Gut health is the latest focus of health aficionados. There have been many popular trends over the years when it comes to improving health, be it smoothies, fasting, ketone diets, or HIIT’ing the gym like an Olympic warrior. For some, it is all of the above and while there are good reasons to keep up to date with science’s latest research, for many people these ‘lifestyle’ choices become a momentarily exercise (enjoy the pun) that fades as quickly as the last popular fad.
One of the reasons for this is because of the amount of effort and discipline required to stick to them in the long term. Also, the health benefits are not so easily observed or measured, making it difficult for those that follow them to appreciate their value.
That doesn’t mean they hold no value. Of course, drinking smoothies and going to the gym are great practices, as is anything that is intended to improve overall health; but there is one area of health that has developed in our understanding that has consequences that are so far-reaching, it is not only hard to ignore but imperative that you follow to improve both lifespan and healthspan: your gut.
The reach of your gut
Your gut is far more complex than you may have first thought and beyond the scope of what you would have imagined. Your gut has its own neurons that communicate with the brain to influence so many of your body's functions. Check out the list below to get a non-exhaustive idea of how the gut influences your body as a whole:
- Producing serotonin
- Instructing your body to release hormones
- Your immune system
These functions are integral to your overall health and well-being. It makes perfect sense to consider your gut health as a priority. It is safe to say that if you take care of your gut, it will take care of most other things related to your health.
Here are five ways to improve your gut health in no particular order of importance (because they are all important):
Eat more fibre
Fibre is important for gut health because it helps keep your bowel movements running smoothly. This is because your body finds it difficult to break down fibre, so the fibre passes through your gut, intestines, and colon relatively intact. This bulks out your stools (poo) making it easier to…download, shall we say.
Fibre also provides food for the good bacteria in your gut. Scientists have proven that increasing your dietary fibre for just two weeks can alter your gut microbiome. Try to eat a variety of high-fibre foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
Don’t overlook the importance of this life hack - increased dietary fibre (just 14 grams a day) is linked to greater weight loss, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and reduced chances of type 2 diabetes.
JUVIA is an enzyme-rich barley extract that is effective at supporting your gut microbiome. It works by breaking down carbohydrates BEFORE they reach your gut, so the bad bacteria that feed on them for energy, starve, leaving only the good kind.
This aids the good bacteria because they will multiply and dominate the ecosystem that makes up your gut microbiome. When your gut health improves, your body experiences less inflammation, which means less stress on your body.
JUVIA users report improved health and well-being that extends beyond the realm of digestive issues - so much so, that we plan to explore the link between gut health, JUVIA, and its impact on other non-digestive health issues through clinical trials in the (hopefully) not too distant future.
Avoid processed foods
Processed foods are high in sugar and unhealthy fats, which can disrupt the balance of bacteria in your gut. The ‘Western-Diet’, which is characterised by high energy density products and processed foods, is considered detrimental to the gut microbiome, which impacts overall health and causes chronic disease.
Eating a lot of these foods can also lead to weight gain. So, it’s best to limit your intake of processed foods and focus on eating more whole, unprocessed foods. This is true of both meat and plant-based processed products.
Exercise is not only good for your overall health, but it can also help promote a healthy gut. The precise mechanism is unknown, but it is believed to be because of the way blood is diverted and circulated during exercise. Also, exercise causes the body to transport richer quantities of oxygen in the bloodstream. Your body also changes temperature during exercise and your metabolism speeds up, causing faster reactions in some of the good bacteria living in your gut.
If done correctly, exercise can lead to reduced inflammation, which is also vital for your gut health. So, make sure to get some exercise every day or at least a few times a week
Stress can have a negative impact on gut health by disrupting the balance of bacteria in the gut and causing inflammation. So, it’s important to find ways to reduce stress in your life. This could include things like meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature.
There you have it, a 5 step guide to improving your gut health and overall well-being. Remember, improving your health is a marathon and not a sprint (unless you’re doing HIIT), so be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey.