Nobody really likes to talk about pooping or gas or tummy issues! But you know your tummy be talking to you when something’s going on, right? Just a’growling and a’rumbling! You better stop and learn what it’s telling you! It’s important! Good gut health should be top of the list for self-care and good health because it is directly connected to overall wellness, including mental and emotional wellbeing.
Here are five tips you can use now to embrace good gut health:
1. Educate yourself
Google it! There are a plethora of YouTube videos and articles out there. Not to replace medical advice from a good gastroenterologist, mind you, but simply learning how digestion and gut health is connected to overall health provides a jump start. “The 11 Best Ways to Improve Your Digestion Naturally” on the Healthline.com website, provides a list of some of the best ways to improve gut health:
- Eat real (whole not processed) foods
- Beef up on the fiber
- Include healthy fats (salmon, anyone?)
- Adequate hydration
- Stress management
- Mindful eating (eat slowly with focus on the food)
- Chew, chew, chew it up!
- Regular exercise
- Don’t overeat (it takes 20 minutes for your brain to know your tummy is full)
- Get rid of bad habits like smoking, too much alcohol & late-night eating
- Include gut-supporting nutrients such as probiotics, etc.
2. Make necessary lifestyle changes
If you’re young, start taking care of yourself now! I stopped eating red meat and quit smoking in 1996 and maintained a daily robust workout regimen. I attribute those lifestyle choices I made early on to enjoying relatively good health as I approach 60. I am a firm believer that how you treat your body when you are young can make or break how debilitating the inevitable degenerative changes your body goes through in your 40’s, 50’s and beyond. Of course, if you’re older, it’s never too late to institute good habits! Diet and lifestyle changes go a long way to healing your gut. Eat for nutrition, not for comfort or because you’re bored or to give in to cravings. Lose weight, quit smoking, exercise! Start today!
3. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Have you ever considered what this saying means? When it comes to our health, it’s easier to stay healthy than to get healthy from an unwell state. I watched my mother endure the ravages of diabetes – a disease that literally attacks your entire body. While she tried to make healthy choices, the disease had already begun to take its toll on her physical being and the damage was irrevocable. All diseases begin in the colon — and digestive issues lead to many of these health issues, some of which are sometimes avoidable by making preventative choices before you get sick.
Did you know your body has its own digestive ecosystem? Gastrointestinal flora is simply a safe balance of good and bad bacteria working together for common good in your digestive system. Just like anything else, though, when the bad outnumber the good, you’ve got troubles! Probiotic supplements help create a good balance. If you don’t like taking pills, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, etc. are viable options. Celestial Seasonings makes a great ginger tea with probiotics that is pure liquid wellness, Woooo! Pick it up at the healthy food markets, like Sprouts and Whole Foods.
5. Don’t be hard on yourself
I have suffered from acid reflux for the last few years, and a few lifestyle changes stand in the way of good gut health for me. Yes, I know, I know…. For some reason, I am a lot less disciplined these days. The journey has never been a straight line. Yet, I’ve decided to stop being hard on myself, and use that energy to do what I need to do – one step at a time. I re-dedicate myself as many times as I need to.
What are some of the things you do, or can do for a positive impact on your wellbeing? If you know what that is and haven’t started, begin today! Dedication and focus is key! It starts in your mind first!
When your tummy is happy, you will find that many other parts of your body are better! And it’s not so much what you eat because tummy wellness has so many moving parts. Doing all of the things that cut down on inflammation (another good health topic to Google) and creating wholesome balance in your body can go a long way to overall health and wellness. It’s all about self-care! Be kind to your tummy!