When you think about your overall health, you probably think about things like what workouts you do, your weight, your skin, and your muscle definition. While all of those things are definitely indicators and tools for health and wellness, there’s one huuuge contributor that often gets overlooked – your gut. You may not be able to see it, measure it on a scale, or log it in a workout journal, but your gut actually affects many areas of our overall health. Sound important? The answer is, heck yes. So, in order to help you keep your gut healthy and happy, I’ve put together some of the best things that you can be doing.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. Drink 2-3L water each day!
One of the very best places to start is by making a habit of drinking 2-3L of water each day! Dehydration is a major cause of occasional constipation and is your gut’s way of telling you it needs water. Water helps move waste through your digestive tract, gets rid of toxins, and really just make your entire body function better. While there can be other factors to digestion issues, increasing water intake is linked to a healthier gut and bowel movements.
Eat Probiotic Rich
You have hundreds of different types of microorganisms in your gut, called gut flora. Your gut flora also has good and bad bacteria which need to be kept in balance for overall health, and the foods you eat play a major role in the balance of that bacteria. Foods rich in probiotics can help keep everything in balance, while the wrong foods can cause an imbalance which can lead to a host of other health problems and leave your body open to illness. Probiotics, whether taken in a capsule or through probiotic-rich foods, can also help maintain.
Fermented foods like kombucha, Sauerkraut, kefir, and yogurt are great sources of probiotics.
Side note – limiting alcohol is also a real good call… I know ?
Take Your Time at the Table.
Digestion starts way before food gets to your belly – it actually starts in your mouth! Saliva plays a crucial role in digestion, and when you chew slowly, your body is able to produce more of it. Saliva contains enzymes that help break down your food, so the more saliva you allow your body to produce, the better it can digest and absorb the nutrients from whatever you’re eating! We live in such a busy, fast-paced world, and taking your time while you eat can feel impossible at times. But while it’s such a small change in your habits, it can go such a long way for your gut!
Stock Up on Sleep.
You might never know it, but your sleep and gut health go hand in hand, each influencing the other. If you’re not getting the right nutrition, leading to digestive issues, it may be more difficult to get a good night of sleep each night, which could lead to other health issues. Crazy cycle, right?! If you’re stuck in this poor-nutrition-poor-sleep cycle, the very best way to stop and re-route your body is by focusing on nutrition first (go back and read #2 for help on that!), and prioritizing sleep. Every body is different, but I always recommend 7 or 8 hours a night, at least. Just because you can “function” after a 5-hour night of sleep does not mean that your body only needs 5 hours a night! Remember that sleep is the only time our body can regenerate itself, so the more time you give it, the more it’s able to do that!
Give Your Gut A Leg Up.
I’ve dealt with occasional constipation on and off throughout my life (TMI, but sooo important) and know just how much it can affect my overall well-being. I’m a huge believer in starting from the inside out. Fueling your body with the right types of foods, slowing down, staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep and regular exercise all impact your gut in the very best ways and can be total game-changers; but sometimes you can do everything right and still occasionally get constipated. So, when that happens to me (and it sometimes does – especially during busy travel seasons) I use a non-stimulant laxative like Dulcolax Liquid to help. Tools like this are amazing to relieve my body of occasional constipation and are vital for getting my body back on track when it’s having a tough go of things. It’s gentle and works with my body to create a solution to my digestion’s temporary jam without making me feel like I’m not in control of it.
Now that you have the tools you need to start prioritizing a healthy gut, you can build these easy things into your routine and start seeing results for yourself! We’ve all heard “beauty starts from within”, but I bet you had no idea how much! Wishing you a happy and healthy gut, babe! It’ll make a world of a difference!