Multiple choice question ahead!
Your gut health has a direct impact on:
A. Losing weight and keeping it off
B. Controlling appetite and cravings
C. Fighting infection and inflammation
D. Maintaining hormonal and brain health
E. All of the above AND MORE!
If you’ve been following along during our 3-part blog series about gut health, then you know the answer is “All of the above.” Congrats on being an honors student! (Need to catch up? Go check out How Your Gut Works to Keep You Healthy and The 4 Most Common Dangers to Gut Health. We’ll wait!)
With so much of how you look, feel, and think dependent on the trillions of microbes in your intestinal tract, it makes sense to take great care of them! There are 5 straightforward steps you can take to manage your gut health:
Remove. The typical Western diet is heavier in sweeteners, refined flour, corn, and processed foods than ever before. In fact, the average American eats over 5 times more sugar than just 20 years ago!1 It’s the perfect recipe for skyrocketing rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.2
One of the best choices you can make for your gut health is to find out about the 7 foods most likely to cause food intolerances. For help, download this free guide to walk you through the process of testing your sensitivity to gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy, peanuts, and sweeteners, so you can remove problem foods and create a diet customized to your needs. Your gut will thank you!
Replace. Diet, medication, and stress levels often encourage the wrong kind of bacteria to grow in your gut, resulting in stomach upset and weight gain around your midsection. Imbalances in your gut microbiome can also cause infection and inflammation3 and issues with mood, sleep, and sex drive.4
Time to call for back-up! Add fermented foods to your diet, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and homemade yogurt, to deliver more “good guys” to your gut – the microbes that keep you healthy. If you don’t have time to regularly ferment your own veggies or dairy, (Raising my hand!) you can take a high-quality probiotic/prebiotic blend like Microbiome Balance instead.
Repair. You’re learning how to care for your gut. However, it may be that old habits or daily exposure to GMOs and pesticides have already compromised your intestinal lining, a condition called “leaky gut syndrome.” Leaky gut means particles of undigested food, toxins, and waste make their way out of your gut and into your bloodstream, and the results can be painful and wide-reaching.
Leaky gut symptoms include allergies, autoimmune issues, headaches, joint pain, fatigue, and rashes, as well as trouble with focus and memory. To find out whether your gut is in need of repair, take this free quiz and assessment guide. If your gut health is suffering, a product like Leaky Gut Support may be the answer.*
Restore. Our lives are full and fast-paced, and the pressure of endless emails and errands can wreak havoc on your gut health. Stress decreases your body’s natural production of the digestive enzymes that help you process and absorb nutrients. Not only will you battle heartburn, gas and bloating, and other digestive upset, you can also damage your body’s natural defenses against inflammation and disease.5
That’s why it’s so important to address your stress! Exercise regularly, and look for activities that restore your calm, whether that’s yoga class, a trip to the dog park, or a long walk with your best friend. If you’re stressed or over the age of 35 (when digestive enzyme production naturally decreases), I recommend supplementing with Digestive Enzymes to ensure your gut stays healthy.
Relax. Sleep has a big effect on your gut health! While you rest, your digestive tract is detoxifying your body and replenishing the healthy microbes in your gut. If you struggle with weight gain, poor digestion, low energy, or moodiness, that may be your gut flora raising the white flag!
Make it a priority to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night. That means no caffeine after lunch and no screens for an hour before bedtime. Eat a healthy dinner and then close your kitchen, so nighttime blood sugar changes don’t interfere with your rest. Still struggling to get your z’s? An all-natural supplement like Sleep Candy can help rejuvenate your body’s natural sleep cycle.*
If your to-do list already included “eat better” or “exercise more,” you understood the importance of gut health – even if you didn’t know it! Make positive choices for your gut, and you’ll be rewarded with a body and mind that feel better than ever.
P.S. – If you want to start on the 5 R’s listed above today (and know a bargain when you see one), get the Gut Repair Kit right now!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.