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Strategies for a Healthy Gut

By Sara Butler

Your gut has a very intricate job to do. It has to make sure you get fed, which involves a lot of different steps that includes breaking food down in the stomach and small intestine so the body can absorb the nutrients, then converting all of the things you don’t need into waste so you can get rid of it. When everything is working the way it is supposed to, you’re able to just chug along, healthy and happily oblivious. But when something isn’t right ... you know. Here are a few strategies you can use to keep your gut, and the rest of you, healthy!

Avoid Overuse of Antibiotics

It’s no secret antibiotics are overly prescribed, which is a problem for the world as well as your gut. When you take antibiotics, it can be weeks or months for your little community of microbes that call your gut home to get back to normal. This doesn’t mean you should always refuse antibiotics since they obviously are needed in some cases, but you should ask questions to ensure they’re really needed before taking a course.

Throw Your Window Open

Would it surprise you to find out, on average, people spend 90 percent of their time indoors? Sure, it’s nice to have shelter from the elements and if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, a good indoor space will come in handy. However, being inside so much has changed the diversity of the microbes that share your home with you. When you get some air flowing through from the outside, you are encouraging more microbial diversity, which has a direct impact on your gut!

Eat Plants More

This doesn’t mean you have to become vegan or even vegetarian, but when you incorporate a lot of natural fiber from plants in your diet it encourages a diverse microbiome in your gut. This is due to the fact your gut microbes thrive on dietary fiber, but not all fiber is created equal. You need to make sure you’re getting many different sources to keep your gut bacteria healthy.

Also, try to eat more parts of the plants than you would have in the past. This will guarantee more diversity in dietary fiber for your gut than you were getting before – it will open you up to some new and tasty experiences.

Remember, being good to your gut is important, which makes learning new habits important. Don’t be afraid to dig in and get a little dirty as you encourage more diversity in your gut – it will pay off!

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