Happy Healthy Gut

5 Steps to Build a Healthy Gut: How to Look, Feel, and Think Better [Part 3 of 3]

by JJ Virgin on June 21, 2016

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!

The correct answer is E. And using these 5 “R”s can help heal your gut, one step at a time!

“Where do I start?” I get that question a lot. That’s why it’s so important to have a roadmap you can trust. A roadmap that breaks down your health journey into small, manageable steps. Download my Ultimate Health Roadmap and take control of your health… one step at a time. Get your FREE guide here.

Replace. 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. In The Virgin Diet, I walk you through the process of testing your sensitivity to gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy, peanuts, and sweeteners, so you can replace problem foods and create a diet customized to your needs. Your gut will thank you!

Reinforce. 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 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.

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 Protein First Enzymes to ensure your gut stays healthy. This comprehensive, all-in-one digest enzyme helps you break down carbs, protein, and fats like a pro.*

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.

Cookie bites, freezer fudge, brownies… are you drooling yet? Want to hear the best part? All of these recipes are healthy! You’ll find them and lots more in my Sweet Treats Recipe Guide. Get the sweet, decadent, guilt-free recipes here.

1 http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter2.pdf
2 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26011912
3 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3337124/
4 http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/232248.php
5 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016508504015598

The views in this blog by JJ Virgin should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please work with a healthcare practitioner concerning any medical problem or concern. The information here is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or condition. Statements contained here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.