keep your gut feeling happy and calm.
Don’t forget to move!
There is so much power in movement and the impact it has on your gut is huge. Now don’t worry I’m not saying you have to do a HIIT class every day, but even a brisk walk, jog, or a home workout of your choice can help increase the good bacteria in your gut, which not only improves your digestion but also helps absorb nutrients and promotes overall health. Moving your body literally keeps things moving in your gut (I know it sounds weird but this is good, trust me).
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Proper hydration boasts huge health benefits and is not only vital for feeling good on the inside, but also on the outside. Hydrating our bodies helps to keep our joints lubricated and strong, it regulates our body temperature, boosts our cognitive performance, and helps to keep our digestive system working. Whether you enjoy your water hot, cold, with fresh lemon or apple cider vinegar, water is amazing at helping to move nutrients around your body, flushing out all the bad toxins. Drinking enough water keeps your intestines smooth and flexible, helping the food you eat to move through your intestines, and ultimately, it allows food waste to exit the body.
Keep your gut happ
The power of probiotics, aka the good bacteria, are live microorganisms that provide all sorts of powerful benefits for your body and brain. It’s important to eat a variety of probiotics and fermented foods so your gut doesn’t feel overwhelmed with the same bacterial strains and ends up lacking in others. This is a great way to introduce different ‘live’ foods (sounds scary I know) into your daily routine. While yogurt may be your first choice, why not try the likes of kefir, kimchi, and kombucha - each booming with beneficial bacteria to help give your gut the TLC it needs to stay healthy. I am definitely biased, but a daily shot of Naked Biotics Maintain or Restore is a great way to keep your gut thriving and feeling good. I have to say it’s also great fun shotting it every morning! Why not try the 30 Day Restore Plan?
You’ve gut this!
Small changes can have a big impact on our health and wellbeing. We are more likely to succeed by starting with one single goal at a time. This makes it easier to focus and remember our long-term aim. So why not take some of the areas we’ve spoken about today and see how you can incorporate these into your daily routine one step at a time. 2022 is a great time to put the gut back in focus and give it the love it deserves!