5 Ways To Support Gut Health
Did You Know You’ve Got A Little Ecosystem Inside of You?
Your gut is one of the most incredible and fascinating aspects of your body. Filled with tiny living organisms that help to keep your body functioning as it should, your gut is its own little ecosystem. The idea of having tons of little bacteria in your gut might seem a bit unsettling, but don’t be scared – the good bacteria in your gut are your friends, and it’s your job to take care of them to keep your gut microbiome happy and healthy!
Supporting your gut is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
Supporting your gut helps to support your immune system, may help support your energy levels, and promote healthy bacterial balance.
In this post, we’ll walk you through five simple, practical ways you may support your gut health. Let’s get started!
1. Reduce the Added Sugar Content in Your Diet
Eating lots of processed foods that are high in added sugar can have a negative effect on your gut microbiome. The standard American diet (which ironically has the acronym “SAD”) is packed with added sugar, with the sweet stuff showing up in plenty of unexpected places from spaghetti sauce to protein powder.
When you start paying attention to the added sugar content in your daily diet, you may be amazed by what you find. Added sugar is in many foods that you might eat at every meal – even in so-called “health” foods like yogurt, granola, cereal, and more. It can be tough to cut out added sugar at first, and you may end up having some lingering cravings that are bothersome, to say the least. However, once you get through the first few weeks without added sugar, the cravings should start to subside.
Limiting the added sugar in your diet may be extremely helpful for your gut, but it’s also important to fill in the empty space in your meals with good ingredients instead! Sticking to whole, unprocessed foods may help.
Below are just a few foods to keep an eye on for added sugar levels. These foods might seem like unlikely sugar bombs, but may contain a surprising amount of added sugar:
- Granola and cereal. These breakfast staples sometimes contain a surprising amount of added sugar, which is bad news for gut health. One of the best ways to avoid added sugar content in your breakfast is sticking to whole foods. Oatmeal with berries, seeds, and nuts makes a perfect breakfast that is low in added sugar and high in fiber!
- Coffee (with added creamers and flavoring). Black coffee is completely sugar-free, but many of the additions you might make to your daily cup can be filled with added sugar. If you are visiting a coffee shop each day to grab your favorite latte, try to steer clear of additives like flavored syrups. Specialty coffee drinks can be packed with sweetness, and while they might be tasty, they’re not the best choice for gut health. Stick with tea or black coffee as much as you can, and you should be good to go!
- Premade smoothies and protein shakes. Bottled “nutritional” drinks often contain double-digit levels of added sugar, making them worth avoiding or at least drinking only in moderation. While they may be quick and convenient, these bottled “nutrients to go” may not be the best choice for your gut or your overall health. We recommend making your own homemade smoothies and protein shakes with fresh fruit and wholesome ingredients — you can even use our Organic Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder for a protein shake, or easily add your favorite liquid supplements into your favorite smoothie!
2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep!
While more research needs to be made, there is preliminary evidence that poor gut health may contribute to less quality sleep, too. Additionally, another study found that sleep deprivation may lead to changes in the gut microbiome. It’s a vicious cycle – poor sleep may mean poor gut health, and poor gut could lead to exhaustion. That’s a hamster wheel you don’t want to end up in!
In The Art of Health for Busy People, MaryRuth suggests aiming for eight hours of sleep each night. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that when it comes to the sleep you get every night, it’s about more than just quantity – quality of sleep matters, too.
If you are waking up after a full night of sleep and still not feeling rested, it may mean you are not getting deep enough sleep.
Below are a few simple habits to put into practice to help improve your sleep quality:
- Power down before bed. The blue light that emanates from your devices’ screens might mess with your sleep quality. Blue light may disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm, which signals when it’s time to sleep and wake. By switching off your devices an hour before bed, you can prepare your body and mind ready for rest. If you need to be on a screen before bed, try wearing blue light-filtering glasses or using an app that filters blue light.
- Get some exercise! Not only does exercise help you blow off some steam and help maintain a healthy mood, but it may also help to get your sleep schedule back on track. When you get even 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise each day, you’re likely to sleep more restfully at night.
- Calm yourself down. Meditating, listening to calming music, or doing some light reading before bed may settle your mind down and get you ready for rest. Calming sleep supplements like MaryRuth’s Valerian Root may also play a supporting role!
3. Get Enough Fiber in Your Diet
High-fiber foods are great for your gut. In addition to lowering the added sugar content in your diet, one of the best ways to feed your gut microbiome what it may need is to add fibrous foods into your daily meals.
Below is a list of a few, whole, healthy foods that contain fiber content to include in your everyday diet.
- Berries. Also have antioxidants, which are vital nutrients for your body’s overall health, you may want to eat a handful of these delicious fruits — or more!
- Cruciferous veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables contain fiber, and may be great for your gut! The fiber content in these veggies may also help to make them extra filling, helping you to walk away from each meal feeling satisfied without adding too many calories to your plate.
- Oatmeal. A great low-sugar, fiber-filled breakfast food, oatmeal is delicious and can be made without sugar. Instead of eating a bowl of sugary cereal or a sweetened granola bar in the morning, grab a bowl of yummy oats!
- Legumes. Beans, peas, lentils, and other legumes contain fiber. They’re also reliable sources of plant-based protein! Adding some legumes to your meals is easy, and it’s great for your muscles thanks to their protein content.
4. Enjoy Some Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are known for having probiotics, which means they’re great for your gut. There are plenty of excellent fermented foods and drinks to include in your diet that are compliant with a plant-based lifestyle. Some of them are kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, and miso.
Adding fermented foods to your diet can support your gut microbiome with probiotics. These fermented foods are filled with live bacteria that are beneficial for gut health – and they’re tasty, too!
While fermented foods are delicious to many people, others find them a little bit… strange. If you are not a fan of the taste of fermented foods and drinks, then our final tip may be great for you!
5. Take a High-Quality Probiotic Supplement
If you don’t love the taste of fermented foods and drinks like kimchi and kombucha, you can support your gut with probiotics in the form of a high-quality supplement. MaryRuth’s Liquid Probiotic is super easy to take each day, completely raw, vegan, and sourced directly from Mother Nature: extracted with water from a proprietary blend of three organic grasses.
Taking our liquid probiotic each day is a great habit to support your gut health, which in turn may support energy levels, support immune function, and more!
Supporting your gut is simple, and it can start with a liquid probiotic from MaryRuth's!
Combine your daily dose of liquid probiotics with a healthy diet packed with whole, high-fiber, low-sugar foods, and you’ll be well on your way to supporting better gut health.
A healthy gut may mean a healthier body overall, and that’s always an investment worth making. You deserve to feel great and stay healthy, and supplying your gut with what it needs may be an easy place to start!