Focusing on gut health can improve your life in so many ways! And it’s not as hard as you might think to fix gut health. Or at least improve it. Simple steps you take now can lead to tremendous benefits now and later.
1. Cut Out Sugar
Super easy to say. Super hard to do! But it pays huge dividends. Reducing your dietary sugar can help maintain important balance in your microbiome. Sugar is the favorite food of certain nasty gut bacteria and fungus. So when you indulge, you feed the yeast and other tinies that give you lots of grief.
Sugar also impacts:
- Blood sugar balance. Sugar consumption is linked to type II diabetes, something we all wish to avoid.
- Energy levels—In addition to affecting gut health, sugar messes with energy levels like crazy. When your sugar levels spike you may feel energetic for a moment, but the crash that ensues will leave you worse off.
- Dental health—sugar can lead to cavities
If you’re like me, sugar has been one of your best friends for decades, and it’s hard to slam the door on it. Don’t try to go cold turkey when you cut sugar. Just work incrementally to reduce how much you eat. So start small. Try these sugar-reducing tips:
- Switch your soda to diet or, more preferably, water. If you hate “plain water,” try low-cal Solstic® powders like Stixated or AIVIA Hydrate for something flavorful.
- If candy is your thing, try substituting dark chocolate and raisins or nuts at first. Or invest in some sugar-free mints so your mouth has flavor to enjoy but your gut isn’t teeming with sugar-fed fungus.
- Instead of cake or ice cream, have frozen yogurt, a real-fruit popsicle or your favorite fruit.
- Let yourself eat a cookie or two but only 1 day a week.
- Simple carbs convert to sugar in your gut just as if you had eaten a cupcake. So reach for whole wheat bread or whole grain pastas instead of white bread and white rice or pasta.
- When you’re shopping, AVOID the candy, cookie and ice cream aisles. You can’t eat what you don’t bring home.
- Make yourself a resolution or bet that you can give up ___ for one year. Maybe it’s donuts. Maybe it’s candy bars. Try it for a week, then a month. Tell others about your resolution/bet.
Keep looking for healthy substitutions you can make, and you’ll feel better, look better and live a more balanced life.
2. Make New Friends…Billions of Them
Your gut has billions perhaps trillions of friendly bacteria that offer up tons of support. They improve digestion as they help break down food. These valuable probiotics extract vitamins and other nutrients, and they can help reduce gas. Yes, you read that right. Get some for your husband stat.
Adding healthy bacteria to your diet helps create and maintain the delicate balance in your gut. But for many of us, the sources of probiotics aren’t that tasty: kim chi, sauerkraut, real yogurt, tofu, cottage cheese, kombucha, and other fermented foods. Luckily you can take advantage of capsuled probiotics that are flavorless and easily swallowed or added to foods. And some (like Bacillus coagulans) are even shelf-stable, requiring no refrigeration.
In general, probiotics help balance your microbiome. And if you’ve been eating any fast or fried food, taking a regimen of antibiotics, traveling internationally or have a pet, you want this help in your life. Probiotics, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium strains are your tiniest friends. They can help with regularity, diarrhea (and diaper rash), help balance the urinary tract, support immune health, help with mucous membrane health and so much more.
3. Way More Water
Water adds important fluidity to waste in the colon and makes it easier for the body to remove it. Not enough water can mean strain and pain.
Water not only helps with bowel regularity, it can help with body odor, skin health, urinary tract health and weight management. When you drink enough water, you’re more likely to feel full and less likely to cruise for snacks.
Drink up! The average adult should drink somewhere around 8 8-ounce glasses of water (not soda, not juice) every day. 64 ounces is half a gallon. That might sound like a lot, but you can work up to it and you’ll benefit from it.
4. Fiber First
Fiber is good for the intestinal system as it helps with bowel transit time or the time it takes waste to move through and be eliminated. Generally speaking, you don’t want that stuff sitting around because, man, it’s toxic.
Two types of fiber belong in our diet: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water. It forms a slippery substance that may help lower blood sugar and cholesterol as it helps these molecules exit the body. You get soluble fiber from peas, beans, apples (pectin), carrots, barley and especially psyllium.
Insoluble fiber includes the undigestible parts of plants. This kind of fiber actually brings water into the stool, making it easier to move waste along and escort it out of the body. Insoluble fiber supports bowel health by keeping elimination on a regular schedule. It can also help with blood sugar balance. Add insoluble fiber to your diet with whole grain breads, cereals and pastas, bran, nuts, beans and oatmeal.
Did you know? Fiber is considered a prebiotic. That means it acts as food for the probiotics living in your microbiome. So the friendly bacteria that are fighting the unfriendly bacteria have a food source to keep the creeps at bay.
Benefits of fiber include:
- Supports regular bowel movements
- Supports healthy cholesterol levels
- Offers weight management support (Helps you feel full so you may eat less)
- Support for blood sugar in the normal range
- Supports blood pressure levels in the normal range
5. Natural Detox
A good detox program can clean and help purify the gut, clearing the way for better nutrient absorption, improved elimination, more energy, and even weight loss support. Try a 5- or 7-day cleanse. Start by striving for a cleaner diet. Focus on clear juices or teas and plenty of water. Eat fresh greens, steamed veggies, whole foods and raw nuts and seeds. Once a day, have up to 6 oz. of broiled fish or turkey.
Add gut health supplements to your detox regimen. Choose things like chlorophyll, psyllium hulls, cascara sagrada, marshmallow, red beet root, chicory, flax seed, broccoli, l-glutamine, burdock, milk thistle, apple pectin, charcoal and bentonite clay.
UltraBiomeDTX® is a patent-pending program to target and eliminate toxins, especially heavy metals. It uses psyllium hulls, chlorophyllin, red beet, broccoli and other herbs and fibers to purify the gut, balance good bacteria, support intestinal permeability and optimize nutrient absorption.
Detox Basics program supports liver health, toxin elimination and gut function. It features 4 existing products: milk thistle (supports liver detox), dandelion root (traditionally used for liver function), berberine (promotes a health gut biome) and B. coagulans (probiotic that supports gut health).
Bowel Detox helps keep things fresh with a blend of cleansing fibers, detoxifiers (charcoal, chlorophyll and bentonite) plus cascara sagrada and ginger to support digestion, promote regularity and help remove toxins.
Enviro-Detox combines herbs like burdock, red clover and milk thistle with pepsin and B. coagulans to support digestion, balance gut bacteria and detox the gut.
Yeast-Fungal Detox helps balance the yeast and friendly microflora in the gut. It supports detoxification with caprylic acid, pau d’arco, echinacea and garlic. Also has immune system benefits.