Hey Angels and Alphas,
Gut Health is one of the biggest trends in fitness right now, and quite frankly, you should be very happy about that! When you think about your overall health, you probably think of things like diet, weight, skin, muscle definition, etc. While these are often good indicators, you cannot overlook one of the most significant contributors to your health and wellness – your gut microbiome.
It’s not something you can put on the scale, but it will affect everything about you from your mood to your immune system. With summer right around the corner, and travelling and trips becoming enticing options to spend our time, let’s learn about some tips to keep our gut health in check during the warm seasons.
1. Eat More Fermented Foods
Your gut is home to trillions of different microbes, and these guys are key to keeping your digestive system running smoothly. One way to make sure they’re getting the food they need is by incorporating more fermented foods into your diet. Not only do fermented foods provide probiotics (the good bacteria), but they also contain enzymes that help with digestion.
This tip extends to eating anything that contains probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your gut health. You can find them in fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir. If you’re not into eating fermented foods or if you want an extra boost of good bacteria, consider taking a probiotic supplement.
2. Get Plenty of Fiber
Fiber is essential for keeping things moving along in your digestive system, and it’s also a prebiotic – meaning it feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Fiber also helps you digest sugars more slowly, leading to a lower glycemic index in your meals. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
3. Drink Lots of Water
Water is essential for all bodily functions, including digestion. When you’re properly hydrated, your digestive system can do its job more effectively. Aim to drink eight glasses of water a day, or more if you’re sweating a lot or spending time in hot weather.
4. Avoid Trigger Foods
We all have foods that don’t agree with us, and it’s important to listen to your body when it comes to these trigger foods. Common culprits include dairy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods. If you suspect that a certain food is giving you a bad reaction, simply try to avoid it.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for good health, but it’s especially important for keeping your digestive system on track. During the summer, especially if you’re travelling a lot or working overtime, sleep sort of takes a back seat to our other priorities. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone can have a negative impact on gut health, so aim to get at least seven hours of sleep a night.
6. Manage Your Stress Levels
Chronic stress can take a toll on your entire body, including your gut. If you find that you’re constantly stressed, try to find ways to relax and de-stress. This could include yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or even just spending time in nature.
Bringing it all together…
Just because the summer season tends to be a rather busy one in terms of travelling, enjoying time with our family, or just doing more barbecue dinners, it doesn’t mean that we should be slacking on our fitness goals. As a matter of fact, summer is the best time to get our bodies moving and improve our overall health. Use this opportunity to focus on your gut health by following the tips above. Not only will you be able to achieve your fitness goals, but you’ll also be keeping your overall health in check.