5 Tips for Getting and Maintaining a Healthy Gut Microbiome

5 Tips for Getting and Maintaining a Healthy Gut Microbiome

Research indicates that the health of your gut microbiome can directly impact your health, wellbeing, and risk for developing many serious and potentially debilitating chronic medical conditions.

1. Eat a Probiotic-Rich Diet

Fiber is perhaps the best friend of a healthy gut. It offers carbohydrates that your body cannot digest but hat makes an excellent food source for the beneficial probiotic bacteria that you want to encourage.

It also helps encourage a healthy gut lining and may make gut bacteria more resistant to changing temperatures and environments.

2. Keep Sweeteners to a Minimum

While you want to increase fiber and overall carbohydrates, you'll want to keep added sugars and artificial sweeteners to a minimum.

Researchers are finding that these can lead to imbalances within the gut microbiome in animal studies, which may translate to higher increases in metabolic diseases in people.

Excess sweeteners can also negatively impact your blood glucose levels. This is linked to higher rates of disease and lower levels of diversity within gut bacteria profiles.

Don't worry too much about the sugars that naturally occur in fruits and vegetables. Instead, aim to keep added sweeteners to a minimum. The American Heart Association recommends keeping added sugars to less than about six teaspoons (or around 100 calories) per day for women and nine teaspoons (150 calories) per day for men.

3. Increase Exercise

Exercise improves your circulation and helps encourage lean muscle mass and definition. Both of those help the digestive system perform at its best. It also can help you control your weight, which can impact gut health and bacterial diversity.

You don't have to suddenly transform into an uber athlete to see results. Take up walking during your lunch break, or try the new yoga class at the local recreation center to ease into exercising.

No matter what activities you decide on, aim to get at least the recommended 150 hours of moderate to intense exercise each week. Breaking that up into about 30 minutes of exercise on most days makes sitting a manageable task.

If that still seems like a lot, break it into smaller ten-minute chunks spread throughout each day to start out. Strength training exercises are also recommended for the most health benefits.

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