Gut health is one of those lesser-discussed topics related to weight management, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. If you want to look and feel your best along this lifetime journey, you should pay attention to more than just a number on the scale. Gut health is a key part of overall health and wellness and strongly affects your weight management goals.
What is Gut Health?
When we talk about gut health, we’re talking about the bacteria in your stomach that helps with digestion. Because digestive health influences our weight and day-to-day life, it’s important to treat our stomach and GI track with care.
How does gut health affect us? Your gut does so much more than digest food. Not only does it aid in weight-loss, but it improves the function of other organs (such as the heart) and boosts immunity. Have you ever experienced abdominal gas, diarrhea, cramping, bloating, weight gain, heartburn and other digestive-related issues? These can certainly be a pain, and they’re hard to live with. Restoring and maintaining gut health will improve our quality of life significantly.
Tips for Improving Gut Health
Just like with other parts of your body, pay attention to your gut health regularly. Consider these tips for improving and restoring gut health to help with weight management.
Take a Quality Probiotic
Today, probiotics are available at most grocery stores. These dietary supplements help replenish healthy bacteria in the gut if you feel that you aren’t getting enough from the foods you are eating. The trick is to find a quality product. This depends on the amount of bacteria strains encapsulated in the product as well as what they are. Consult with your doctor before beginning a probiotic to discuss your specific digestive needs and what types of probiotics could be useful.
Incorporate Fermented Foods
You should rely primarily on your diet to help restore and maintain gut health. Fermented foods introduce good bacteria into your body. In the digestive track, these foods ferment carbohydrates that we can’t digest and keep our stomach acidic. Popular fermented foods that traditionally help with gut health include yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir, whole grains and other high-fiber foods. However, like with all food, make sure you consume fermented foods in moderation.
Drink a lot of Water
Drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods that contain water can help with your digestion. When our digestive system is working correctly, minerals and nutrients are more accessible to our body. We need these nutrients to stay hydrated, stay energized and fuel our organs so they can function properly. Fluids keep our stomach in optimal health.
Optimize Your Lifestyle
Gut health requires more than just healthy food consumption and supplement use. You should also get plenty of sleep, reduce your daily stress levels, avoid heavy smoking and drug use and exercise regularly. Your stomach is sensitive to a variety of different environmental factors, so be kind to it by improving your lifestyle with healthy, long-term changes.
You will likely notice that by paying attention to your gut health as part of an overall weight management plan, you will feel a lot better both physically and mentally. Don’t overlook this important wellness factor! Your stomach and GI track will thank you.