7 ways to improve your gut health
When it comes to optimizing your digestion, it's all about improving your body's ability to absorb and utilize the nutrients from the foods you eat.
The best diet in the world is pretty much useless if you're not digesting your food properly.
When I started making changes to my diet and lifestyle, I didn't see a drastic improvement in the complexion of my skin until I focused on the foods I was eating + optimizing my digestion.
The health of your gut microbiome really does determine the health of your skin. It's important for the healthy functioning of everything from the digestive tract to immune system. It also helps regulate inflammation and immunity throughout your entire body.
When the gut is unhealthy or inflamed, it relies heavily on other organs—like your skin—to eliminate toxins. It then causes skin irritation, acne, dryness, oiliness, redness, blotchiness, the list goes on.
To have a gut that functions optimally, it requires special care and attention. The smallest changes can make a huge difference, so here are some of my best (and easy) tips on how to improve your gut health:
EAT MORE FIBER
Fiber from real foods (not processed foods) sweeps out waste, regulates blood sugar levels and keeps you full longer.
Eating enough fiber from fruits and vegetables daily is crucial for maintaining good digestive health. Whole grains, legumes, nuts, ground flax, chia seeds, and healthy fats like avocados are all great options.
SOAK YOUR WHOLE GRAINS, BEANS, NUTS AND SEEDS
Soaking removes and neutralizes phytic acid, a natural protective toxin, found in the bran and hulls of whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.
This is an important step that you shouldn't skip, because this toxin interferes with the absorption of important vitamins and minerals, like zinc, magnesium, iron and calcium.
Soaking these foods sparks the sprouting process, making more minerals available and activating the enzymes that aid in their digestion.
Slowing down when eating and chewing thoroughly while you eat leaves the necessary space in your stomach to help break food down.
Chewing activates the digestive enzymes in your mouth to prep your stomach for the optimal absorption of nutrients.
It's the first step in helping your body break down foods, so chew your food!
MOVE YOUR BODY
Simply taking a walk after a meal can help with digestion. Any type of body movement improves your metabolism, stimulates intestinal contractions and tones the muscles of your core to create healthy bowel movements.
EAT FERMENTED FOODS
Nourish your gut by adding probiotics and fermented foods to your diet.
Probiotic-rich foods help boost your microbiome by increasing the number of good bacteria in your gut—like kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and kombucha.
And adding raw apple cider vinegar to your meals can help aid in digestion.
ADD MORE HERBS AND SPICES
Spices like turmeric, black pepper, ginger, coriander, fennel, cayenne and cumin help boost sluggish digestion. They also increase blood flow and circulation, and help fight inflammation in the body.
Adding spices to your soups, dressings, vegetables or in warm drinks is an easy way to stimulate your cells to function better.