Looking for ways to ramp up your brainpower , boost your beauty , increase your immunity , improve your digestion and lift your mood ? Taking better care of your gut health could reap all these rewards and more.
The gut is sometimes referred to as the ‘second brain’, and has been deemed the locus of everything from serotonin production and mental wellbeing, to immune-response and stress-moderation.
There are a number of things you can do to improve your gut health, achieve better digestion and get glowing skin, and we have covered some of the best routes to a healthy gut below.
Read on and discover the steps you should be taking each and every day if you want to improve your overall wellbeing:
1. Increase your intake of probiotic-rich foods
Probiotics help to encourage a better balance of ‘good’ bacteria in your gut. This good bacteria is needed by your body for effective nutrient absorption from the foods you eat, whilst simultaneously helping to protect you from germs and harmful microorganisms. Think of them like your gut’s personal security guards: they let the good guys in and keep the bad guys out.
Studies have shown that increasing the amount of probiotic-rich foods in your diet could improve your immune response in a matter of weeks. People also reported improved mood and greater satisfaction with the appearance of their skin and hair after upping their intake of fermented foods.
Try adding more fermented foods such as yoghurt (both dairy and non-dairy are good sources), kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso into your daily food routine to increase the number of healthy bacteria living in your gut.
2. Ramp up your consumption of prebiotics too
Probiotics and prebiotics work as a team. Prebiotics are a form of dietary fibre that are needed to effectively ‘feed’ the good bacteria once it’s been established. Therefore, prebiotics help to encourage the flourishing of the good bacteria and keep your defences strong over time. It is important to consume both probiotics and prebiotics for your gut health to thrive.
Some great dietary sources of prebiotic fibre are chicory root (often consumed as a delicious non-caffeinated alternative to your morning coffee), flaxseeds, oats, apples, Jerusalem artichoke, almost all alliums (garlic, onion and leek especially) and bananas.
3. Avoid antibiotics whenever possible
These days, antibiotics are an easy go-to and are often prescribed for viruses and infections. They can be a really important tool for fighting dangerous illness, but be warned about their overuse as they can be really detrimental to your gut flora and can have net negative effects on your overall health and immunity in the long-run. One of the main reasons for this is that most antibiotics that are prescribed are what we call ‘broad-spectrum’, meaning that they have been designed to wipe out all the bacteria in your gut - the bad bacteria that are causing the illness in the first place, but also the good bacteria that are your natural defences against the next bout of illness. Over time, and if consumption is too liberal, antibiotics can have a lasting negative effect on your body’s willingness to accommodate the growth of good bacteria altogether.
The bottom line: only take antibiotics when it is absolutely necessary.
4. Reduce your consumption of sugars and artificial sweeteners
High-sugar diets can result in inflammation and an imbalance in gut bacteria. Furthermore, higher consumption of sugar has been shown to speed up the skin’s natural ageing process, as well to negatively impact mood and increase instances of anxiety. Likewise, sweeteners, particularly those containing aspartame, have been linked to poor gut health. These artificial sweeteners might actually be worse for your gut and for your overall health than straight-up sugar; studies have shown that the effect of sweeteners on the microbiome could lead to a risk of developing diabetes that far exceeds the risk associated with sugar. Put the Splenda down!
When it comes to sweetened beverages, try swapping out your usual sugar or sweetener for a good quality, high-grade honey. Honey has been recognised as potentially containing prebiotic compounds and has been shown to deplete probiotic presence in the gut at a significantly slower rate than other sugars.
Applesauce is a great option for replacing sugar or sweetener in baking and has the added benefit of being a prebiotic itself.
5. Consider taking a supplement
Probiotic supplements are an easy and efficient way to give your gut what it needs, and quickly.
If you want to improve your mental health, enhance the appearance of your skin, strengthen hair and nails, or boost your immunity quickly and sustainably, then taking a probiotic supplement can be a great option. By combining a supplement with the other tips and tricks outlined above you will experience results even sooner.
To boost your physical and mental wellbeing further you should consider supplementing with LYMA. The ultimate supplement, LYMA contains eight peer-reviewed, patented ingredients that have been formulated with the precise goal of helping you to become the best possible version of you. The perfectly balanced formula engenders results beyond what you can hope to achieve through diet alone. Ask yourself: are you reaching your full potential? LYMA can help you to answer “yes”.
Originally published Aug 28, 2020.
Written by LYMA Wellness Team.