- Adequate sleep: sleep affects your autonomic nervous system (which is the involuntary nervous system that affects your internal organs), so it affects your bowel movements, and your bowel movements affect your gut!
- Proper stress management: Your parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for your digestion, think “rest and digest”. If you’re always stressed, you’re in sympathetic overdrive…”fight or flight”, and your body is not able to digest properly.
- Diet: Focus on a whole foods diet and keep it organic. Limit inflammatory foods like wheat, dairy, refined sugars, and alcohol. Vary the foods you eat, to help support more diversity in the gut. Include fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, for probiotics!
- Exercise: Physical activity stimulates gut motility, meaning how well you move things through your digestive tract. This helps ensure that you’re absorbing your nutrients, and eliminating toxins through healthy bowel movements.
- Gut healing herbs: A group of herbs, called demulcents are particularly healing to the intestines. They form a gel, when infused in cold water, similar to the consistency of aloe vera juice. It’s very healing to the cells in your intestines. Aloe vera is the most common and easy to find, but my favorites are marshmallow root, and slippery elm.
- Glutamine: Glutamine is a great nutrient, and one of the main sources of amino acids for the cells in your gut. It helps heal and support healthy GI mucosa, and can help improve the strength of those tight junctions we mentioned above.
- Probiotics: A good probiotic supplement creates a healthy microbiome by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. This means you have less room for more harmful bacteria to move in and create a home in your gut. I have a post coming up next week, about how to choose a high quality probiotic supplement.
*** NP Script is an online store with high quality, practitioner grade herbs and supplements. To purchase the glutamine, marshmallow root, or slippery elm from the links above enter code NKND.
I know this was a really long post, but I hope that you found it informative! Are there any specific gut health related topics you want me to write about as part of my weekly gut series? Let me know in the comments!
// Dr. Nikka Kanani, ND