When it comes to our bodies, we typically associate good health with steady blood pressure numbers, an acceptable body mass index (BMI), and a strong heart. However; there is a whole lot going in the depths of our bellies that contribute to our overall health. Having superb gut health is key to a high functioning digestive system and will even benefit your mental ability and mood. When it comes to the bacteria in your gut, there is both good and bad. The bad bacteria feeds on the bad stuff such as sugar and fat, and the good bacteria feeds on fiber, which happens to be a nutrient that only five percent of Americans get enough of. It is recommended that we get 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day, and any less will contribute to starving our good bacteria, which in turn, leads to insufficient digestion robbing us of the brain-boosting chemicals we need to flourish. Here are some tips for optimizing your digestive health…
1. Monitor your fat intake. While it’s important to have foods in your diet that are high in “good” fat, it’s important to not overdo it, as exceptionally fatty foods will contribute to slower digestion which will naturally cause constipation. It’s key to pair your fatty food intake with high-fiber choices, for optimal digestion that will keep things moving.
2. Exercise daily. Food isn’t the only contributor to your gut health. Much in the same way that nutrients aid moving things along in your digestive tract, exercise also gets things moving. By staying stagnant, you aren’t helping your gut health and your body will adapt to your unmoving state, which will result in major discomfort from constipation. Try committing to a daily walk to start, and you can progress from there.
3. Break the bad habits. Smoking cigarettes, too much caffeine, and alcohol, are all factors that contribute to poor gut health. Break the habit before it gets too out of control and causes your gut to be so tightly wound that you can’t turn back.
4. Stay on Schedule. Much in the same way that your mind adapts to your daily habits, your body does much better when it’s on a particular timeline when it comes to eating. It’s a good idea to follow a schedule when you sit down to have snacks and meals. Not only will this keep your blood sugar levels steady, but it will also keep your digestive tract moving at a regular rate.
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