Paying attention to your gut health is one of the most important (and often overlooked) things you can do for your health. Currently, a lot of research has been done around the micro-biome and apparently a happy microbiome is the secret to good health.
Not all research has confirmed or identified all of the bacterial strains teeming in our guts but 5 new books break down what you need to know to transform your body's second brain.
We carry up to 2 kg of microbes in our gut, and there are at least 1,000 species of bacteria consisting of over 3 million genes. Two thirds of the gut microbiome, which is the population of microbes in the intestine is unique to each individual.
1. Skip the artificial sweeteners like Splenda or Sweet n' Low
2. Eat more plant-based foods: We've talked extensively about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for a healthy lifestyle. This diet provides many plant-based food options. This isn't about converting to vegan, rather to choose whole foods derived from nature, whole grains, fruits, seeds and beans as opposed to chemically processed foods made with synthetic substances and refined ingredients. Shifting your eating habits will dramatically boost heart health, manage Type 2 Diabetes and lower the risk for chronic illnesses.
3. Cut out refined carbs: Carbohydrates are also known to be linked to an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. When carbs are consumed in excess, they are converted into fat by the body. People with excess carbs in their diet are more susceptible to disease. However, unlike saturated fat, carbs are vital to your health because they are the body’s main source of energy. They should never be removed from your diet - just chosen wisely.
4. Eat your legumes: There's a reason they're called the magical fruit. Beans are good for the heart, brain and your gut. Beans are a low-fat protein, also rich in fiber as well as vitamins, minerals, and potassium. Beans aid in hair growth and thicken hair cells by making the fibers stronger.
5. Drink more plain water: Hydration is a pivotal and often overlooked part of our gut health. This could perhaps come from the confusion about how much water to drink each day. But nevertheless, it's important to be mindful of your daily water intake. How? Always carry a water bottle: Especially for those who sit at a desk for the most of the day, where this is easy, carrying a water bottle will help you be mindful of your water intake. If a water bottle is within arms reach, it's likely you'll mindlessly sip from it throughout the day without have to make a conscious effort.
6. Embrace exercise: All you need to do is moderate exercise 3-4 times per week. Too much exercise can do harm. The key is finding the optimal sweet spot, not too much and not too little. Your body is active throughout the day. We were built for physical activity, be it running or walking. Moderate exercise has been highly associated with a longer life span. Exercise or any physical activity will keep bloat at bay.
7. Avoid acidic foods and drink such as alcohol and too much coffee.
8. Eat bananas which help your body get rid of excess water weight, minimizing your stomach area.