Lisa Grey is BePure's Lead Researcher and Clinic Manager and has worked in health and fitness for more than ten years. Lisa specialises in women's health, hormonal well-being, mental health, fatigue, and gut health and has shared with us her favourite ways to improve our gut health and make sure it's working hard to keep us well.
No matter what stage of the wellness journey you're at, making your gut health a top priority is always a good idea!
Health and wellbeing are not destinations we arrive at, but rather a journey made up of a series of habits and decisions we make every day.
This statement could not me more true for our gut health!
Our gut is where we digest and absorb what we eat. Whilst we are what we ingest, we are, more importantly, what we absorb. Our gut microbes help us to digest and absorb what we eat, but also have the ability to make a number of happy neuro-chemicals that promote good mental wellbeing.
These gut bugs also play a key role in our immunity. In fact, a vast proportion of our immune system resides within our gut and is heavily influenced by our microbiome.
The diversity and abundance of our microbiome - the mix of gut bugs that live within us - support our wellbeing in so many wondrous ways, making them a crucial component of every individual health journey.
In summary, our gut health is vital for a well-functioning body and mind.
- We need a diverse array of good gut bugs to keep our immune system strong and primed for action in the presence of invading microbes and viruses.
- We need a healthy gut to have a healthy brain and body. The neuro-chemicals our bugs make act as our communication system which influences our mental and physical wellbeing.
- We need an abundant and diverse microbiome to extract nutrition from our food and foster good detoxification and elimination.
- Our gut health is crucial to all aspects of our wellbeing.
Luckily for us, there are several easy steps we can take every day to make sure you are actively helping your gut bugs and digestive system.
Changes to lifestyle:
- Chew your food until liquid to make sure it is broken down well - just the way your microbes like it! Remember there are not teeth past your mouth - chewing is the first step in digestion and sets up the whole digestive process.
- Stimulate your digestive system and ensure the environment within your gut is perfect for your microbes. Add in a digestive aid to help support your internal digestive organs and/or start the day with a gut-stimulating warm water and lemon.
- Opt for whole foods as often as possible - these are the foods nature made to feed our microbes. Remember if we feed them, they feed us.
- Include plants with every main meal. This means adding an abundance of coloured vegetables and fruits to all breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Aim for 2 fists as every main meal.
- Incorporate bone broths into your daily regime - Bone broth contains healing compounds such as: gelatine & collagen and healing amino acids like proline, glycine and glutamine. Bone Broth contains essential amino acids and trace minerals our gut needs to stay health and help it heal.
Eat fermented foods daily to support our microbiome with an abundance of fibre and friendly good bacteria.
- Opt for a feeding window of 10-14 hours. This adds a 12-14 hour daily fasting window which aids digestion, fosters microbiome diversity and helps maintain our internal sleep-wake cycle.
- Drink water and stay hydrated - we need good hydration for regular bowel motions. Aim to sip water throughout the day and avoid gulping water at meal times to optimise the acid levels in your stomach that are needed for optimal digestion.
Our stress response hinders us from resting and digesting. Aim to do one restorative activity each day to help provide your body with more time in rest and digest mode. This could be as simple as some deep belly breathing, a yoga class, a meditation session, or lying on the floor with your legs up the wall for 10 minutes.
Exercise regularly - exercise improves our microbiome diversity and helps with keeping our bowels regular.
Sleep 7-9 hours each night - this is our time of day we do most of our resting and digesting and is when our microbiome is very active.
Know how fast or slow your bowels move - Faster and slower movement of food from your mouth to the toilet bowl changes the mix of good bugs in your gut. Aim for a 12-24 hour movement window and decent daily sausage-like bowel movement.
Take time to get out in nature for at least 30 minutes, three times a week. Exposure to natural microbe-rich environments fosters our own microbiome diversity and overall health.
Remember the what, how, and when of digestion:
We can take control of our digestive comfort each time we eat and drink.
- Remember what you eat can impact not just weight but also impacts our mood, digestion, sleep, vitality, immune system and skin health.
- Remember how we eat can impact all these same things. We can support our digestive processes by using digestive aids, chewing thoroughly, eating in a calm state and preparing our bodies for food.
- Remember when we eat can impact the diversity and health of our microbiome and that giving our digestive system a break can make it work more efficiently.
Have you got any more tips that work for you? Let us know on Instagram @bepurewellness or email us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.