Restoring gut health naturally is possible by using a holistic approach that includes lifestyle and diet changes to support a healthy gut microbiome as recommended by an integrative physician. Here are some tips to start restoring gut health naturally:
DIET – Focus on consuming a variety of whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These provide essential nutrients and fiber that support a healthy gut.
AVOID FOOD SENSITIVITIES – Many people may have sensitivities or intolerances to certain foods, such as gluten or dairy. Be mindful of how your body reacts to different foods and consider eliminating or reducing those that cause discomfort.
FOODS RICH IN PROBIOTICS – Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut microbiome. Incorporate fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha into your diet. These foods introduce beneficial bacteria into your gut.
FIBER – Fiber acts as a prebiotic, providing nourishment for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Include sources of soluble fiber such as legumes, oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and fruits like berries and apples.
FERMENTED FOODS – Incorporate fermented foods into your diet, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. These foods are rich in probiotics, which can help replenish beneficial gut bacteria.
NO PROCESSED FOODS – Minimize your intake of processed and refined foods, as they often lack beneficial nutrients and may contribute to gut inflammation.
REDUCE OR ELIMINATE SUGAR AND ARTIFICIAL SWEETNERS – Excessive sugar consumption can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria. Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and sucralose, may also negatively affect the gut microbiome. Opt for natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup in moderation.
MANAGE STRESS – Chronic stress can disrupt the gut-brain axis and impact gut health. Incorporate stress-reducing practices such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy.
HYDRATE – Drinking enough water supports optimal digestion and helps maintain regular bowel movements. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day, or more if you engage in intense physical activity or live in a hot climate.
SLEEP – Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Sleep deprivation can affect gut health and lead to imbalances in gut bacteria. Establish a regular sleep routine and create a sleep-friendly environment.
EXERCISE – Engaging in moderate exercise regularly can promote healthy digestion and gut motility. Find activities you enjoy, such as walking, jogging, cycling, or yoga, and aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
MINIMIZE ANTIBIOTICS – While antibiotics are sometimes necessary, overuse can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria. When prescribed antibiotics, follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully, and consider probiotic supplementation during and after treatment.
TRY PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTS – If you have specific gut health concerns or conditions, consult with one of our physicians about using probiotic supplements. We can help choose the appropriate strains and dosage for your needs.
It’s important to note that restoring gut health is a gradual process and lifestyle changes are necessary. It may take time to notice improvements. Contact Twin Cities Integrative Medicine to schedule a consultation to discuss your health concerns.