Gut health science is all of the rave right now, why is it so important and how can you nurture it this holiday season?
Your gut isn't only responsible for governing your digestion! The latest research shows that the health of your gut microbiome is responsible for regulating homeostasis in your body from managing your blood sugar, cholesterol, hormones, energy levels, cardiovascular health, immune system, inflammation, and more!
The human genome itself is comprised of approximately 23,000 genes, compared to over three million bacterial genes that make up the human microbiome! This bacteria is responsible for taking over many of the functions of your body, and plays a significant role in your overall health and well-being.
So what are some easy hacks you can do over this holiday season to keep your gut in good shape?
1. Stay Active
Research has found that exercise enhances the number of positive microbial species in your gut, as well as creates greater microbial diversity which provides beneficial effects to your overall health and disease prevention.
2. Eat Plenty of Fiber Rich Plant Foods
The more fiber that you eat, the more short chain fatty acids (SCFA) that are produced in your gut, which improve glucose and lipid biomarkers as well as metabolic function. Fiber rich foods are also packed with pre-biotics which feed gut friendly microbes, encouraging greater diversity in your gut!
3. Add in Daily Fermented Foods
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, yogurts and kombucha are a powerhouse of pro-biotics that encourage diversity in your microbiome, where beneficial changes can be seen in as short as a few days! Not only that but they are often packed with beneficial enzymes that facilitate digestion. We recommend adding a little bit into every one of your meals!
4. Get Plenty of Sunlight
More research is indicating that daily sunlight exposure plays a powerful and beneficial impact in modulating our gut bacteria. We recommend seeing the sun in the morning and evening times for best practice of sun safety and highest benefit!
5. Activate your Parasympathetic Nervous System
Stress has been found to significantly alter the microbial composition, reducing diversity and increasing inflammatory pathways. Finding ways to activate your parasympathetic, "rest and digest" nervous system can make all of the difference in your gut health. Engaging in practices such as ocean swimming, stretching, yoga, pilates, breath work, meditation and activities that you enjoy can all support activating relaxation pathways in your body.