9. Get Enough Sleep
One of the most important factors for overcoming digestive problems is improving your quality of sleep. In fact, you may have noticed that when you don’t get enough sleep, your digestion system also suffers.
The intestinal microbiome produces and releases many of the hormones that help regulate your mood and also promote quality sleep. In addition, hormones that affect digestion are influenced by how much sleep you are getting each day. Such hormones include cortisol, leptin, insulin, serotonin and melatonin.
For instance, melatonin is essential for a healthy sleep-wake cycle and also contributes to maintaining gut health. A deficiency in melatonin is linked to increased permeability of the gut.
Aim to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. However, it is best to listen to your body and decide how much sleep is best for you.
To help you sleep, meditation, listening to soft music, a glass of warm milk before bedtime, a warm bath or even reading a book can help.
10. Do Some Form of Exercise
To heal your gut naturally, you need to get your body moving on a daily basis. Remember, your gut is a muscle that needs exercise to function properly.
A 2016 study published in Immunology and Cell Biology reports that exercise in your early years will create an environment with better balance between the microorganisms that live in your intestines. This is because shortly after being born, bacteria begin to colonize the intestinal tract.
Another 2016 study published in PLOS ONE suggests that exercise has a strong influence on gut integrity and host microbiome. This puts more emphasis on studies on the interactions between specific bacteria in the gut and its host.
For gut health, low-stress exercises like yoga, walking, light jogging and jumping on a rebounder are the best. Aim for at least 30 to 45 minutes of exercise each day.
You can also do intense exercise, but within limits as it can increase your cortisol levels too high or cause excessive stress on the body.
- Good digestion starts in the mouth, hence you need to chew your food well.
- Eat little and often, instead of having two or three large meals in a day.
- Never take any medications without asking your doctor.
- A gentle detox on a regular basis can be a great way to reset your entire digestive system.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly to remove all impurities and pesticide residue from the produce.
- Opt for organic produce.
- Eat plenty of fermentable fibers, such as sweet potatoes, yams and yucca.
- Treat any intestinal pathogens, such as parasites, that may be impairing your gut health.