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Top tips for gut health

What are the signs of an unhealthy gut? Read on to find out and also to get insight into what little things you could do to make sure your gut is thriving.

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Our bodies are so smart that they immediately give us warnings should there be an imbalance within. We need to listen to them because ignoring the signs that we get, might lead to a condition that is potentially more serious.

In our busy lives as mums, we usually tend to go for instant solutions to our problems and hide the signs that our bodies give us. For example, if we had not had enough sleep, we would find something that would instantly boost our energy like coffee or anything with caffeine and maybe even a sugary drink.

Obviously, that is not the way to go, but more on that a bit later. First, we need to see what kind of signals our bodies send to indicate that things are less than ideal.

It could be any one or a combination of these: 

  • being more irritable and anxious, 
  • having an upset stomach or being bloated quite often, 
  • having trouble sleeping, 
  • having extreme food cravings especially for sugary food,
  • frequent mood changes,
  • skin breaking out or just skin looking very dull. 

So these are all signs that your body is giving you and telling you: “Whatever you’re doing right now, stop! It’s not working. You need a reset.”

But how to reset and where to start?

It’s really your gut you should be addressing first because the gut is where it all starts. And I’ve covered this in a previous blog which you can read here.

More energy with a healthy gut

The gut affects your mind and body more than you even realise and think. I’ll share my story here because I feel that personal experiences do tell a story in the best possible way. A decade ago, I really struggled with bloating and I almost looked like I was pregnant. And I also had mood changes that, at one point, I even thought I was depressed. As for my skin, it was always breaking out. I’ve always struggled with acne, so it was just this persistent problem for me.

WHY GUT HEALTH IS IMPORTANT

But then, I discovered information about gut health. That made such a huge impact on my health and well being. It really turned everything around because I started focusing more on my gut and I could see changes in all of those areas that were giving me trouble.

All disease begind in the gut - Hippocrates quote on gut health

It was Hippocrates, who is considered the father of modern medicine, that said that many diseases begin in the gut. And he concluded that the health of your gut affects your mind, body and soul.

This is not at all surprising because when you think about it, you realise that your gut is alive. There are so many microbes (friendly bacteria and fungi) that live inside your gut. They all live there in those right conditions with the right numbers and they regulate your health.

But how you live i.e. the food that you eat and the lifestyle that you’ve got can actually affect this really delicate balance within your body. When that happens, you will start to experience the things that I mentioned at the beginning. But let’s go over them in more detail here.

SIGNS OF AN UNHEALTHY GUT

Tiredness/fatigue 

If it’s something that you feel on regular basis and every day is a struggle, it’s very likely that your unhealthy gut is causing it. This is closely related to the inability to sleep well, which is a direct consequence of an imbalanced gut. Whether it’s tossing and turning before you actually fall asleep or waking up even more tired than when you got to bed, don’t ignore it. Find out more about improving the quality of your sleep in this blog or listen to my podcast episode.

An upset stomach

This could be anything from gas, bloating and constipation to diarrhea or heartburn. All these are telltale signs that your gut is not doing well.

Sugar cravings

If your diet is a high-sugar diet, then all these sugars that you consume will decrease the number of good bacteria that are found in your gut. And what that will do is cause those sugar cravings.

Skin irritation

Different skin conditions like acne, but also eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. Whenever your gut is out of balance, your skin becomes increasingly sensitive and therefore more prone to the skin conditions mentioned above.

So maybe your body has given you some of these signs. And you’re wondering what you can do to really reset your body and gut so that you can eliminate those conditions that are such a pain in everyday life.

Here are my top tips that can help you really focus on improving the overall balance by tweaking what you regularly do. Because you don’t need a new you – you just need those two or three healthier habits which are going to help you boost your gut health.

TOP TIPS FOR GUT HEALTH

Hydration

You must have heard it over and over again. However, this is exactly the reason why you’ve heard it that many times. When you drink a lot of water, then this has a positive effect on the lining of the intestines, and also the balance of good bacteria in the gut. So just by drinking more water you can do so much to promote a healthy gut.

You might say – Well, how do I get myself to drink two liters or even three liters of water a day? I’m not the person who feels the need to drink water. I could go by with two glasses of water a day. What you can do is the moment you get up, go and drink one full glass of water because especially after a long night’s sleep, our bodies can get a bit dehydrated. So, a glass of water in the morning will be so helpful. An added benefit is going to be that it will give you that little energy boost right there from the get-go.

Reduce your consumption of sugar

When I say sugar, I mean processed sugar because, of course, our bodies do need a certain amount of sugar for our brains to operate properly. All that sugar that is part of processed foods, chocolates, sweets, crisps and alcohol is the one you should aim to avoid. If you could just go back to nature and eat as much natural food as you can – food in its most natural form such as fruit and vegetables. Because our bodies are naturally built to handle sugars found in nature. However, if you still stuff your body with processed sugars and artificial sweeteners, your digestive system is going to have a really hard time processing them and it will have to work so, so hard.

Keep a food diary

Do it for about 14 days. There are fantastic apps like My Fitness Pal where you can track everything you eat. This will give you really interesting information about your diet. For example, you might notice how certain foods make you either tired or give you a lot of brain fog. Another thing keeping a food diary can do is identify food allergies, so you might need to be tested. You can even track your bowel movements. As revolting as it may seem, bowel movements are a part of the digestion process. To conclude, tracking all of these things can really make you see the patterns based on which you can then, take action.

Good quality prebiotic and probiotic

Taking a good quality prebiotic and probiotic is something I swear by because I personally use a gut health supplement by Arbonne that I know has no nasties in it. I can really feel the difference taking that product every day. It’s the green shot that I do – more on that in my podcast episode: Daily greens for gut health. The greens boost my fruit and veg intake because, let’s be honest, it’s not always realistic to get 9-10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Daily greens for gut health

There’s always the eating of fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir which contain healthy bacteria. This is something that the Arbonne gut health supplement has as an ingredient.

Get out in nature barefoot

The grass and the soil on the ground have got so many fantastic probiotics in them. By allowing yourself to be barefoot in nature you’re getting all those wonderful probiotics from the soil. But, it doesn’t have to be through your feet, it could be through your hands. You can get into gardening, without gloves, and get into contact with the healthy probiotics.

Get more sleep

While sleeping, your body rests and repairs itself. It’s very important that we give it enough time, but also the right time to do so. Our bodies need 7-8 hours of sleep, so definitely aim at giving it that. 

If you are sleep-deprived, your hormones are going to go crazy, and that can negatively impact your gut health. The way that you can get yourself to go to sleep earlier is to reduce screen time before going to bed. I use my blue light glasses as part of my evening routine. They do a wonderful job at blocking the blue light so that the melatonin can start to release. This starts to make me sleepy, and I can get to bed earlier.

Now that you’re armed with this information, you can start to take a proactive approach towards looking after your gut health more. You will see nothing but benefits.

If you feel like your body needs to reset, then you might want to check out my Healthy Habits Reset.

P.S. When you’re ready here are a few ways I can help…

  1. Download my free meal planner and save yourself hours and reduce your mental load.
  2. Subscribe and listen to my Healthy & Thriving Career Mums podcast all about health, habits and mindset for busy mums.
  3. Join our Healthy Thriving Career Mums community. The No.1 free group for career mums who want to build healthier habits and thrive.
  4. Get ‘The Busy Mums Guide To Healthy Habits’ – my e-book to help you build healthier & sustainable habits to thrive in 90 days.
  5. Do you need more support & accountability with your habits? I can help you with my 1-2-1 coaching.

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