Gut Health Hacks

How to Tend to Your Digestive System’s Microbiome

In this article we cover:

  • The Important of a Healthy Gut
  • What The Gut Microbiome Is
  • Effects of an Unhealthy Gut
  • 9 Gut Health Hacks to Avoid Dysbiosis

Published May 19, 2022

gut health hacks

The Importance of a Healthy Gut

The gut has a very important role in overall health and well-being. Most of us know that it is responsible for digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating waste from the body. What many do not understand, however, is that the gut also plays a crucial role in immune function, hormone regulation, and even mental health.

When the gut is unhealthy, it can lead to a whole host of problems. For example, digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease are more common in people with an unhealthy gut. Additionally, an unhealthy gut has been linked to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Gut health is also important for immunity; a healthy gut helps the body to fight off infection and disease. There are a number of things that can lead to an unhealthy gut, such as poor diet, stress, and certain medications.

Fortunately, there is plenty that you can do to keep your gut healthy. Let’s dive in.


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The Gut Microbiome: Your “Second Brain”

You might not think of your gut as being particularly smart, but it actually contains a complex community of microbes that play a big role in keeping you healthy. This collection of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms is known as the gut microbiome, and it’s been referred to as our “second brain.”

The gut microbiome is important for a number of reasons. For one, it helps to break down our food and extract nutrients from it. It also produces vitamins and other compounds that our body needs for good health.

But the gut microbiome does more than just digest our food. It also plays a role in our immune system, helping to protect us from infections and disease. In fact, some researchers believe that the gut microbiome may even influence our mood and behavior.

While it may be full of neurons, there is no evidence (yet) that our gut can dream. If you’re interested in dreams and mental health, check out our article What is a Dream Worker?

The second brain

Effects of an Unhealthy Gut

The gut microbiome is the community of microorganisms that live in the gastrointestinal tract. These microorganisms play a crucial role in human health, affecting everything from digestion to immunity. An unhealthy gut microbiome can lead to a number of problems, including:

  • Digestive issues: Unhealthy gut bacteria can cause digestive problems like diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.
  • Immune problems: An unhealthy gut microbiome can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and other infections.
  • Skin problems: Unhealthy gut bacteria can cause skin problems like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
  • Mood disorders: Unhealthy gut bacteria have been linked to mood disorders like anxiety and depression.
  • Weight gain: Unhealthy gut bacteria can cause weight gain by affecting metabolism and hunger hormones.
Effects of an unhealthy gut

Causes of an Unhealthy Gut

When the balance of microbes in the microbiome is disrupted, it can lead to gut dysbiosis, which has been linked to a variety of conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and obesity. Here are some of the causes of an unhealthy gut:

  • Antibiotic use: Antibiotics can kill both good and bad bacteria in the gut, leading to dysbiosis.
  • Diet: A diet high in sugar, processed food, and unhealthy fats can promote the growth of bad bacteria and lead to gut dysbiosis.
  • Stress: Chronic stress has been linked to gut dysbiosis and a variety of gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Age: The gut microbiome changes as we age, which can lead to dysbiosis.
  • Health conditions: Certain health conditions, such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease, can cause dysbiosis.
Unhealthy gut causes

9 Gut Health Hacks to Prevent Gut Dysbiosis

For most of us, our gut health is very much out of sight, out of mind. However, talk to anyone who struggles with their gut health and they’ll tell you just how miserable it can become. The good news is, there are a number of things you can do to keep your gut healthy and happy. Here are 10 gut health hacks to help prevent gut dysbiosis:

1. Eat Plenty of Fiber

Fiber is essential for keeping things moving along smoothly in your gut. Aim for at least 25 grams of fibre per day from sources like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Fiber also acts as a food source for the healthy bacteria in your gut, so it’s important to get enough.

2. Avoid Processed Foods

Processed foods are often high in unhealthy fats, sugar and salt – all of which can contribute to gut dysbiosis. Stick to whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible.

3. Eat Probiotic-Rich Foods

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your gut health. Include probiotic-rich foods in your diet, such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and miso soup.

4. Take a Probiotic Supplement

If you’re not getting enough probiotics from your diet, consider taking a supplement. Look for a formula that contains live and active cultures.

5. Reduce Stress

Stress can have a negative impact on gut health, so it’s important to find ways to manage stress in your life. Exercise, meditation and spending time in nature are all great stress-busters.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, and that includes gut health. aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

7. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is not only great for your overall health, but it can also help promote a healthy gut. A moderate amount of exercise is the key – too much or too little can both be problematic.

8. Don’t Smoke

Smoking is linked to a number of health problems, including gut dysbiosis. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your gut – and your overall health.

9. Limit Alcohol Intake

While moderate alcohol consumption isn’t necessarily harmful, too much alcohol can contribute to gut problems. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

Gut health hacks exercise

The Benefits of a Healthy Gut

Tending to our gut health is not all about avoiding problems. There’s plenty of positive side effects to motivate our action. Let’s take a look at some of the positive effects we can look for after implementing our gut health hacks.

Reduced Brain Fog

We know how it feels when our gut is out of sorts. It can be very difficult to focus and think clearly. This is because there’s a constant communication between our brain and our gut. When the communication is off, we can experience what’s known as “leaky gut syndrome”. This is when toxins escape from the intestines into the bloodstream and cause inflammation. This can lead to brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

As brain fog lifts, particularly if we have been dealing with it for an extended period of time, it can feel like we are on some kind of stimulant. The reality, however, is that this is our default level of clarity, we’re just not used to it!

Improved Mood

There’s a strong link between gut health and mental health. In fact, studies have shown that probiotics can be just as effective as antidepressants for treating depression. This is because the gut-brain connection is very real. When our gut is healthy, we tend to feel better mentally and emotionally. We are more balanced, less anxious, and overall just feel better.

Reduced Sugar Cravings

A healthy gut is key for blood sugar regulation. When our gut is out of balance, we can experience wild swings in blood sugar levels. This can lead to feelings of fatigue, irritability, and cravings for sugary foods. By balancing our gut flora, we can help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce cravings for unhealthy foods.

Better Digestion

Of course, one of the main benefits of a healthy gut is improved digestion. When our gut is healthy, we tend to experience less bloating, gas, and indigestion. We are able to absorb nutrients more efficiently and elimination is more regular. All of this leads to better overall health.

Gut Health Hacks – A Staple of Your Self Care Routine

Taking care of our gut health is not only about fixing problems when they arise, it’s also about enjoying the many benefits of a healthy gut. Implementing some simple gut health hacks into our self care routine can make a big difference in our overall health and well-being.

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