How To Improve Your Gut Health
At Aila, a healthy gut is kind of our thing. We believe it is so important to be ingesting supplements to boost the immune system, digestion, metabolism as well as getting that energy you need, daily. It all starts in the gut, as some even call the gut the body’s “second brain”, with about 70% of our immune system living in our gut.
Keeping our gut working at its peak can aid our immune health with:
- Nutrient absorption
- Immune system
- Mental health
In today’s blog, we cover the difference between good and bad bacteria. As well as what we can do to keep our gut health in tip-top shape.
Difference Between Good And Bad Bacteria
Contrary to popular belief, not all bacteria are bad, especially for our gut health. Our gut microbiota, gut flora or microbiome, is the collection of microorganisms including bacteria, archaea, and fungi that live in our digestive tracts. All of these components interact with one another to create and maintain a healthy, balanced ecosystem to conduct vital functions.
Good bacteria have a positive impact on our health, while bad bacteria can cause harm. We will always have a bit of each so the most important thing is that we maintain a balance. An imbalance can often be associated with age, diet, medications, or the presence of any illness or viral infection.
One of the best bacteria we can find in our gut is a probiotic. Probiotics are live strains of good bacteria that offer us a wide array of health benefits. Probiotics usually do most of their work in the gastrointestinal tract where they influence the microbial environment. There are many different types of probiotics, but some of their many benefits include:
- Maintaining our body’s healthy ecosystem of microorganisms
- Produce substances that have health benefits
- increasing white blood cell counts, thereby improving immune response
Best Foods For Gut Health
Vegetables, Fruits, Beans & Legumes
All of these foods are high in fiber, which our body can’t digest, but certain gut bacteria can! This also helps promote the growth of these certain gut bacterias. Some studies also show that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can prevent the growth of bad bacteria and fight infections that are linked to different diseases.
The following are some examples of foods high in fiber that promote good digestion and can be found in any grocery store:
- Matcha (powdered form or leaves)
- Monk fruit
- Green peas
- Whole grains
- Citrus fruits (great vitamin C supplements)
Foods Rich In Polyphenols
Some of the best food for our gut includes foods that are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. These are plant compounds that have been found to offer many health benefits, including reducing blood pressure, inflammation, and cholesterol. Humans can’t always digest polyphenols super easily, but once they make it to our colon gut bacteria can digest them.
Some examples of ingredients high in polyphenols:
- Curcumin (in turmeric)
- Bee pollen
- Cocoa and dark chocolate
- Grape skins
A number of researches are showing that yogurt consumption can improve intestinal bacteria and decrease symptoms of lactose intolerance. Yogurt can also improve the amounts of probiotics (Lactobacilli) in your gut and reduce the number of bad bacteria (Enterobacteriaceae) that can be associated with chronic illnesses and inflammation.
Some examples of fermented foods that are good for supporting the immune system.
Worst Foods For Gut Health
Processed foods include anything that is not in its natural state. Pre-cut fruits and veggies are usually still packed with preservatives and additives, but ultra-processed foods are the ones you need to watch out for. They are almost always packed full of added sugar, sodium, fat, preservatives, and more. All of this contributes to an unhealthy gut and promotes the development of harmful bacteria.
Some examples of highly-processed foods include:
- Soft drinks
- Packaged bread
- Breakfast cereal
Refined Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners
Refined sugar has been found to be detrimental to our health and is associated with bloating, cramps, inflammations, and also negatively affects your gut microbiome.
Artificial sweeteners might be appealing due to clever marketing promoting them as being better than refined sugars. But actually artificial sweeteners are still harmful to our gut microbiome the same as refined sugar is. Research has shown that artificial sweeteners may:
- Alter your gut microbial composition
- Increase your glucose intolerance
- Raise your risk of metabolic disease
Animal Protein & Dairy Products
Animal protein can disturb your gut microbiome if you consume it in high amounts, so can dairy, especially if you’re lactose intolerant. Dairy products can be directly linked to intestinal diseases and cause inflammation.
Many animal products contain a large number of antibiotics, which work directly against bacteria, the good and the bad. About 80% of antibiotics in the US are sold for animal agriculture purposes. This means if you eat a lot of animal products you could be ingesting these antibiotics which upset your gut microbiome. They are also linked to developing symptoms of IBS.
Harmful animal products include:
- Red meat
- Farmed fish
How To Maintain A Healthy Immune System and Gut
One of the most important things to do when trying to maintain a healthy gut microbiome is to eat healthily, eat a range of foods, and focus on foods that are fermented or high in probiotics. Aila superfood powders are packed full of powerful antioxidants, probiotics, nutrients, vitamins, and fiber that work directly with your gut to promote digestion and are natural immunity system boosters. Not to mention they also boost your metabolism, energy levels.
Here is a list of things you should be doing daily to promote a healthy gut and immune system function:
- Eat a range of foods (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains)
- Lower stress levels (exercise or meditation)
- Get enough sleep (7-8 hours)
- Eat slower (helps promote digestion)
- Stay hydrated
- Take pre and probiotic supplements (Aila’s superfood powders)
- Watch for food intolerances (list of common triggers)
- Adjust diet (reduce intake of sodium, sugar, and processed foods)
Aila’s peach-flavored Energy + Immune function Support blend is packed with nutrients and helps directly with digestion.At Aila, we are passionate about helping people feel their best which is why we’ve created a range of superfood supplements for daily intake. Aila superfood supplements and pre-workout alternatives make it easy to stay on top of your nutrition and gut health as they are packed with probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and more! Check it out for one of our other products. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about any of our products.