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How To Improve Gut Health Naturally

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Gut health is important, as your gut and the healthy bacteria that live within it are responsible for breaking down and absorbing the nutrients that fuel the body’s functions.
  • Important foods for gut health include probiotics, prebiotics, whole grains, and fiber.
  • To create the healthiest possible environment for your gut microbiome, you should avoid foods like highly processed and sugary foods.
  • Other ways to improve gut health include lifestyle habits like healthy sleep, proper hydration, and stress management techniques.

Improving Gut Health

If you’ve ever been told to listen to your gut, that advice is more valuable than you could imagine. The gut has several important functions in the body, sustains its own fascinating microbiome, and is often considered the body’s second brain. Altogether, gut health has important implications for your overall health and wellness.

With its underrated importance of the gut, it’s essential that we take steps to keep this system and everything that lives within it as healthy as possible. Understanding how to improve your gut health naturally will help you improve your overall health in several ways, like boosting energy, cleansing toxins, supporting weight loss, and more.

The Importance of Gut Health

The gut is likely the most underrated system in the body. An unhealthy gut has more implications than an occasional stomachache. Keeping your gut healthy can have an important impact on the health of nearly every system in the body.

The primary function of the gut is to break down the foods we eat and absorb the nutrients they provide. It serves as a central hub that brings in these nutrients so they can be distributed to various parts of the body and support their necessary functions, ensuring that our body and its systems operate smoothly.  

To digest the foods we eat, our digestive systems rely on healthy bacteria to break down the food and produce enzymes that allow us to absorb the nutrients. The gut contains an astonishing approximate 100 trillion bacteria in the digestive system. These bacteria are known as the gut microbiota. Without a healthy gut and thriving microbiome, the body may have difficulty processing food to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste.

The gut is also a fascinating system. Research has shown that the gut also has an important influence on several other parts of the body, highlighting that its many functions are often overlooked. The gut has also developed a reputation as a second brain, as it is connected to the nervous system and can even influence our mood.

With all of these factors combined, we shouldn’t overlook the value of maintaining a healthy gut.

Best Foods for Gut Health

The gut contains a biome of important bacteria that breaks down the foods we eat, supports in digestion, and influences how well we absorb nutrients. When we feed ourselves, we should be feeding these bacteria as well to keep that microbiome healthy and happy. The foods you eat influence the environment in your gut, determining whether your gut microbiome will have the fuel it needs to thrive.

Some of the best foods to eat for gut health include:

  • Probiotics – Probiotics are living microorganisms found in some foods that help provide reinforcements to the organisms in your gut. These include foods like yogurt, kimchi, and other fermented foods.
  • Whole grains – Whole grains take longer for your body to break down, meaning they make it farther down the digestive tract to provide food for your gut bacteria. These include brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole wheat.
  • Fiber – Bacteria in your gut eat fiber, producing fatty acids that create a more positive environment for other healthy microorganisms to thrive. Sources of fiber include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Prebiotics – Different from probiotics that feed, prebiotics create a positive environment for bacteria to live. Some prebiotics include garlic, bananas, onions, and seaweed.

Feeding your gut with these foods is a valuable step toward improved gut health, but keep in mind that it takes time to build up a healthy microbiome. For example, you can’t just clean your house once—to keep it tidy, you have to take consistent steps to build the healthy environment you want.

Maintaining a regular diet over time that includes the above foods will allow you to foster a healthy gut microbiome for long-term health and wellness.

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Foods That Negatively Affect Gut Health

Although eating positive foods has an important impact on your gut environment, it’s important to know which foods you should avoid as well so you can preserve that environment without damaging it. Eating a regular diet of french fries, soda, and other fried foods will create a more toxic environment for your gut microbiome.

Avoiding foods that can damage this environment will ensure you have a gut where healthy bacteria can thrive.

You should avoid the following foods:

  • Sugar
  • Fatty foods
  • Fried foods
  • Highly processed foods, like lunch meats
  • Processed grains, like bread and white rice

These foods, such as processed grains, are broken down higher up in the digestive tract, so they never make it down to the gut where the microbiome lives, essentially starving this healthy bacteria. They can also cause inflammation which can lead to discomfort in the intestines and create an inhospitable environment for your gut bacteria.

The Role of Probiotics & Fermented Foods

There are several foods that support your gut health and microbiome, but probiotics and fermented foods deserve their own unique recognition for the important role they play. Probiotics are foods and supplements with living bacteria that can boost your gut microbiome.

By introducing healthy bacteria into your gut microbiome, it allows for more biodiversity and the growth of more healthy bacteria that can aid in digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall intestinal health.

It’s important to note that eating probiotics shouldn’t be a one-off decision. For real improvements in your microbiome, you should be eating probiotics on a regular basis to bolster the biodiversity. Fermented foods are a great option for getting these probiotics, as the fermentation process involves the introduction of microbes into the foods.

To get more probiotics in your daily routine, consider adding the following:

Lifestyle Habits That Promote Gut Health

Nutrition isn’t the only lifestyle factor that influences your gut health, as your everyday habits can also have a key impact. All the following factors can play a part in impacting your gut health.

Proper Sleep

If you’ve ever experienced nausea after a night of missing out on sleep, it should be no surprise. Poor sleep can affect your gut health in multiple ways, like increasing the risk of gastrointestinal diseases and affecting the biodiversity of your gut microbiome. A lack of sleep can also spark pesky cravings, causing you to eat more sugary and fatty foods, which will have an impact on your gut health.

Managing Stress

Stress can disrupt your digestive health in a variety of ways, even playing a role in gastrointestinal disorders. This stress will not only lead to discomfort, but also create an unhealthy environment for your gut microbiota to thrive. Stress increases the production of cortisol, which can reduce the biodiversity of your gut microbiome and even affect nutrient absorption.

In times of stress, it’s important to turn to stress management techniques like engaging in your favorite hobbies, practicing mindfulness strategies, and listening to your favorite music.

Staying hydrated

Water is important for the functioning of all your organs, and the gut is no exception. Water helps to keep food moving through the digestive system, enhances nutrient absorption, and supports the elimination of waste. Drinking water can also affect the health and diversity of your gut microbiome. You should try to drink at least 104 ounces of water a day.

Improve Your Gut Health Holistically

Gut health is much more important than we realize. Because the gut is crucial for breaking down and absorbing nutrients, our gut health can impact all our body’s systems. Taking charge of the health of your microbiome will bring about positive results for weight loss too.

At re:vitalize weight loss and wellness, we prioritize healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices as part of all our programs. Our holistic Weight Loss & Metabolic Reset programs and Flexible Weight Loss programs are centered around fueling your body with the right nutrients, supporting your gut health along with your overall wellness.

Using our BioScan™ technology, our team of board-certified nutritionists and expert weight loss coaches will help you determine the optimal nutrients for your weight loss and wellness.

Schedule a consultation with our team today to get started on your journey to a healthier gut and overall wellness.

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