These tips will help you maintain good gut health
There is a strong connection between your gut, bacteria and your immune system. But I hear you thinking: how do I take good care of my gut! Below you will find a few nutrition and lifestyle tips for good intestinal health and to keep your immune system up to speed!
1. Avoid large amounts of gluten and cow milk
When you eat gluten, it mainly causes inflammatory reactions in the intestinal lining of the small intestine. The immune system reaction to the intake of gluten can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, depression and weight loss. This is not the case for everyone, but because of this, we recommended to avoid large amounts of gluten and try gluten-free options. Fun fact: it seems like there are some gluten in oatmeal, yet oatmeal is naturally gluten-free. At least you don’t have to pass up those delicious overnight oats! 😉
If you are lactose intolerant, it basically means that when you eat or drink a product that contains lactose, your body cannot digest it properly. If you drink milk, for example, you may suffer from it. Lactose ends up undigested in the intestines where it ferments. This happens because bacteria are broken down, and gases and acids are produced during the breakdown. This can lead to a bloated feeling, diarrhea or rumbling in the intestines. Not fun at all! Small amounts of lactose can also have a stimulating effect. So you don’t have to give up every milk product if you can tolerate lactose!
2. Eat as pure, varied and healthy as possible
It is important to take in as many vitamins and minerals as possible for your immune system. You get these from fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grain products, unroasted nuts, fresh herbs, legumes and spices. It is important that you eat as little processed food as possible. So no chemical additives, preservatives, colorings and flavorings. These are unnatural substances that cause a build-up of toxins in your body and make you sick faster. Furthermore, a balanced diet is important, because every product contains different nutrients that your intestines can use well.
3. Learn to recognize stress early
Your nervous system also plays an important role in the functioning of your immune system. The nervous system consists of an action and rest part. In a healthy body, there is a good balance between action and rest. Your body comes into action because of triggers and this causes stress. These triggers can come from outside and inside. Stress weakens the gut flora and therefore has a double impact on your immune system: a direct defense and also through the relationship between the gut and the immune system. Stress can upset your gut and stress can disrupt your sleep, which in turn causes poor sleep rhythm and poorly functioning gut. Try to spot stress as early as possible so you can intervene.
4. Ensure regularity in your sleep and exercise pattern
Sleep is the key to a well-functioning life and body. For our biological rhythm and health it is good to go to bed at almost the same time every day and to get up around the same time. Two hormones in our body are very important for a good night’s sleep, namely serotonin and melatonin. These are mainly produced in the colon. Therefore, if your intestines are not working properly, this has an impact on the production of these hormones.
That exercise is healthy is not an unknown fact. Yet it is still quite difficult to reach your daily 10,000 steps and to exercise 3 times a week for at least 20 minutes intensively. However, this is very important for good (intestinal) health. For example, go for a walk during your lunch break or go for a walk in the evening after dinner instead of watching Netflix for an hour.