You’ve heard the hype about gut health. Having the right microbiomes in your gut could support your immune system leading to fewer risks when it comes to illnesses and diseases. The takeaway is clear – the more you look after your gut health, the better prepared your body will be when it comes to fighting off any nasty viruses in the future.
That’s not all. There could be a surprising connection between your mental health and this part of your wellness. Experts have also found a link between the bacteria in your gut and the moods that you experience on a day-to-day basis. Those with high levels of gut health are often found to be less anxious and depressed than the rest of us.
With that in mind, taking care of your gut should be a top priority, but where should you start? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got you covered. Here are a few tips to help you along the way to better gut health.
Snack on walnuts
We already know that nuts are a great source of plant-based protein, but could they affect the health of your gut? The next time you’re feeling a little peckish and want to snack on some savoury eats, having a handful of walnuts might not be such a bad idea.
Research from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center suggests that these nuts could promote your general health by changing your gut bacteria makeup.
“Walnuts have been called a ‘superfood’ because they are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linoleic acid and fiber, and they contain one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants,” explains Dr. Byerley. “Now, an additional superfood benefit of walnuts may be their beneficial changes to the gut microbiota.”
Keep your heart healthy
What does your heart have to do with your gut health? Well, according to new research, a whole lot more than you might expect. The first of its kind study from San Francisco State University found that there was an undeniably link between the condition of the heart and someone’s overall gut health.
Those with high levels of cardiovascular fitness had a higher firmicutes to bacteroides ratio. Since firmicutes are associated with the prevention of the dreaded ‘leaky gut,’ these results suggest that keeping your heart healthy could be the answer. Graduate student and study author, Ryan Durk, says that this enforces the idea of ‘exercise as medicine.’
“When we say that phrase, we think of it as meaning that exercise will help people stay healthier and live longer. But you don’t think about your gut bacteria,” stated Durk. “We now know that exercise is crucial for increasing beneficial bacteria in the gut.”
Get you probiotic fix
One of the simplest changes you can make to your lifestyle is introducing more probiotics into your diet. Researchers have noted that doing so could ‘restore the composition of the gut microbiome and introduce beneficial functions to gut microbial communities.’
Experts also suggest that it can help prevent gut inflammation and other intestinal problems in the long run. In simple terms that means that probiotic-rich food could help you to keep your gut working as it should.
Wondering how to get your probiotic fix? There are plenty of ways to include more of this stuff in your current day-to-day diet. Fermented food is often rich in these types of live bacteria. That’s why eating plant-based kimchi offers some strikingly impressive probiotic benefits. Other options include sauerkraut, pickles, and kombucha.
Looking after your health is something of a balancing act. To get it right, you need to keep adapting your lifestyle and diet until you figure out what works for you. Embarking on a plant-based journey could be the ideal way to start your path to overall better health.