Have you ever heard of ‘gut health’? The term has picked up popularity on Tik Tok recently, now with over 436 million views under #guttok, and many discovering the importance of maintaining gut health – plus, what happens when your gut isn’t well, with many reporting bloating, acne and much more.
What is gut health?
Gut health, also known as gut microbiota, is the name given to the trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in the gastrointestinal tract. The gut microbiota has many functions, including helping to digest food, absorbing nutrients, and providing protection against harmful bacteria. The gut microbiota is believed to play a role in a wide range of conditions and diseases, including obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and gut infections.
How can you improve your gut health?
- Eating a healthy diet: Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fibre and low in processed foods, sugar, and saturated fat can help to encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
- Taking probiotics: Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be found in fermented foods such as yogurt or taken as supplements. Probiotics can help to restore the balance of gut bacteria if it has been disrupted by antibiotics or other medications.
- Avoiding processed foods: Processed foods often contain additives and sweeteners that can damage gut health. Limit your intake of processed foods and opt for fresh, whole foods instead.
- Exercising regularly: Exercise has been shown to promote gut health by improving blood flow and reducing inflammation.
- Reducing stress: Stress can have a negative impact on gut health by altering hormones and increasing inflammation. Try to reduce stress through relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation.