Gut health, made simple. Here’s your easy-to-follow guide.
The term ‘gut health’ gets thrown around a lot, but do you know what it actually means? According to nutritionist Reece Carter, many of us don’t really understand how to get a healthy gut – and some of us are making gut health way more complicated than it needs to be. While trends such as bone broth, juice cleanses and even colonic irrigation promise to support good gut health, Carter says these measures are unnecessary and could even be harmful.
“Trends like a juice cleanse may reduce your bloating, but that’s only because you are stripping your diet of fibre for a period of time. You’ll end up with fewer good bacteria – and in the long run, that’s going to have far wider consequences on your whole-body health than a little bloating,” he explains.
The good news is, it’s pretty simple to get a healthy gut. Carter says there are things you can do every day to keep your digestion in tip-top shape.
“For me, true self-care starts in the gut,” Carter says. “Following these simple tips each and every day will deliver big benefits to whole-body health. Just remember, consistency is key!”
Daily Gut Health Checklist
- Pump up the plants.
Eating more fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and grains means you’ll get more fibre into your body, Carter says. And when it comes to fibre – it’s all about diversity. “The easiest way to do that is to ‘eat a rainbow’ of different plant foods,” Carter says. “Try to eat between 30 and 40 different types of plants each and every week, or five to 10 each day.”
- Rest and relax.
“Stress impacts gut health negatively,” explains Carter, adding that taking regular breaks from busy-ness is important – think: meditation, relaxing walks or getting a massage. “Make sure you get half an hour of deliberate, mindful relaxation a day, whatever that may look like for you,” he says.
- Solidify your sleep.
“It’s when we’re resting that we do really efficient digestion,” explains Carter, who recommends aiming for seven to eight hours sleep a night. If sleep is a problem for you, check out these tips.
- Exercise daily.
You don’t have to be doing intense sweat sessions, but you do have to move your body regularly. The ideal? Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day – exercise that raises your heart rate but doesn’t make you too breathless.