Feeling run down, tired, and sluggish? The answer could lie in your gut. Whilst constipation, diarrhoea and stomach cramps are obvious signs of an unhappy gut, poor gut health can also be linked to many other physical ailments. But don’t despair, improving your gut health and digestion is possible with just a few simple tweaks:
Eat a varied diet
Diet is one of the most important influences on our gut health, because our gut microbiome is reliant on what we feed it. If you’re following dietary restrictions, the chances are that your gut isn’t as happy as it could be. Adding variety doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be as simple as eating different coloured apples and peppers, varying the toppings on your porridge or throwing a handful of seeds on top of a salad at lunch. Think about how many fruits, vegetables and legumes you eat in a week and see how many more you could add to your diet. For an optimum gut microbiomediet and happy gut, try eating around 30 different types a week.
Your gut is hugely reliant on staying hydrated in order to function properly, so making sure you’re drinking enough water and eating foods with a high water content is an easy way to improve your gut health. Water moves nutrients around the body, flushes out toxins and eases waste removal so making sure your gut is hydrated may also promote clearer skin, support your immune system and help you to sleep better. Aim to drink around 2-3 litres of water a day and always keep a water bottle nearby so that you don’t forget to drink plenty throughout the day.
Get more fibre
On top of eating a varied diet, eating enough fibre is also essential for good gut health. Fibre really is your best friend when it comes to a healthy gut as it “feeds” your microbiome and the good bacteria in the intestine which, in turn, . If you generally eat healthily and are wondering how to add more fibre to your diet, simple swaps could be a good place to start. Try swapping white rice for brown, white bread for granary and pasta for wholemeal. Leave the skins on your potatoes and think about swapping honey on your cereal for a banana 3 times a week.