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5 Mistakes People Make When it Comes to their Gut Health

5 Mistakes People Make When it Comes to their Gut Health

By: Brittany Nicholson
Registered Holistic Nutritionist + Certified Personal Trainer

Even if you're new to the wellness scene, you probably know how important a healthy gut is. A healthy gut is essential for a healthy immune system, hormone balance, heart health, digestion, mood balance, and restful sleep.

Let's talk about our gut bugs for a second - also referred to as your gut microbiome. It is a small world filled with TRILLIONS of microscopic bacteria, viruses, and fungi (collectively called microbes, or microorganisms) that play essential roles in the body.

Think of your gut microbiome like an ecosystem, a diverse and lush rainforest with abundant bacterial species, and a terrain that supports this life. 

 

 

So, what are five mistakes people make regarding their gut health?

1) Eating on the Run

We all have those days. You're too busy to sit down for a meal; you grab breakfast on the go and eat in the car on the way to work, dropping the kids off at daycare, or whatever the case may be. Not only does this distracted eating usually result in you eating more than you usually would, but also seriously impacts digestion.

Eating while distracted and not being mentally present at mealtimes usually means that we don't chew enough. Instead, we should be chewing to an applesauce-like consistency because this mechanical step in digestion is essential for the chemical digestion that happens in the stomach. 

Sit down at a table, be mindful at mealtime, with no distractions, chew thoroughly, and most importantly, appreciate the food in front of you, the sight, smell, and taste of it. This act of mindfulness will help with digestion and gut health.

 

2) Not Getting Enough Fiber

With more processed and convenience foods becoming the "norm" in society, we are missing out on one gut-loving ingredient… FIBER. Fiber is a dietary roughage found in plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes. Fiber not only adds bulk to your stool for regular bowel movements but also acts as a fuel source for those beneficial gut bugs that we want to keep happy and healthy.

 

3) Lacking Diversity in your Whole Foods

Be honest... are you guilty of reaching for the same fruits and veggies week after week at the grocery store? Not only does this get boring, but it isn't doing your gut biome any favors! The more diverse the diet, the more varied the microbiome will be, and therefore more adaptable to intestinal insults. So aim for a diverse array of plant food in your diet for optimal gut health, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and legumes. 

 

 

4) Ignoring the Connection Between Stress & Digestion

Stress paralyzes digestion, so stress management is vital for a healthy gut. Not only that, but the gut-brain connection is a two-way street, so your gut bacteria impacts the brain, but it is also true that the brain can change your gut bacteria. Would you believe that it only takes 2 hours worth of psychological stress to change the bacteria in your gut completely?

Try sipping on some of Clover's calming, Adaptogenic Rest tea with stress-busting and relaxation-inducing herbs and botanicals the next time you're feeling like you need to unwind.

 

 

5) Skipping Out on Fermented Foods

Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, yogurt, and miso are examples of something old becoming new again. When naturally fermented, these foods can boost the number of beneficial bacteria (or probiotics) in the gut. When purchasing fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, or fermented vegetables, what should you look out for? Ensure they're kept in the fridge at the grocery store, and there is no vinegar listed on the label.

You can stabilize the gut microbiome further by adding  Digest adaptogenic tea to your routine. This organic blend helps keep your gut in check with botanicals that support digestion. 

Those are the 5 mistakes I find people making in my experience as a Holistic Nutritionist. Give me a follow on Instagram to learn more tips on keeping your gut healthy.