7 Easy Ways to Boost Your Gut Health Naturally

Our gut health can influence many other areas of our physical and mental wellbeing. Here’s how you can boost it so you can be as healthy as possible!

7 Easy Ways to Boost Your Gut Health Naturally

Our gut health can influence many other areas of our physical and mental wellbeing. Here’s how you can boost it so you can be as healthy as possible!

Ever wonder why the gut is called the ‘second brain'? Well, it's because your gut plays a huge role in your physical wellbeing and even mental health. From digestion to immunity, your gut microbiome is a community of bacteria and other microorganisms that could make or break your health.

When it comes to continence and gut health, there’s still a lot of research to be done but initial studies have produced findings such as that women with urinary incontinence have different microbiomes than those who don’t have urinary incontinence [1]. Whether this different microbiome causes incontinence or is the consequence of incontinence, is still to be determined but there could be some major findings to come.

It’s also known that a healthy gut should allow regular, painless and ‘normal’ (this can be different between individuals and as per the Bristol stool chart) bowel movements. A healthy gut can also reduce bloating and gas.

With all that being said, we’re here to share seven simple yet effective ways to give your gut some TLC and keep it happy and healthy - so you are too!

1. Get into probiotics

Let's start with the basics – probiotics. These are the good bacteria that populate your gut and keep the bad bacteria at bay. Incorporating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha into your diet can help maintain a healthy balance of gut flora. Pro tip: Look for products labelled with live and active cultures for maximum benefit.

You may have also noticed that you can buy probiotic supplements from the pharmacy, which have been shown to benefit gut health and other health conditions/symptoms [2]. Always speak to your GP before introducing any new supplements or medications into your routine.

2. Include prebiotics too

Now that you’ve learned a bit about probiotics, let’s talk about prebiotics. These essentially act as nourishment for probiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres found in certain foods that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Foods like garlic, onions, bananas, asparagus, and oats are excellent sources of prebiotics. By including these foods in your meals, you'll create an optimal environment for your gut microbiome to thrive.

If you experience incontinence, you might experience certain foods and drinks that can irritate your bladder or bowel. If any of the prebiotic or probiotic foods listed irritate your incontinence in any way, speak to your doctor or a dietitian for a management plan.

To help manage incontinence leaks or voids, ensure you’re using quality, absorbent continence aids such as those in our Dailee range. The pads, guards, pull-ups and slips feature rapid drying 3-channel technology and odour lock control to keep you feeling comfortable and confident.

3. Don’t forget fibre

Fibre acts as fuel for your gut bacteria, promoting their growth and diversity [3]. Aim to include plenty of fibre-rich foods in your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Not only will fibre keep things moving smoothly in your digestive tract, but it also helps reduce inflammation and lower the risk of chronic diseases.

 There can be such a thing as too much fibre in your diet, however, so be sure to speak to your GP or a dietitian for tailored nutritional advice based on your individual needs.

4. Practise mindful eating

In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to wolf down your meals without a second thought. But did you know that how you eat can impact your gut health?

Practising mindful eating – slowing down, chewing your food thoroughly, and paying attention to hunger and fullness cues – can aid digestion, reduce bloating and nutrient absorption. Plus, it helps reduce stress, which is crucial for a healthy gut.

5. Manage stress levels

Speaking of stress... Chronic stress wreaks havoc on your gut health by disrupting the balance of bacteria and increasing inflammation in the digestive tract.

One Norwegian study even found that people with poor mental health (a consequence and/or cause of stress) are 1.5 times more likely to experience incontinence [4].

Incorporating activities that can manage and even reduce stress like yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or spending time in nature can work wonders for your gut and overall well being.

6. Move your body

Believe it or not, exercise isn't just good for your waistline; it's also great for your gut. Regular physical activity helps regulate bowel movements, improves circulation, and reduces inflammation throughout the body, including the gut.

Recent studies also suggest that exercise can enhance the number of beneficial microbial species, enrich the microflora diversity, and improve the development of commensal (‘good’) bacteria [4].

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week to keep things moving smoothly in your digestive tract.

7. Prioritise sleep

Last but certainly not least, don't underestimate the power of a good night's sleep!

Poor sleep habits disrupt the delicate balance of gut bacteria and can contribute to digestive issues like bloating, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to give your gut the rest and repair it needs to function optimally.

And there you have it – seven simple yet effective ways to improve your gut health naturally. By incorporating probiotics, fibre, prebiotics, mindful eating, stress management, exercise, and prioritising sleep into your lifestyle, you'll be well on your way to a happier, healthier gut.

This is general advice only and should not be taken as tailored health advice. You must speak to your GP for guidance and treatment suited to your individual needs.

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