What is gut health?
Gut health is the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Looking after and improving your gut health is vital to your physical and mental health, immunity, and levels of anxiety and stress. Read on to discover how you can improve your gut health.
Gut health is important and is linked to the following:
- Immune function
- Weight management
- Mental health
- Autoimmune conditions
What causes gut health issues
How do I know if my gut health is off?
- Upset stomach: gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut
- Food intolerances: bad bacteria in the gut can cause a difficulty in digesting some foods and also cause bloating, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhoea
- Autoimmune conditions
- Difficulties sleeping
- Fluctuations of weight
What can you do to improve your gut health
- Change your diet: Eat plenty of non-processed or low-processed foods that are low in sugar and fat. A diet higher in protein and fibre can help aid in gut health.
- De-stress: Stress and gut health go hand-in-hand and can affect your whole body. Ways to reduce your stress can be as easy as heading out for a walk, taking up yoga, getting a massage and swapping your coffee for a low caffeine drink.
- Ruling out food intolerances: Try to eliminate the foods that trigger your gut issues to see if your symptoms of bloating, cramping, diarrhoea and fatigue improve.
Recommended food types to improve your gut health
- Fermented foods: benefits hav e been documented to improve the gut health. Some of these probiotic foods to include are yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir.
- High Fibre foods: Bananas, beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables
- Bone Broth
Gut health and anxiety
Yes it’s true – your gut and brain and intrinsically connected. The gut is sensitive to emotion! Anger, anxiety, sadness, happiness, are all feelings that can trigger symptoms in the gut.
Feelings of being nervous before a big meeting at work, or pains during times of stress are a part of the gut/brain relationship.
Symptoms of gut health and anxiety
- Loose stools
- Shaky hands
- Weight loss
- Drinking or smoking more
- Overwhelming sense of tensions and pressure
- Quick tempers and quick to snap
- Poor concentration
If these symptoms are of concern to you, it may be a good idea to chat to your HealthMint GP or Psychologist. There may be strategies to help deal with the triggers and in turn, improve your digestive and gut issues.