If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution that you can stick to, aiming to improve the health of your gut should definitely feature. Your gut is responsible for keeping your well being on track.
Digestion for health
The digestive tract is truly a remarkable thing, capable of affecting almost every aspect of our entire body, from our skin to our mood. The bacteria in your gut don’t just digest the food you put into your body, they also contribute towards the upkeep of both your physical and mental health.
You might think your gut health starts with what you put in your mouth, but in truth, it starts with the bacteria that live in your digestive tract. Without them breaking down your food and turning it from its whole into its constituent parts, your body wouldn’t be able to gain any benefits from it.
Living inside your digestive tract are billions of bacteria. While the majority of them are ‘good’, there are also some ‘bad’ ones. And it’s the job of the good bacteria to keep the bad ones in check (as well as enable your digestion). This happy equilibrium of good bacteria to bad bacteria is what keeps your body functioning as it smoothly as possible.
It’s when the balance is upset that problems can occur. So how do you ensure that your gut health remains in tip top condition?
Keep your microbiome in check
Your microbiome is the collective noun for all the bacteria that lives inside your body. To keep your microbiome in check, rather than opting for a generic, off the shelf probiotic supplement to give your gut bacteria a helping hand, take some time to figure out what strains of bacteria are missing from your particular gut. You can test for this, which will usually involve a poo sample, but don’t worry, it’s all very discrete!
Those stories that you read in the papers about how chocolate and red wine are good for your health may seem like fake news, but for once, they’re not.
Studies have revealed that those of us who consume red wine tend to have a more diverse gut microbiome than those who don’t. Why? Because red wine contains polyphenols, a vital energy source for gut bacteria.
Don’t drink? You can reap the same rewards through eating dark chocolate too.
Is there nothing sleep can’t cure? From enabling tissues to heal themselves, to allowing growth hormones to work their magic, sleep is pretty much a one stop shop for treating all ailments.
And if you’re struggling with your digestive health, guess what? It’ll impact the quality of your sleep. So if you want to keep your digestive system in check, make sure you get a good 8 hours.
Dr. Edward Beeman was onto something when he invented Beeman’s Gum way back in 1879. He took a fun product, gum, added in pepsin powder (a known digestive aid) and turned chewing gum from a mundane activity to one of the easiest ways to give your digestive system a helping hand.