14 Science-Based Gut Health Hacks To Nurture Your Gut Microbiome

Your gut microbiome is a complex and fascinating ecosystem of bacteria, yeast, and viruses that play an essential role in your overall health. However, many things can disturb the balance of this ecosystem, leading to health problems. Fortunately, you may do a few things to maintain your gut microbiome's health. Here are 14 science-based gut health hacks to get you started.

Why Is the Gut Important?

Why Is the Gut Important? in a post about Gut Health Hacks

The gastrointestinal tract, or the gut (GI), is a long tube that extends from the mouth to the anus. The stomach is covered with an epithelial layer, a barrier between the external environment and internal body elements. This barrier is important because it prevents harmful substances from entering the body while allowing nutrients to pass through.

The gut is home to a complex ecosystem of bacteria, yeast, and viruses known as the microbiome. This microbiome is essential for many aspects of health, including digestion, immunity, and mood.

The role of the gut includes;

  • Breaking down food into digestible parts
  • Absorbing water, vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fat
  • Getting rid of wastes
  • Protecting the body against infection
  • Producing hormones that help regulate mood and appetite
  • Receiving signals from the brain through the nervous system
  • Sending signals back to the brain through the nervous system

Dysfunction in the gut flora has been linked to several health issues, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. As a result, it's crucial to do everything you can to maintain the health of your gut microbiome.

Tip: When you have an imbalance in your gut, you usually have bad breath. Learn more about it by reading Bad Breath From The Gut and What Does It Mean To Be Healthy? for tips on how to be healthy.

Gut Health Hacks For a Healthy Gut

Increase Water Intake

Increasing your water intake is a great way to improve gut health. Water helps your body to get rid of waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements. It also helps to keep your body temperature regular, lubricates and cushions joints, and protects your tissues.

There is an association between the water source and gut microbiota composition. The study found that people who drink well water have a higher fecal microbiota diversity than those who drink tap, bottled, or filtered water. So, the source of water is also essential for gut health.

Here are some easy tips for increasing your water intake:

  • Bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go. It's simple to drink plenty of water throughout the day because of this.
  • Before every meal, drink a glass full of water. This will help to hydrate your body and reduce the chance of overeating.
  • Add fresh or frozen fruit to your water for a delicious and healthy drink.
  • Drink herbal tea or warm lemon water in the morning for an extra dose of hydration.
  • When you exercise or travel, drink a lot of water.

Eat Fiber Rich Foods

Fiber is an essential nutrient for gut health. Fiber helps to keep the digestive system running smoothly by bulking up stool and promoting regularity. Fiber is also associated with a lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and type II diabetes.

Dietary fiber can also help with digestive tract diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.

There are two fiber types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber helps to regulate blood sugar levels and cholesterol by dissolving in water. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, giving stool bulk and preventing constipation.

Soluble and insoluble fiber are both present in plants. The most significant sources of soluble fiber include oats, barley, legumes, and certain fruits and vegetables. The best sources of insoluble fiber include whole wheat bread, brown rice, nuts, and seeds. By eating a variety of fiber-rich foods, you can get the benefits of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Here are some simple ways to add more fiber to your diet:

  • Add oats, chia seeds, or flaxseeds to your breakfast.
  • Pack a fiber-rich salad or veggie wrap for lunch.
  • Snack on fruit, nuts, or seeds throughout the day.
  • Add beans, lentils, or quinoa to your dinner.

Eat Fermented Foods

Eat Fermented Foods in a post about Gut Health Hacks

Many fermented foods contain live bacteria that are beneficial for gut health. It's also a good way to get more probiotic-rich food into your diet. These meals can help boost the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut and enhance the microbiome's diversity.

Some fermented foods that are good for gut health include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and miso.

Fermented foods are a great way to maintain balanced gut health, so add these gut-friendly foods to your diet.

Eat a Wide Variety of Foods

Eating a variety of meals is indeed beneficial to our general health. This becomes especially important when it comes to the gut microbiome. People who ate at least 30 different types of fruits and vegetables in a week had a more diverse gut microbiome than those who consumed fewer. This was more significant for gut-bug diversity than whether or not the participants were vegetarians or meat eaters.

A wide range of fruits and vegetables provides a greater variety of fiber, starches, and other nutrients consumed by a broader range of microorganisms. Rather than eating just peas for dinner, we should eat the rainbow instead, according to experts. The colors of fruit and vegetables are chemicals that feed different bacteria. These chemicals help balance your gut microbiome and support gut health.

Some easy ways to add more variety to your diet include:

  • Trying a new fruit or vegetable each week.
  • Adding a new spice to your meals.
  • Eating a variety of different plant-based proteins.
  • Make sure each meal includes a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Drink Herbal Teas Regularly

Tea has been a drink for centuries, with herbal teas being top-rated. These teas are made by infusing herbs in boiling water and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Many herbal teas are available, each with unique flavor and health benefits.

Drinking herbal teas regularly is an excellent method to promote your gut health. Herbal teas are high in antioxidants (polyphenols) and other nutrients that may assist you in maintaining good health. Herbal teas can help boost your immune system and protect against disease.

Recent studies have found that herbal teas can also help the gut microbiome, specifically for those with lousy gut health due to digestive stress, weight gain, and high-fat diets.

Herbal teas are also excellent for unwinding and relaxing. The soothing flavors and aromas can help to calm the mind and promote a sense of well-being. Drinking herbal tea before bed can also help you to get a good night's sleep.

Some beneficial herbal tea options to try include:

  • Ginger tea
  • Peppermint tea
  • Chamomile tea
  • Lemon balm tea
  • Fennel tea
  • Hibiscus tea

Drink Some Coffee Once in a While

Drink Some Coffee Once in a While in a post about Gut Health Hacks

Coffee is a popular beverage, and many people drink it daily. While coffee is often associated with adverse health effects, recent studies have shown that coffee can be good for our health. Coffee and Gut Health explains why coffee is good for our health and its adverse effects when used in excess.

Coffee is a good source of antioxidants and other nutrients supporting gut health. Coffee also contains caffeine, which can help to improve gut motility and reduce inflammation. However, coffee can also adversely affect gut health when consumed in excess. Too much coffee can lead to constipation, diarrhea, and other digestive issues.

If you're going to drink coffee, it's essential to do so in moderation. Experts recommend limiting yourself to two cups of coffee per day.

Eat More Fish

Eating Fish Helps Reduce Levels of Gut bacteria Associated with Type 2 Diabetes.

The effects of excessive cod or salmon consumption on gut microbiota profile, individuals who consumed five salmon or cod dinners weekly for eight weeks had lower levels of a harmful gut microbe species called Bacteroidetes compared with those that didn't eat fish and instead consumed their regular meals. The researchers note that Bacteroides are linked to type 2 diabetes. This implies eating fish may help prevent type 2 diabetes.

So, if you're looking to gut-proof your diet, aim for two servings of fish per week. Not a fish fan? You can also get these benefits by taking a high-quality fish oil supplement.

Avoid Artificial Sweeteners and Emulsifiers

Artificial sweeteners and emulsifiers can significantly change the gut microbiota, which is associated with increased intestinal inflammation.

The study used an in vitro model of the human gut to investigate how artificial sweeteners and emulsifiers impact the gut microbiota. Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) and polysorbate 80 (P80), both widely used food additives, were found to have a lasting detrimental impact on the gut microbiota.

Additives such as carrageenans and gums had a particularly stark impact, altering the microbiota density, composition, and expression of pro-inflammatory molecules. This suggests that artificial sweeteners and emulsifiers may promote intestinal inflammation and contribute to developing conditions like Crohn's disease and colitis. Therefore, to have balanced gut health, it is best to avoid these additives by reading labels carefully and choosing whole, unprocessed foods.

Avoid Processed Foods

Avoid Processed Foods in a post about Gut Health Hacks

Processed foods are considered high in unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar, which may lead to weight gain and many other health issues. Many individuals don't realize that these meals might also alter the composition of gut flora. Processed foods can cause an imbalance of the gut microbiome, leading to problems such as inflammation and intestinal diseases. Avoiding processed foods can help keep your gut microbiome balanced and improve overall health.

Some processed foods you should avoid:

  • Canned soups and vegetables
  • Frozen pizzas
  • Processed meats
  • Packaged snacks
  • Cookies
  • Cakes

To maintain a balanced gut microbiome, it's essential to avoid processed foods as much as possible.

Take Probiotic and Prebiotic Supplements

Probiotics and prebiotics are two supplements that can help improve gut health, as stated by NIH. Probiotics are live microorganisms that assist restore gut flora balance, while prebiotics is non-digestible carbohydrates that feed probiotics. Together, these supplements can help to improve gut health and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal problems.

If you're seeking a probiotic supplement, make sure it's pure and has living cultures. When choosing a prebiotic supplement, look for one that contains inulin or oligofructose. These supplements can be found in most health food stores.

We have also gathered a Top Ten List of Supplements for Gut Health. So, be sure to check out that too.

Meditate Regularly

Meditate Regularly in a post about Gut Health Hacks

The gut microbiome plays a vital role in maintaining psychological health. Psychological stress, in general, causes the fight-or-flight response to be triggered throughout the body, resulting in increased corticotropin-releasing hormone and catecholamine production from a variety of sites, which ultimately disturbs the microbiota.

A healthy microbiota generates short-chain fatty acids with anti-inflammatory and antitumor effects without stress. During stress, changes in the gut bacterial population influence neurotransmitter synthesis via the gut microbiome and barrier function. Meditation helps regulate the stress response, suppressing chronic inflammation and maintaining a healthy gut-microbiota balance.

This means that improved mental health helps both your brain and your gut. So, if you want to improve your overall health, add meditation to your daily routine.

For this, you can incorporate light yoga techniques too. Yoga's main aim is to bring peace to the mind and body. It can stimulate blood flow to the core, relax the nervous system, cool the mind, and help with regularity. It is also a low-impact workout that can ease aches and pains while strengthening the abdomen, back, and pelvis muscles- all important for gut health.

Tip: Keeping crystals with you when meditating or doing yoga can help to ease the mind and body even more. We recommend using rose quartz, amethyst, or jade for gut health. Check out Best Crystals for Meditation.

Exercise Regularly

The gut is home to trillions of bacteria, some beneficial to our health, and some can cause problems. Exercise can play an essential role in gut health. Exercise can enrich the diversity of gut bacteria, improve the ratio of beneficial bacteria to harmful bacteria, and stimulate the proliferation of healthy bacteria.

All of these effects can help keep our gut healthy and functioning properly. Exercise also helps keep our immune system strong, which is important for gut health. A healthy gut brings a healthy weight and lowers the risk of developing gastrointestinal disorders.

So, if you want to keep your gut healthy, exercise regularly!

Try Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has been linked to several health advantages, including promoting white adipose browning and decreasing obesity. One of the ways it does this is by altering the gut microbiota. The altered functions of gut microbiota in the fasting group induce beige formation, which is a beneficial reaction.

Gut microbiota fermentation products such as acetate and lactate increase during fasting. Together with the upregulation of monocarboxylate transporter one expression in beige cells, these products ameliorate obesity, insulin resistance, and hepatic steatosis. While intermittent fasting is not something everyone can do, it may be worth considering if you want a balanced gut microbiome.

Go For a Vegan Diet

Following a vegan diet can have a profound effect on gut microbiota. Previous conventional culturing and recent culture-independent molecular studies have shown that vegan diets increase the abundance of beneficial gut bacteria while decreasing the abundance of harmful gut bacteria. Furthermore, vegan diets appear to have several health advantages, including improvement in metabolic syndrome, CVD risk factors, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Like intermittent fasting, a vegan diet is also not for everyone. But it is worth considering if you want to improve your gut health.

What Foods Help Repair The Gut?

Several foods can assist with gut repair, including:

  • Probiotic-rich foods: Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial for gut health. Fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi are good sources of probiotics. Probiotic supplements can also be found.
  • Prebiotic-rich foods: Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that feed probiotic bacteria. Bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, and artichokes are all sources of prebiotics.
  • Soluble fiber: Soluble fiber can help to bulk up stool and promote regularity. It can be found in oats, barley, legumes, and flaxseeds.
  • Antioxidant-rich foods: Antioxidants help to protect cells from damage. Foods that are high in antioxidants include berries, dark leafy greens, and dark chocolate.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and can be found in oily fish, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.

Conclusion

There are a few things you may do to improve your gut health. Here we have listed 14 gut health hacks that are backed by science. Try incorporating some of these into your daily routine and see how they work.

FAQ

What food kills bacteria in the stomach?

Many different foods can kill bacteria in the stomach. Some of these include honey, turmeric, ginger, pineapple, curd, garlic, and lemon. All of these foods have anti-bacterial properties that can help to get rid of any harmful bacteria in the stomach.

Additionally, they are all high in antioxidants, which can help to protect the stomach lining from damage. Carrots are also a good food to eat for bacterial elimination as they are high in beta-carotene and Vitamin A.

References

Why Is the Gut Important?

https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/veteran-handouts/docs/HealthyGut-508Final-9-4-2018.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566439/#:~:text=Imbalance%20of%20the%20normal%20gut,type%202%20diabetes%2C%20and%20atopy.

Increase Water Intake

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/water-and-healthier-drinks.html#:~:text=Get%20rid%20of%20wastes%20through%20urination%2C%20perspiration%2C%20and%20bowel%20movements.

https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/152/1/171/6395031?login=false#337781626:~:text=We%20showed%20that,or%20filtered%20water.

Eat Fiber Rich Foods

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9220141/

Eat Fermented Foods

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9003261/#:~:text=Many%20fermented%20foods%20contain%20bacteria%20with%20probiotic%20potential%2C%20either%20added%20during%20the%20manufacturing%20process%20or%20adventitious%20bacteria%2C%20such%20as%20non%2Dstarter%20lactic%20acid%20bacteria%20(NSLAB)%20found%20in%20cheese%2C%20that%20are%20able%20to%20grow%20and%20thrive%20in%20fermented%20foods

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/feed-your-gut#:~:text=Probiotics%20found%20in%20fermented%20foods,on%20how%20they%20are%20processed.

Eat a Wide Variety of Foods

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29795809/

Drink Herbal Teas Regularly

https://www.health.harvard.edu/nutrition/the-health-benefits-of-3-herbal-teas

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835862/#:~:text=Initial%20evidence%20suggests%20that%20teas%20could%20benefit%20gut%20health%2C%20particularly%20amongst%20those%20with%20dysbiosis%20(triggered%20by%20obesity%20or%20high%2Dfat%20diets)%2C%20mainly%20by%20mediating%20gut%20microbiota%20profiles.

Eat More Fish

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33108521/

https://microbiomejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40168-020-00996-6

Avoid Processed Foods

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30945554/#:~:text=Western%20dietary%20patterns%2C%20containing%20large%20amounts%20of%20processed%20foods%20might%20create%20an%20imbalance%20in%20the%20gut%20system%20by%20affecting%20gut%20bacteria%20and%20their%20metabolism.

Take Probiotic and Prebiotic Supplements

https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics-what-you-need-to-know

Meditate Regularly

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29306937/#:~:text=The%20study%20took,gut%2Dbarrier%20function.

Exercise Regularly

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5357536/#:~:text=Collectively%2C%20the%20available,the%20health%20status.

Try Intermittent Fasting

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6924599/#:~:text=Recent%20studies%20show,and%20hepatic%20steatosis

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