Gut health is not only important to digestion but also to your overall wellness. The state of your gut affects everything from your mental health to your weight to your risk for developing chronic diseases such as Colon Cancer.
What can cause bad gut health?
A healthy gut has a protective mucosal lining which is impermeable, not allowing fluid to pass through. There are many factors that can cause your gut lining to break down such as stress; too many antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drug; steroids; intestinal infections; a low-fiber, high-sugar diet; and alcohol to list a few.
Food particles are broken down in the gut and pass quickly through to the intestinal tract where our body makes good use of it. If our gut lining has been damaged, we can develop a ‘leaky gut’. A leaky gut is where the lining of our gut has been damaged and is now permeable allowing food particles, bacteria and pathogens to pass through and enter our bloodstream.
How to improve your Gut Health?
1. Lower your stress levels
Stress in general is hard on your whole body. Studies have shown that high levels of stress can negatively affect your gut health. Being stressed-out causes many people to overeat and drink too much alcohol; and some to not eat at all; which affect our gut.
2. Change your diet
Eat plenty of plant-based foods and lean protein. Reduce the amount of processed foods, foods high in sugar, and high in unhealthy fat. Getting rid of sugar will help keep your body in better balance.
3. Stay hydrated
Dehydration effects the mucosal lining of your gut. Drink plenty of water. Aim for eight to nine glasses of water a day to maintain healthy bowel movement and help balance your gut flora.
Exercise is vital to your gut health. Cardiovascular fitness can increase firmicutes-to-bacteroids presence in the gut; which are associated with the metabolic process that helps prevent bacteria in the gut from leaking into the body—cue leaky gut syndrome!
Exercise can also help decrease stress levels.
5. Supplement with Collagen
Collagen is a fibrous protein found throughout your body, in organs, muscles, skin, hair, nails, teeth, bones, blood vessels, tendons, joints, cartilage, and your digestive system. Collagen is an essential component of the cells that line the gut. After the age of 25, your body’s natural production of collagen slowly declines as you age. By supplementing with collagen daily, you are effectively restoring collagen levels in your body, which is good news for gut health.
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