Gut health has become an increasingly popular topic in recent years, and for good reason. The gut microbiome, composed of trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, has an astonishing impact on overall health.
An imbalance in gut bacteria is now associated with conditions like autoimmune disease, skin issues, mood disorders, obesity, and more. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to “reset” your gut health and create a microbiome environment that promotes optimal health.
In this article, we’ll explore 7 lifestyle changes that can reset your gut, as well as signs that indicate your gut is healing.
7 Ways To Reset Your Gut Health
- Remove inflammatory foods: Certain foods like processed meat, fried foods, alcohol, conventional dairy, and gluten can trigger inflammation and disturb the gut microbiome balance. Try eliminating these foods for 30 days, then slowly reintroduce them while paying attention to how your body reacts.
- Increase prebiotic foods: Prebiotics provide “food” for probiotics or beneficial gut bacteria. Focus on getting more prebiotic-rich foods like onions, garlic, asparagus, oats, apples, bananas, and flaxseed.
- Consume fermented foods: Fermented foods are loaded with probiotics. Try adding things like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir and yogurt to your diet.
- Take a probiotic supplement: In addition to probiotic foods, a high-quality probiotic supplement can help populate your gut with more good bacteria. Look for a broad-spectrum probiotic with at least 10 billion CFUs.
- Manage stress levels: Chronic stress can reduce beneficial gut bacteria. Adopt regular practices like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and journaling to lower stress hormones.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is vital for flushing out toxins and supporting gut function. Aim for at least 2-3 liters per day.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can alter gut microbiome diversity. Strive for 7-9 hours per night to enable gut balance.
Important Things To Avoid To Reset Your Gut
- Antibiotics – kill off beneficial bacteria
- NSAIDs like ibuprofen – can damage the gut lining
- Artificial sweeteners – alter the gut bacterial composition
- Highly processed foods – promote an inflammatory gut environment
- Excess alcohol – disturbs microbiome diversity
- Chlorinated water – may harm probiotics
What Are The Signs Of Healing Your Gut?
- Increased energy and reduced fatigue
- Better digestion with less gas, bloating, or indigestion
- Improved bowel regularity
- Reduced sugar cravings
- Decreased inflammation, joint pain, or autoimmune symptoms
- Better skin appearance and less acne
- Improved mood with less anxiety or depression
- Weight loss and reduced belly fat
- Sounder sleep and less insomnia
Resetting your gut health requires patience and consistency with lifestyle habits but pays huge dividends for overall well-being. Focus on the dietary additions like fermented foods and deletions like inflammatory foods discussed here.
Implement stress-reducing practices, optimize hydration and sleep, and avoid gut-disrupting substances. With time, your microbiome will reach a healthier, more diverse state, evidenced by increased energy, better digestion, improved skin, and more. Give your gut some love by making gut-friendly choices each day.
A: It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks of consistent gut-healthy living to notice positive changes. However, it takes 3-6 months of consistency to fully transition to a healthier gut state.
A: The biggest offenders to avoid are processed foods, added sugars, vegetable oils, conventional dairy, artificial sweeteners, processed meats, gluten, and alcohol.
A: Yes, addressing a leaky gut is a major component of resetting your overall gut health. Removing inflammatory foods, managing stress, supporting gut lining integrity, and consuming gut-healing supplements can help repair intestinal permeability.
A: Try to consume at least 1-2 servings of probiotic-rich fermented foods per day. Things like kimchi, kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut or kombucha are great options.