Did you know we have trillions of bacteria living in our digestive system, the gut? There’s a whole society of bacteria living and thriving inside you alongside, yeast, fungi, and even some parasites which should live in harmony together for your good health.
Scientists have recently established that this bacteria living in the gut, called the microbiome, needs to be full of good bacteria to help keep us healthy. The microbiome not only contributes to gut health and digestion but also our immune system and even our mental wellbeing. Lifestyle factors such as our diet and medications can impact the microbiome on a daily basis, but the good news is we can make small lifestyle changes and choices to improve our digestive and gut health, which can contribute to you feeling better overall.
Here are our top five ways you can improve your gut health this summer!
- Eat Fruit and Veg
Vegetables, fruit and teas contain plant chemicals in their colour pigments, called “polyphenols” which are a type of food that bacteria in the gut love to consume to thrive. They are natural prebiotics, meaning they feed the types of fiber that feed the friendly bacteria that is already found in the digestive system and gut.
In this heat, salads and fruit are a welcome addition to the diet and can support better digestive health.
- Living Foods & Drinks
Fermented food and drinks such as kefir and kombucha contain millions of the friendly bacteria your gut needs for healthy function, and these are classed as probiotics, as they are adding good bacteria into the digestive system. By adding fermented food and drinks into your diet you can improve the balance of bacteria in your gut.
Kombucha is a fizzy, fermented drink that has been used for millennia in ancient China and Russian medicine. It has been lauded for its potential health benefits for the gut and the immune system due to its probiotic and antioxidant content.
- Mindful Drinking
It may be tempting to get to the beer garden in this weather, but too much alcohol is one of the leading causes of gut health issues. Whilst the odd glass of red wine is fine, everything in moderation. Cutting down alcohol consumption, drinking on less days per week or making sure you don’t drink on an empty stomach will help.
There are also so many alcohol alternative options out there, think about switching a glass of wine for a glass of Sparkling Rose Blush Kombucha for example. Small, conscious and healthy switches make a big difference.
- Conscious Eating Habits
Being more conscious of what we are eating and when can have a big impact on our digestive health. You should have a break of around 4 hours between meals to ensure food is absorbed properly and digested. The other main thing is not to eat a full meal within 2 hours of going to bed. Sleeping after having a heavy meal can impact metabolism, speed of digestion, sleep quality and also lead to weight gain. Your gut needs a rest too!
Exercise is such an important element contributing to good overall health and well-being, but it also positively impacts your gut! Regular physical activity stimulates the gut, while increasing intestinal activity, so digestive problems are prevented. It increases blood flow to all your muscles, and this keeps the muscles in the digestive system moving, allowing food to pass through it much quicker, even when you're resting. As little as 20-30 mins of soft exercise (such as walking) can really make a difference here, and while the weather is so lovely it’s a good excuse to get out and about!
Even just making one of the changes or conscious swaps, you will feel the benefits on your physical and mental wellbeing. Explore our range of kombucha and water kefir today for a happy, healthy gut.