The health science community seems to be making discovery after discovery concerning why gut health is a new pillar to overall health. Heck, some scientists are thinking about calling the novel gut microbiome an organ of the body. They’re finding that the microbiome, which contains more bacteria than the total amount of cells in the human body, is responsible for an immense number of metabolic, immune, and even neurological functions in the body. Convinced that you should heal your gut yet?
Perhaps you’re wondering why you should be concerned about ways to heal your gut. The answer is simply: We live in a world that destroys our gut health right, left, and center. From pesticides in our food (especially glyphosate) to stress and poor lifestyle habits and junk food—there are many forces working against our sensitive guts!
And have you heard of intestinal permeability? A breakthrough review by researcher Alessio Fasano shed light on the pathogenesis of many modern, mystery chronic inflammatory diseases. His findings are consistent with that of Hippocrates made 2500 years ago: “all disease begins in the gut”. Intestinal permeability describes “leaky gut”, or the process by which the tight junctions in the mucosa lining is weakened thus allowing material to pass unwanted into the bloodstream.
Healing the gut is a long journey that won’t encompass a simple weekend cleanse or week of clean eating. It takes a long term, lifestyle approach—a fact that’s difficult for many people to accept before beginning their healing journey. Hopefully these 10 ways to heal your gut provide some inspiration and hope.
1. Stop Eating Junk Food
Gut healing has less to do with what you add to your diet and more to with what you take away. You can exercise, take supplements, and follow other suggestions listed below, but as long as you’re eating junk food, it will be near impossible to heal your gut!
Junk food includes the obvious: packaged foods with mystery ingredients, added sugar, fast food, and sweet treats.
But there are less obvious gut triggers which could easily be labeled as junk: conventional dairy, gluten, vegetable oils, and inorganic grains (due to the herbicide glyphosate).
2. Eat Whole Foods
A whole food is a food that doesn’t have an ingredient label and comes from the produce section. High quality, grass fed/pasture raised meats are fair game for many people as well.
Eating real food gives our guts a chance to recuperate from damage induced by our post-industrial world. Real food, especially plant foods, has also shown to be ample fuel for the beneficial microbes living in our guts (a component of gut health many people think about nowadays).
3. Digest Well
How we digest food is arguably as important as what we’re eating. Good digestion means good nutrient assimilation and thus better energy levels.
That being said, here are some handy tips to help you digest better:
- Stop taxing your gut with massive meals.
- Leave plenty of time between each meal to properly digest your last one.
- Chew your food correctly instead of mowing it down.
- Eat while you’re calm. When you’re calm, you’re in your parasympathetic (rest and digest) rather than your sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system.
- Use digestive bitters with each meal for extra support. They tend to support the production of beneficial digestive components such as hydrochloric acid, pepsin, and enzymes. Ginger and dandelion are examples of bitter herbs.
4. Stop Eating Gluten
It was once thought that only people with celiac disease or a serious intolerance should avoid gluten. But now we’re seeing how most people have slight sensitivities to gluten that could effectively tear away at their guts little by little over time.
5. Practice Breathwork
Stress is detrimental to gut health. A routine breathwork practice can bring you a long way in eliminating stress from your life. It doesn’t have to be anything too serious or time-consuming.
- Sit erect. Take a couple normal, clearing breaths.
- Begin breathing in for a count of 2, and out for a count of 4. Set a timer and do this for 10 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, deeply inhale, then exhale and hold for as long as is comfortable.
6. Practice Meditation
Meditation is another practice that can help your gut via down-regulating stress in the mind and body.
Demystifying meditation is important for some in order to effectively begin. Meditation is the simple practice of deep focus on the breath in order to form sensations of non attachment to the many thoughts that often run our lives.
Research into the benefits of meditation have identified notable stress-reduction benefits.
7. Walk Outside Barefoot (Earthing)
If you’ve been investing yourself in the health and wellness world for some time, you may have heard of the benefits of walking barefoot by now.
But aside from the apparent anti-inflammatory and stress-reduction properties of being barefoot, it also seems effective for introducing beneficial microbes into the gut-microbiome (as does being in nature in general). This can help anyone reclaim a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in their gut.
8. Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods, according to studies, boost microbiome diversity as well as bolster the immune system.
Most people enjoy fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir. They’re delicious and provide an easy way to optimize gut health.
9. Try Collagen
Our grass-fed, Wild Collagen Peptides provide an interesting opportunity to promote gut healing. Interesting because, according to research, collagen has the capacity to heal the epithelial layer of the gut microbiome. This is important for sealing a leaky gut and preventing chronic illness.
10. Try a Probiotic
Aside from eating plenty of fermented foods and getting outside barefoot, it may be worth it to try a high-quality probiotic if you feel your gut microbiome is especially compromised.
A good quality probiotic such as our Wild Prebiotic & Probiotic + Digestive Enzyme Blend supports healthy digestion, immunity, and reduced cramping/bloating. It also provides essential digestive enzymes that promote gut, skin, and hair health.