Demanding schedules and daily stress can take a toll not only on your mental health but also your physical well-being. The system that is often impacted from these stressors is the digestive system, causing many to search for an answer to improve their gut health. Often, that search leads to probiotics.
Probiotics are one of numerous ways to improve your digestive health, despite a harried and stressful schedule. Let’s take a look at probiotics and other solutions to get your digestive system back on track.
Have you ever wondered what probiotics do? Probiotics are taken primarily to improve digestive health by increasing the “good” bacteria in your gut, allowing your system to move toxins from your body more readily. This is key for anyone who is experiencing issues with digestive health, especially constipation.
Our digestive tract or gut is home to over 1,000 different types of bacteria or flora. The job of these bacteria includes pitching in with the digestive process and helping us absorb the nutrients from the food we eat. In addition, these good flora play a major role in our immune system.
Antibiotics have the job of killing pathogens or disease-causing bacteria. Unfortunately, good bacteria are collateral damage and we end up with imbalanced digestive flora. A diet high in sugar and processed foods can also impact this balance.
Probiotics not only help with chronic constipation but with other digestive issues like IBS, a condition characterized by a range of symptoms, including cramps, bloating, pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
Chronic constipation and other digestive problems can cause other health issues in time. It’s crucial to find an effective way to manage these digestive issues and probiotics are a good start. However, a multi-faceted and holistic approach can complement probiotics to improve your overall health. Below are some additional tips to add to your probiotics regimen to improve your health.
Improve Gut Health
As previously mentioned, you can incorporate probiotics in order to improve your gut health. To optimize the benefits of probiotics, you must also eat a healthy diet. Be sure to include lots of green leafy vegetables to add magnesium. Add spinach to a salad or kale to a smoothie. Also include healthy fats such as nuts, avocado, and omega 3s from cold water fish such as salmon.
You may also include foods and beverages with probiotic properties, such as tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, active yogurt, and kombucha.
The addition of these foods will help reduce inflammation, which can cause issues with your digestion, as well as your overall health. Many chronic health conditions are due to inflammation. In addition to complementing probiotics with anti-inflammatory foods, you should avoid certain foods that encourage inflammation. Avoid or limit sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, refined carbohydrates, artificial trans fats, and excessive alcohol can all promote inflammatory responses.
In addition, avoid or limit vegetable oils like corn, safflower, sunflower, canola (rapeseed), peanut, sesame, and soybean oils. These oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which promote inflammation. We need some omega-6 fatty acids but the typical western diet does not have a balance of omega 3s and omega 6s. Try to avoid excess omega 6 fatty acids while adding omega 3s, found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, walnuts, flax and chia seed.
Tips to Maintain a Healthy Gut
Changing your diet isn’t the only means to support digestive health. In addition, you should get adequate sleep and exercise, as well as stress-busting relaxation techniques that can help you cope with daily stressors. Meditation, yoga, and exercise can all help deal with stress.
Last but not least, don’t forget to add probiotics to your health routine to round out an overall health-promoting regimen. These changes complement each other to improve your digestion and overall health.
While almost anyone can experience digestive issues at one time or another, it doesn’t have to be something that stops you in your tracks. More often than not, you can effectively address the issue by incorporating the steps that have been discussed here.
The longer that you allow chronic digestive issues to go unchecked, the longer it will take to correct them. Fortunately, incorporating probiotics, such as a lactobacillus gasseri supplement, with a healthy lifestyle and a good diet usually helps most people effectively deal with their issue to reclaim overall health.