Your second brain - tips for a healthier gut
If you have ever felt queasy during a stressful time in your life, then you know just how powerful our gut-brain connection is. This impressive communication system is called the gut-brain axis, and research has shown that not only does the brain affect the gut, but the gut may also affect the brain.
Being chronically stressed can cause stomach- churning and all of those uncomfortable digestive symptoms. However, having gut health issues may also make us more susceptible to feelings of stress and anxiety as well. It’s a domino effect and a big reason to take our gut health seriously.
Let’s take a look at the role of diet, and the amazingly nutrient-dense plant-based foods you can enjoy to supercharge your gut health for better overall health.
A Plant-Based Approach to a Healthier Gut
#1 Up Your Plant-Based Intake of Probiotic-Rich Foods: Probiotic-rich foods are gut-health superfoods. They feed the healthy bacteria in the gut, a key part of balancing your gut bacteria. Focus on foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, and kombucha for a powerful probiotic boost.
#2 Enjoy More Prebiotic Foods: Prebiotics are pretty much food for the probiotics, and there are lots of plant-based prebiotic-rich options. Get lots of garlic, onions, bananas, and Jerusalem artichokes in your diet. These are all nutrient-dense foods to help support digestive function and even support a healthy inflammatory response in the body.
#3 Reduce Stress: If a sudden wave of nausea or a chronic stomach ache always comes on during times of major stress, it all has to do with that gut-brain connection. Stress has been linked to the onset and the worsening of symptoms related to IBD, IBS, acid reflux, and even ulcers. So, here’s just one more reason to make self-care a priority. Show yourself some love by reducing your stress on a daily basis. Even just managing to do five minutes of meditation, or getting out for a walk to unwind after work can have a huge impact on both your mental and physical health.
#4 Get Enough Plant-Based Protein: Need another reason to add even more plant-based foods to your diet? Eating more plant-based foods can improve your gut health as can getting enough fiber to help support the gut microbiome. Get lots of fruits, veggies, legumes, and superfoods seeds like flax and chia in your diet for better gut health.
Improve Your Diet Improve Your Gut
So much of overall gut health involves supporting the balance of gut bacteria, and a large part of this has to do with diet. The bottom line is that the more plant-based, fiber-rich, and probiotic-rich foods you eat, the better your gut health. So, go ahead and eat all the plants. Both your mind and your body will thank you for it.
Read more about Probiotics - Your Best Friend Around The Holidays.