The Secrets to Lasting Digestive Health
When your gut is happy, you can achieve whole-body (and mind) wellness.
When we think about the various aspects of well-being, digestive health is not always the first concern on our mental checklist. But in fact, ever-evolving research suggests that maybe it should be. A healthy digestive system isn’t only good because you can avoid uncomfortable stomach issues, from bloating to something as serious as irritable bowel syndrome. It’s also connected to mental health, immune function, heart health, skin and hair health, and more. Clearly, it should be a key part of our wellness plans and goals.
But how can we ensure that our digestive health is in a good place? You might immediately think of food, and indeed, nutrition plays a huge role in gut health. However, everything from where you live, to how much stress you regularly experience, to hormonal changes can deeply influence your microbiome. Additionally, supplements have come alongside the continued research into digestive influence, making it possible to change your microbiome for the better. So, let’s talk about the secrets to lasting digestive health.
Eat for the Gut 1
We’ve all enjoyed a meal only to experience digestive distress a little while later. This showcases how closely intertwined the things we eat are with how we’re feeling digestively. Of course, this is something we are all aware of. But sometimes, in the rush of life, we forget that along with trying to eat a diet that is healthy and supports other goals and needs we might have, we should always consider our digestive health.
Foods that are great for supporting your gut microbiome include the following, according to Harvard.
Some of these are great because they are prebiotics, while others are probiotic powerhouses. That brings us to our next secret to lasting digestive health.
Prioritize Great Supplements 2
One of the most impactful ways to influence your gut microbiome is to invest in a truly effective supplement routine. The research and production of “biotics” for the gut has come a long way.
First, let’s outline the three main “biotics.” This below summary from an article published by the National Library of Medicine explains it well.
Probiotics are supplements or foods that contain viable microorganisms that alter the microflora of the host.
Prebiotics are supplements or foods that contain a nondigestible ingredient that selectively stimulates the growth and/or activity of indigenous bacteria.
Postbiotics are non-viable bacterial products or metabolic byproducts from probiotic microorganisms that have biologic activity in the host.
As you can infer from these definitions, postbiotics are the result of a natural process in a balanced gut. But probiotics and prebiotics are where we can work to influence our microbiome positively to create that digestive health.
Enter, fantastically formulated supplements, like our PlantYourDay® vegan protein powder. With prebiotics and probiotics, plus pH balancing and alkalizing properties, it makes for the perfect digestive boon. Use it as a meal replacement or an addition to your breakfast or snack. You’ll be on your way to optimal gut health and balanced skin in no time!
It also boasts 17 grams of protein, so this is a great option for those who are aiming to lose weight in a healthy way.
But before we stray too far off of topic, let’s turn our attention to another secret to lasting digestive health.
Manage Stress 3
The research to suggest that stress has more of a physical impact on the body than we ever would have thought continues to be published year after year. We used to think of stress as a mental health issue, but it can impact just about every part of our body physically, too.
According to an article published by the National Library of Medicine, “Stress can reshape the gut bacteria’s composition through stress hormones, inflammation, and autonomic alterations.” Clearly, it has a pretty significant impact.
Thankfully, as we learn more about the role of stress in the body, we are also understanding how to manage it more clinically. There are plenty of actionable techniques for reducing and managing stress, like getting good sleep and practicing meditation. But we now also have more passive ways to support a reduction of stress response. Take our ShieldUp™ supplement, for example.
Through the incorporation of adaptogens like Rhodiola rosea root, ShieldUp™ can help to reduce stress in the body. It also doubles as an immune-supportive vitamin formula, so that is a bonus!
Take Hormonal Changes Into Account 4
Stress hormones aren’t the only hormones to be worried about when it comes to digestive health. Many of the hormones that fluctuate for various reasons, notably reproductive hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, can influence digestive health.
Estrogen and testosterone have been shown to directly affect the gut microbiome and immune cells. Meanwhile, progesterone can cause the colon to relax, slowing the digestive process.
Of course, there are some causes of these hormones that we can’t and don’t want to alter. The proper functions of menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and normal aging all trigger necessary hormone changes.
However, there are many times when these hormones are thrown out of balance because of lifestyle choices. This is especially true for women, and Women for Women Obstetrics and Gynecology offers a great list of advice for keeping your hormones balanced outside of the circumstances when they should be changing.
Get enough protein.
Maintain a moderate weight.
Watch your gut health (tips above ;)).
Lower sugar intake.
Get enough sleep.
Eat healthy fats.
Eat plenty of fiber.
Of course, all of the above are great things to do regardless.
Digestive Health is Whole-Body Wellness
In fact, we could say that everything we’ve talked about today is excellent not only for digestive health, but for wellness in general. Our gut microbiome is integral to so many facets of our well-being for both mind and body.