Gut health is an important part of overall health and well-being. Poor gut health can impact mental clarity, quality of sleep, and nutrient absorption. Think back to the time when you last had a digestive issue – didn’t it significantly impact your quality of life?
Unfortunately, it is a reality that many people don’t pay enough attention to their gut until something goes wrong. If you do not want to be this person and to ensure you stay on top of your gut health, we asked a gastroenterologist for top eating and lifestyle tips for a healthy gut.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet is essential for good gut health. This means including plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your meals. Avoid processed foods as much as possible and focus on fresh ingredients instead.
Increase Fiber Intake
Fiber helps keep the digestive system running smoothly by providing food for beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome, which can help reduce inflammation levels in the body and improve digestion efficiency over time. Aim to get at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day from sources such as oatmeal, wheat bran, black beans, nuts, and seeds, and leafy greens such as broccoli, spinach, and kale.
Drink Plenty of Water
Hydration is important for good digestive system functioning. When it comes to recommended daily water intake, there are no hard and fast rules, so it’s best to check with your doctor to determine the amount best for you. Generally, eight glasses of water per day are doable – more if you’ve been sweating a lot or drinking coffee and tea. If you do not like plain water, you can mix in lemon or cucumber slices for a hint of flavor.
Get Regular Exercise
Exercise not only helps keep the body fit but also improves digestion by increasing blood flow, helping move food through our intestines more quickly, so nutrients are absorbed better into our cells. Try incorporating some form of physical activity into your daily routine – even just taking a walk around the block or playing catch with your dog will do wonders for both the mind and body.
Manage Stress Levels
Stress has been linked with an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or worsening the symptoms of GI conditions – as there is a link between gut and brain health. Make sure you take time out each day to relax or learn stress reduction techniques for better gut health.
Think of Probiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can help balance out the bacteria in your digestive tract and support a healthy microbiome (the collection of bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract). Probiotics survive stomach acid and bile and make it all the way to the colon. The benefits of probiotics for gut health have been proven time and time again.
Foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, or sauerkraut contain probiotics that may be beneficial for your gut health when eaten regularly as part of a balanced diet. If not from food, you can also take supplemental probiotics to meet your daily needs.
Board-Certified Gastroenterologist in Austin, TX
Following these simple tips from a gastroenterologist will go a long way toward improving your overall gut health. If you are experiencing digestive issues, the board-certified gastroenterologists and providers at Austin Gastroenterology can help.
We combine expertise with the latest tools in gastrointestinal care to give our patients the best in GI care. We can treat the full spectrum of upper GI disorders, lower GI disorders, functional GI disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases, and liver disease – and we do it with compassion.
To schedule an appointment with one of our GI specialists, call our location nearest you or use our convenient online request form.