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Interest in gut health has soared over the last few years, though it is difficult to know what is actually beneficial and what is a total waste of time and a waste of your hard-earned cash. Many people have jumped on the topic and it’s gone a little bonkers. You don’t have to spend your cash on expensive supplements, or do the latest yoga craze to get some ‘zen’. There are some really simple yet SO effective steps you can take towards glowing gut health. Here are some of our top ones.
We want you to image your stomach is a football stadium (bear with us). The match comes to and end and everyone needs to leave the arena. If everyone leaves at once, the sheer volume of people trying to pass through the small gates can put pressure on the structure. This is exactly what happens when you eat excessively large portions. When your stomach is ready to pass food into your small bowel, if your portions are too big your small bowel will be overloaded and struggle to manage the sheer volume of food which can put unnecessary strain on the delicate gut lining. Try to eat sensible portions at regular intervals to keep your bowels ticking over nicely.
Being dehydrated not only impacts every metabolic function in the body, but it has a huge impact on our gut health. Keeping hydrated is super important not only to help us break our food down, but also to help us to pass food and waste products through our bowels. A happy gut is one that can keep running without drying up! Sip sip sip ladies.
Disturbed sleep patterns have the ability to interrupt a whole host of hormones as well as make us feel pretty crap. Disturbed sleep patterns can alter our hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin, but can also disturb our fight or flight hormone cortisol. Cortisol’s role is to get us fired up to run, perform or ‘fight’ (hence the name fight or flight). High circulating levels of cortisol can affect our guts and make them a little unhappy. So schedule in those zzz’s and reap the benefits.
Try to include 30 different types of plant-based foods in your diet every week. It may sound like a lot, but this includes all fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and grain products (bread, pasta etc). Think outside the box and remember foods like peanut butter, rye bread, oats and whole wheat pasta count towards this! Why not try setting yourself a goal to buy a different fruit or vegetable each week to keep it interesting.