Today more than ever, doctors and dieticians are focusing on the gut’s flora as the source of digestive health. The bacteria that live in our stomachs can make or break our healthy lifestyles.
What is gut health and how do you get it right?
What’s in your Gut?
Inside of our digestive tracks live all sorts of bacteria. These bacteria can be healthy or harmful.
Healthy gut bacteria help us process the foods we eat. Our bodies use it to extract nutrients and break down our stomach’s contents for digestion. We need these bacteria in our bodies to keep us alive and well.
There are other bacteria in our guts that aren’t as good for us. They do things like inhibit healthy digestion and cause all sorts of stomach problems. They can also get in the way of our bodies absorbing the nutrients we need.
Because there is a mixture of good and bad bacteria in our bodies, we need to be careful to encourage the good ones to grow and kill the bad ones.
That’s what today’s doctors and dietary professionals mean when they talk about our gut health. They recognize the important role that gut health plays in our everyday health and well-being.
How Can You Get a Healthier Gut?
The key to a healthier body is a healthy gut. But how do you get one?
The trick is to feed the healthy flora, or bacteria, in our digestive systems, while starving the bad flora.
Certain foods encourage those healthy florae to grow and blossom. If you can get them to multiply and flourish, they will make your whole body healthier. You will be able to get more out of the foods that you eat.
Not only does this lead to a healthier lifestyle and overall better health, it also helps us lose weight.
BONUS: Better Gut Balance Makes Fat Easier to Burn
When the healthy flora in our bodies is at its best, it helps us break down the foods we eat in the most effective way possible.
We get more of the nutrients from healthy foods. Vitamins and minerals can be used more efficiently by our bodies, which means our whole systems improve.
These gut bacteria are also what break down the “bad” parts of the foods we eat. These things, like additives, bad fats, and other unhealthy components of foods, are part of the reason we get fat.
When your stomach is working at its best, it doesn’t just break down the healthy parts of our meals. It is also better at processing and ELIMINATING the unhealthy parts of our diets.
A healthy gut is better at getting the good stuff from our diets and getting rid of the bad stuff.
5 Ways to Balance Your Gut & Boost Your Metabolism
You may have ignored gut balance for far too long, but it really does not take that much effort to balance out the good and bad bacteria and get your body and metabolism running at full steam.
Try out these 5 ways to balance your fut & boost your metabolism and you'll notice an immediate increase in energy and a faster metabolism:
#1 - Get those Processed Foods Out!
Highly processed foods with tons of preservatives and other chemicals designed for a long shelf life are one of the biggest gut health destroyers.
Try to get away from artificial preservatives, chemicals, and other shelf-life increasing substances. Replace pre-prepared foods with fresh options.
#2 - Cut Down on Alcohol
A 2015 study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology discussed the close connection between your liver (where alcohol is processed) and gut bacteria. The liver communicates directly with your gut, influencing levels of bacteria, inflammation, and digestive processes. As liver health suffers, so does gut health.
Just cutting out alcohol even a week can result in a dramatic improvement in gut health. Try it out and put your gut bacteria back into balance.
#3 - Get More Leafy Greens
There's a weird sugar in leafy greens called sulfoquinovose. "Good" gut bacteria feed and thrive on this sugar.
When you get more sulfoquinovose in your diet from leafy greens like romaine, kale, spinach, and arugula, the "good" bacteria in your gut multiply.
What About Probiotics?
Probiotics feed healthy bacteria and starve out bad bacteria.
Many of the supplement-based probiotics you'll find on store shelves actually contain the nutrients you'll get just by eating a natural, balanced diet.
Before you reach for a probiotic supplement to balance out your gut health, try to stop killing off healthy bacteria by cutting out alcohol and processed foods and start feeding healthy bacteria by getting more leafy greens into your diet.
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