How To Improve Gut Health

The gut also referred to as the digestive system or gastrointestinal (GI) system, is incharge of breaking down and absorbing nutrients from the food you consume. Your body uses these nutrients to fuel and maintains itself. The balance of bacteria that reside in the intestinal tract is referred to as gut health. Maintaining the gut's health and proper balance of these microorganisms is crucial for optimal physical and mental health, immunity, and other factors.

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The "gut microbiome" or "gut flora" is another name for the trillions of these bacteria, yeasts, and viruses1. According to research, having a wide variety of bacteria in the stomach may help lower the risk of diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, psoriatic arthritis, and diabetes2.

The stomach has a significant impact on our bodies' health and well-being. A healthy gut translates into a robust immune system, improved mood, efficient digestion, and a healthy heart and brain3.

Your gut health can be naturally improved by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to improve your gut health:

1.   Take Care of Your Teeth for A Healthy Gut

Regularly floss and brush your teeth. A healthy microbiome may not seem to require routine dental cleanings and examinations, but bacteria from the mouth can enter the stomach and create issues. Taking care of your teeth can stop the harmful bacteria from overpowering the healthy bacteria in your digestive system.

2.   Consume A Variety of Foods

In your intestines, there are hundreds of different kinds of bacteria, each of which has a unique function in maintaining health and needs a particular food to develop. Generally, a diversified microbiome is regarded as beneficial. It is because more bacterial species mean more potential health advantages4.

A more varied microbiome can result from a diet that includes a variety of foods5. Include these foods in your diet to improve your gut health:

Eat Foods High in Fiber

Research has shown that high-fiber diets are beneficial for gut health6. The finest sources of nutrients for a healthy microbiome are fruits and vegetables. Because they contain a lot of fiber that your body cannot process, but some bacteria in your stomach can break down fiber, which promotes the growth of those bacteria. Additionally, beans and other legumes are also high in fiber.

The following high-fiber foods are beneficial to your gut flora:

  • Legumes, such as chickpeas and black beans
  • Whole grains such as quinoa and oats
  • Vegetables like asparagus and broccoli
  • Nuts such as pistachios and almonds
  • Fruits like peaches and apples

According to one study, eating a fruit and vegetable-rich diet stopped the growth of several bacteria that cause diseases7. Another research has shown that eating foods like apples, artichokes, blueberries, almonds, and pistachios increases the amount of Bifidobacteria in humans8,9. Bifidobacteria are thought to be helpful bacteria because they can improve gut health and reduce intestinal inflammation10.

Consume Probiotic-Rich Fermented Foods

Live bacteria are present in probiotic foods. According to some studies, eating probiotics can help maintain a healthy gut flora and may help avoid gut inflammation and other intestinal issues11.

Probiotics are abundant in foods that have been fermented. Examples include:

  • Yogurt
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Tempeh

These meals may help the gut microbiome12. Particularly yogurt may relieve gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, and constipation.

A form of bacteria called lactobacilli is abundant in many of these fermented foods and is good for your health. According to one study, persons who regularly consume yogurt have higher levels of gut-healthy bacteria lactobacilli and lower levels of inflammatory enterobacterium13. Yogurt may also improve the microbiome's functionality and composition14.

Consume Foods High in Polyphenols

Polyphenols are plant substances with several health advantages, such as lowering blood pressure, inflammation, cholesterol levels, and oxidative stress15. However, polyphenols are not always digested by human cells. Instead, most polyphenols end up in the colon, where gut bacteria break them down because they aren't effectively absorbed16.

Following are some examples of foods high in polyphenols:

  • Dark chocolate and cocoa
  • Blueberries
  • Grape skins
  • Onions
  • Red wine
  • Almonds
  • Broccoli
  • Green tea

Cocoa polyphenols can increase the number of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in humans while decreasing the amount of clostridium17. Red wine polyphenols have comparable results and have even been demonstrated to raise levels of helpful bacteria in individuals with metabolic syndrome18.

3.   Exercise Frequently

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Regular exercise helps with weight loss, weight maintenance, and heart health. Additionally, Research has hypothesized that it might enhance gut health, aiding in managing obesity19.

Another research has discovered that exercise encourages an increase in the diversity of good bacteria in the gut20. In addition, a 2014 study found that athletes' gut flora was more diverse than non-athletes21.

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans22, individuals should exercise for at least 150 minutes at a moderate level each week and perform muscle-building activities twice a week or more.

4.   Reduce Stress

Managing stress is crucial for many facets of health, including gut health. According to research23, anxiety and depression affect the gut and vice versa; they can raise the risk of IBS, and those who have IBS are more likely to suffer from these mental health conditions. In addition, psychological stressors may alter the bacteria in the gut, even if the stress is only momentary24.

Psychological stress, environmental stress such as loud noise, extreme cold or heat, Circadian rhythm disruption, and lack of sleep are numerous stressors that can harm your gut health. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation are a few stresses management approaches. You can also use Harmony's Relaxation Essential Oils. It relies on aromatherapy principles to promote relaxation and stress relief.

5.   Reduce Your Intake of Sugar and Sweets

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a sweet treat now and then. A high-sugar diet, however, may influence your gut microbiome. Consuming excessive amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners may result in gut dysbiosis, an unbalance of gut bacteria.

According to the authors of a 2015 animal study25, the typical Western diet, which is strong in sugar and fat, harms the gut flora. This, in turn, may affect the brain and behavior.

Additionally, studies have shown that the usage of artificial sweeteners by people may harm blood sugar levels due to their influence on the gut microbiome. Thus, although not technically sugars, artificial sweeteners may raise blood sugar levels26.

6.   Add H.E.A.L.’s Maximum Vibrance Multi-Supplement to Your Diet

Maximum Vibrance is referred to as a Future food. Because Vibrant Health - Maximum Vibrance Chocolate Chunk  includes all the advantages of a green superfood, as well as fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, a meal of plant protein, 25 billion probiotics, fiber,  and organic, plant-based multivitamins. It provides more than enough energy to help you accomplish your daily goals because it is high in vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, and protein.

25 billion probiotics per serving promote healthy digestion and help the body absorb nutrients. Probiotics are live microorganisms, typically bacteria, that provide a particular health benefit when taken. According to research, probiotics may help some types of gut bacteria perform better and create more of a specific kind of chemical27.

As a dietary supplement, take this product once a day. To prepare a complete meal shake, combine two scoops with 8 to 16 ounces of water or your preferred beverage. To prepare a light meal, use one scoop. In a closed container, vigorously stir or shake until mixed, and enjoy it.

7.   Limit The Use of Antibiotics

Antibiotics are frequently required to treat bacterial illnesses, but overuse of these drugs poses a severe public health risk and can result in antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are also harmful to gut flora and immunity28. According to some research, even six months after the usage of antibiotics, the stomach still lacks several beneficial bacteria29

8.   Add Essential Oils to Your Everyday Life to Improve Gut Health

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Essential oils are beneficial for digestive health as well as for overall body health. Our mood and gut microbes can be significantly affected by the aromatic usage of essential oils. It is due to the symbiotic link between our vagus nerve and the olfactory system. The vagus nerve regulates our gut-brain axis30. Consequently, essential oils may improve your digestive and mental health. In addition, if you suffer from gastrointestinal discomforts like gas, bloating, indigestion, or bacterial overgrowth, essential oils can help.

The top essential oils for intestinal health are shown below. Without hazardous over-the-counter medications, these essential oils will relieve everything from indigestion and stomach discomfort to nausea and bad breath. They also smell fantastic and have advantages beyond digestive health.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Harmony's Peppermint Essential Oil is obtained from its plant leaves through steam distillation. Numerous minerals and nutrients, including iron, calcium, and potassium, are included in this oil. It is frequently used to soothe stomach/bowel spasms, respiratory problems, migraines, and nausea.

For digestive health, peppermint is a recommended choice. Peppermint is known as the "ultimate internal body workout" because of its capacity to revitalize, stimulate, tone, and calm the digestive system31. One of the most frequent disruptions to gut health, IBS, has been proven to be improved by peppermint oil's cooling and calming effects32.

Another research on a patient with SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) found that peppermint oil improved the balance of gut bacteria33.

You can use peppermint oil internally, topically, and for aromatherapy. Apply an undiluted drop to the abdomen to relieve cramps, bloating, gas, indigestion, and other discomforts. Peppermint's mildly stimulating, and cooling qualities can effectively treat many digestive issues. Peppermint oil reduces nausea when breathed, applied topically to the stomach, or taken internally.

Clove Essential Oil

Harmony's Clove Essential Oil is produced from the tree's stem and leaves. Due to its potent antimicrobial and antifungal properties, clove essential oil is excellent for treating pathogenic overgrowth and gastrointestinal disorders. In addition, it is effective against pathogenic yeast like Candida albicans and dangerous gut bacteria like E. coli.

Eugenol, a substance whose antibacterial and anti-inflammatory property have been researched, is present in high concentrations in clove oil.  Furthermore, Eugenol has potent antifungal properties that can treat interior yeast infections. Additionally, clove essential oil efficiently kills intestinal parasites and removes Candida34.

Because clove essential oil is a hot oil, it must always be diluted with a carrier oil before use, like in coconut or jojoba oil.

Ginger Essential Oil

Harmony's Ginger Essential Oil is extracted from the herb's root. It is also known as the oil of empowerment. It is among the best oils for gut health. Harmony's Ginger Essential Oil can be used to relieve stomach discomfort because it lowers inflammation, supports the heart, and contains lots of antioxidants. Stomach cramps, indigestion, diarrhea, and nausea can all be treated with ginger essential oil.

Ginger essential oil is beneficial for indigestion and heartburn since it safeguards the stomach and enhances digestion in general35. Additionally, ginger oil has been shown to ease post-surgical nausea, which is typically treated with anti-nausea drugs36.

To improve digestion overall, add ginger oil to the bathwater or ginger-containing foods when cooking. To treat nausea, apply one to two drops of it over the stomach, by diffusing ginger essential oil alone or with other digestive-friendly oils like peppermint or clove.

9.   Sleep More Often

A sufficient amount of high-quality sleep can enhance mood, cognitive, and gut health. Researchers have demonstrated that the gut microbiome can affect sleep and vice versa. Research has also indicated a connection between higher gut bacterial diversity and better sleep37. According to a 2014 study, irregular sleep patterns and disturbed sleep can have a harmful impact on the gut flora, raising the risk of inflammatory diseases38.

Using natural sleep aids may improve the quality of your sleep. If you suffer from irregular sleeping patterns and disturbed sleep use the Bodytox Lavender Sleep Patches and Harmony's Good Night Essential Oil. It promotes stress relief and physical, mental, and emotional relaxation that helps you fall asleep peacefully.

Establishing regular bedtimes and wake-up times will help you develop healthy sleeping habits. Adults need a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night39.

The Bottom Line

Improved general health and immunological performance are correlated with maintaining gut health. Conversely, a disturbed microbiome has been linked to several chronic diseases. You can improve the diversity and quantity of bacteria in your gut by adopting the proper dietary and lifestyle modifications.

Eating various fresh, whole foods rich in probiotics, fiber, and polyphenols and refraining from overusing antibiotics and sweeteners is the most incredible method to maintain a healthy microbiome. You can also modify your lifestyle by getting enough sleep and exercising regularly. The above-mentioned Harmony's Essential Oils can also play a crucial role in improving gut health.

Before making any significant dietary changes, see your doctor. This is because probiotics and fiber-rich diets may not be beneficial for all individuals, including those with irritable bowel syndrome or other medical disorders.

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