Your digestive system is the epicenter of many processes that determine your overall body function. A large pool of scientific studies have emerged over the last decade implicating poor gut health as the underlying factor mediating disease processes involving immunity, mental health, autoimmunity, skin conditions, endocrine diseases, allergies and even cancer. It is important to optimize your gut health for your body to have maximum resilience and ability to fight disease.
7 Ways to Bullet Proof Your Gut Health
1. Focus on chewing your food 20-30 times each mouthful – chewing your food properly is a mindful eating practice and it becomes a habit over time. After chewing properly, you will likely experience less bloating, burping and stomach pain (if you have these symptoms).
2. Talk with your doctor about adding probiotics to your supplements routine.
4. Avoid the following: ASPIRIN, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or other NSAIDs. These drugs can damage the GI lining and supplementing with HCL could aggravate it, increasing the risks of bleeding or ulcer.
5. Increase fiber – if your bowels are slow moving then you need to make sure you are getting at least 35-45 grams of fiber each day. Optimal transit time should be 12-24 hours for proper absorption of your food. This means that if you eat at 7 pm, you should ideally have a bowel movement the following morning.
6. Also, make sure you are getting enough magnesium in your food or via supplement.
7. Consume foods that contain prebiotic resistant starch – prebiotics wind up stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria (often called probiotics) that colonize our gut microflora. Since they act as food for probiotics, prebiotic compounds help balance harmful bacteria and toxins living in the digestive tract. There are a number of foods that contain resistant starch in them: legumes such as lentils, white beans, and chickpeas, along with cooked plantains. You can try unmodified potato starch (Bob’s Red Mill), which is one of the best sources of RS. This can be added into smoothies or juices because it’s best when not heated.
Note: If you feel bloated, constipated or gassy after trying out prebiotic foods, you may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome due to rapid fermentation of short chain sugar molecules. It is best to get a proper functional health assessment to uncover the root causes of your symptoms and eliminate the potential for more damage to your gut lining even when you eat healthy foods like prebiotics.