Edited by Lynn Yudofsky, MD, Director of Behavioral Health at Found
Need a little help from a friend? Your gut (microbiome) may be your best friend as it offers a host of health benefits, and has more of an impact on your overall health than you may be aware of - similar to your closest pal. Your digestive system affects most other parts of your body, from your mood to the way you battle anxiety and depression, to your energy levels. I know that afternoon slump can be pretty rough, but there might just be a way to help avoid it. Let's phone a friend!
We already know that including more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes into your day is recommended for great health, but it can also help your tummy! Eating fiber-rich foods like nuts have shown to have higher levels of good bacteria as compared to inflammation-inducing foods, like many processed meats. Research has found that consuming primarily plants has been associated with higher levels of good fatty-acids produced, which help cultivate the good bacteria in your system. This isn’t to say that you have to go cold turkey on meat, just make sure to load up on vegetables as well!
Stress is a part of being human. We’ve all had that deadline to meet, a big presentation in front of a bunch of people, or the exam we’re trying so hard to cram for. It’s been shown that stress changes the structure and activity of gut microbiota. Not getting enough sleep, eating the wrong foods, or even environmental stressors like a hot day or a cold winter storm can all contribute to stress! Maintain a healthier gut by managing your stress! #foundtip Take a short walk outside, take a few deep breaths, or drink a warm cup of herbal tea to clear your mind and help you relax.
Fermented food has been aged or cultured. This neat process helps the body digest and absorb your food, which makes it super beneficial for your health and gut. Many fermented foods have natural probiotics and anti-inflammatory properties. Probiotics can help reduce stress and keep your body from making bad bacteria and killing all the good! Here’s some foods for you to try (and this may also help with switching up your variety):
Lack of sleep can not only disrupt your day at work or in school, but it can affect your gut health. Sleep deprivation puts stress on your body, which can cause the bacteria in your tummy to not perform at 100%. Tuck yourself in after a long day and make sure to get at least 7 hours a night! Here are some tips and tricks to improve your sleep:
- Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bed
- Have a consistent sleep schedule
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine
- Move more during the day
- Assure that your bedroom is quiet, dark, and at your preferred temperature