5 Different Ways I Can Heal My Gut
We will discuss the importance of gut health in this blog, a term you may be familiar with. You might be surprised how health and happiness coincide with a healthy gut. Una Biologicals remains adamant that we want you to live your healthiest and happiest life so consider taking this information to heart, or should we say gut!
What exactly is my gut?
Going back to the information you may have learned in anatomy, (which we don’t blame you if you’ve forgotten) your gut is where the food you eat breaks down. It absorbs the nutrients that our bodies need that then affect our energy, hormones, skin, mental health and even waste movements.
“Listen to your gut.”
Think about when your stomach grumbles, that is your gut speaking to you. You know then that you must consume food, and in the same respect, when your stomach is upset that may be your sign to run to the restroom!
Why is my health important
Well, as we touched on before, your gut processes the food we eat. It comes as no surprise that unless you eat a perfectly balanced diet (which face it, who really does?) the fast food and sweets we tend to eat from time to time can really mess up our digestion. If your gut already struggles without the additive of unhealthy foods, imagine how much harder it is for it when filled with unhealthy substances.
Speaking of substances, this deals with alcohol as well. Among the many different problems that come with the excessive consumption of alcohol, your gut is directly affected. In fact, it prevents the natural breakdown of nutrients. If your food is partially digested, it causes excessive fermentation which leads to bloating, gas, etc. So while all those nights out may be fun, it is important to consider the consequences.
With this said, irregularity in the gut is a very common thing, around 70 million Americans deal with digestive diseases.
Our digestion system functions like a machine, if part of that machine is lagging, the rest will in turn, be affected. The numerous bacterias’, viruses and fungi that immune cells would normally fight will alter your digestive system. Essentially you will be fighting 10x harder.
What can I look out for
The best thing to do in these situations is to be aware. Make sure you are listening to your body. Here are a few of the most common symptoms an unhealthy gut may be feeling.
These are some of the most common signs that you may have that you can later identify with your gut. If ignored these symptoms can lead to more serious conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, commonly known as IBS, or leaky gut syndrome (which we will touch on later).
Even more serious to look out for would be noticing the level of inflammation in your body. An excessive amount could be responsible for the development of an autoimmune disease. This will directly affect your digestive system.
If you feel that you align with a few or even most of these symptoms be aware of the direction you might be headed.
With that said though, you can achieve gut health. We will list to you a few of the best ways to do this. Keep in mind this will of course require some life changes, there is no once simple remedy to a healthy gut!
#1 Consuming nutritious foods
The best way to heal the gut is to improve your diet. While this may be difficult at times, it has proven to be the most effective change.
When you eat a well-balanced diet, you are receiving both fiber and good bacteria that will then be used to aid your gut health. On the other hand, over-processed foods do the opposite. They tend to contain added sugars, fat and salt. You are not getting nearly as many nutrients.
In general, a nutritious diet benefits more than just your gut so honestly, it’s a win-win.
Some nutritious foods that you should implement into your diet include:
If you need something sweet, dark chocolate is a great option. Not only is it sweet, but dark chocolate is also nutritious. It has a high cocoa content, while also being high in iron, magnesium, copper and manganese. Una Biologicals sells a delicious dark chocolate bar called, Seattle Chocolate. It is ethically sourced with carefully selected ingredients.
You could also implement a scientific-based diet plan referred to as FODMAP. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. All of these nutrients contribute to stomach pain and bloating.
FODMAP limits the ingredients that result in digestive problems. It offers foods that will benefit the gut.
Be sure to check out a plan like this if you need a specific focus.
#2 Prioritize that sleep schedule
This is a nice one. Who doesn’t love sleep? Sleeping the appropriate amount of time (7-9 hours) will do wonders for your body.
How does it affect your gut health? Well, let us tell you. Your gut is impacted by the amount of sleep you have. Why is that? Simple, stress and bad habits. Lack of sleep results in unbalanced hormones which directly affect cortisol, the stress hormone. Too much stress can lead to leaky gut syndrome.
Lack of sleep has also been known to affect our dietary choices. Hunger-controlled hormones become disorganized by sleep deprivation which in turn can lead to an increased appetite. You might turn to quick-energy foods that involve ingredients like processed carbs, sugar and trans fat.
Late-night snacks, we’re all guilty of it. Well, studies show you shouldn’t be consuming foods three hours before you go to sleep. You’re forcing your body to deal with digestion and absorption rather than doing its normal job which is to recuperate from the day.
A common problem people have though that we take into account is the ability to fall asleep. For some, it can be a rather difficult task.
Tips Una Biological recommends for better sleep:
- We recommend turning off all screens an hour before bed.
- Decrease alcohol consumption
- Engage your brain in different stimulating ways (crosswords, meditation, reading a book, etc.)
Among other tips, essential oils are another extremely helpful tool. Exposing your nose to smells that you associate with calmness and relaxation will prove to be greatly beneficial.
Here at Una Biologicals, we have a multitude of essential oils purposed to do just that for you. We will provide a list of the different oils we provide and their purpose:
- Lavender essential oil (relaxation, gentle aide)
- English Chamomile essential oil (sleep, can overpower)
- Bergamot essential oil (insomnia from depression, stress)
- Verbena essential oil (insomnia, stress, nervous fatigue)
- Neroli essential oil (fatigue)
- Persian lime essential oil (insomnia, anxiety-related)
- Mandarin essential oil (insomnia, stress)
- Ravensara essential oil (chronic fatigue, insomnia, antiviral)
Feel free to use these in a diffuser, or perhaps even on your pillow. You could even rub a drop or two into your skin. Lavender is a universal scent for calmness so you may want to start there.
This may sound a bit strange but it is true. Not only is it an exercise that will increase relaxation and flexibility, but it can also be used to benefit your gut health.
Through a number of different poses/stretches, you are actually able to massage your digestive organs, increase blood flow and even move stool through your system.
Here we will list some helpful gut-healing yoga poses and how to do them:
- Savasana (the corpse): Lie down on your back and separate your legs and let them go limp so your feet can fall on either side. Bring your arms alongside your body with your palms up but don’t try to keep them open, allow your fingers to relax. Tuck your shoulder blades in. After all of this release any effort you’re using to hold them. Allow your body to feel heavy. Relax your face as well. Breathe naturally and try to remain in this position for five to ten minutes.
- Apanasana (knees to chest): Lie on your back with your legs straight. Slowly bend your knees and bring them to your chest with your arms. Hold this position for four to five deep breaths.
- Jathara Parivartanasana (belly twist): Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Stretch out your arms and shift your hips about an inch to the right. Next, lift your feet off the ground while keeping your knees and feet together. Rotate your hips and bring your legs while bent to the left. Make sure to keep your upper back flat. Allow gravity to lower your legs to the ground and then hold for four to five breaths. Bring your hips back to neutral positions and bring your knees to your chest with your hands. Finish by slowly straightening your legs.
There are many other yoga poses that are easily researched that will help improve your gut health. Be sure to check those out as well!
Another one that will require some motivation but will also make quite the difference in gut health.
As we have stated a bunch already, stress and lack of sleep are two big factors that can lead to an unhealthy gut. Exercise relieves tension, boosts energy (both physical and mental) and releases endorphins. Endorphins if you aren’t aware, are hormones in the brain that activate the body's opiate receptors. In short, endorphins are what you would associate with pleasure.
So not only are you going to feel much better physically and mentally once working out, you’ll also tire yourself out. This will essentially kill two birds with one stone.
Different exercises to complete for gut health:
All of these exercises will aid in combating inflammation and intestinal permeability. Consider taking some time out of the day to do one or two of these. If you make it a habit you will start to feel much better physically and mentally.
#5 Try out intermittent fasting
This may be an intimidating task but for some, it has been a very positive result. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting has had benefits for both chronic and inflammatory conditions.
Due to the many bacteria, fungi and virus’ in the gut, it is up to the functions of the gut to break down and absorb all the substances we consume. The bacteria in our body is aware of the presence and absence of food.
So consider your schedule, is there a certain time you could avoid eating? If so making a pattern of this may truly help. Keep in mind, that you can still drink things like tea, water and other non-caloric drinks. Choose a plan that works for you, there are many resources for this.
If you’re feeling stressed or angry about hunger, consider taking a nice long bath with some bath salts and scrubs. It’ll take your mind off of it. Check out our bath salts and scrubs and pick out the one that would draw your attention to a place of relaxation.
Like we said before, this is more common than you might think
We all undergo stomach issues from time to time. They vary in severity. It is important to stay on top of these things to prevent any future problems. We would never want you stuck in a situation where you’re showing up to the doctors for a serious problem. Luckily enough gut health is becoming a more spoken about subject which we love. We want all of our customers to live the happiest and healthiest lives. We hope some of these tips helped educate you on best practices to heal your gut, now it’s time to put them to practice!