Gut bacteria really are incredible things – they are constantly working and sending messages that travel throughout your body. Messages that are sent to your brain can signal that you are happy, hungry, sad or any range of emotions, and it’s all relative to the type of bacteria that are living in your gut.
With clear links between gut health and the immune system, it’s important that you treat your gut microbiome right. While some microorganisms are harmful to our health, there are lots of others that are incredibly beneficial to our overall well-being. Here’s how to improve your gut health naturally.
5 signs of an unhealthy gut
If you often feel under the weather – mentally, physically, emotionally or otherwise – then you may be dealing with an unhealthy gut. Before taking steps to improve it, here are the signs to look out for:
- Upset stomach: There are lots of stomach troubles that can cause health issues – gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and heartburn. These are signs of an unhealthy gut, which means your body is struggling to process food and eliminate waste.
- Unexpected weight changes: If you find you are gaining or losing weight unintentionally (i.e. not on a particular diet), then it could be a sign of an unhealthy gut. An imbalanced gut means your body can’t absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar and store fat at its optimal levels.
- Disrupted sleep: Are you constantly fatigued because you can never seem to get a good night’s rest? An unhealthy gut may be the culprit, causing poor sleeping habits or even insomnia.
- Irritable skin: Common skin conditions like eczema may actually be related to a damaged gut, with a poor diet or food allergies increasing the ‘leaking’ of proteins into the body.
- Food intolerance: If your body finds it difficult to digest certain foods (not being allergic to it) then you may have a food intolerance. This digestion issue may be caused by poor-quality bacteria in your gut.
Tips to improve your gut health naturally
Ready to take your gut health into your own hands and improve it with natural remedies? It all starts by focusing on prebiotics and probiotics.
Feed your gut bacteria with fibre (prebiotics)
Probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics all contribute to your overall gut health, so make sure you are familiar with what they mean before you start altering your diet. Our organic raw honeys are a great source of prebiotics to add to your diet daily. And if you want to increase your nutrients while getting your prebiotics, our Hemp Seed infused Raw Honey adds a boost of omega-3’s, and our Apple Cider Vinegar infused Raw Honey is a prebiotic that is a delicious new way to enjoy apple cider vinegar with the mother for better gut health.
Now that you’re ready to get started, it’s time to think about fibre. You probably already know that fibre is good for you – it has heaps of essential nutritional benefits. Because fibre doesn’t fully digest into your body after you eat fibrous foods, it stays in your intestines and travels all the way through to the exit. During this journey through your gut, the fibre becomes food for the bacteria living there. In essence, it’s helping the ‘good guys’ to grow and thrive in your gut.
The bottom line? Make sure you are eating a variety of fibre from different food sources, as this will help diversify and flourish your gut flora.
Eat lots of fermented foods (probiotics)
In addition to upping your fibre intake, you can help your gut health significantly by adding fermented foods and a daily 15ml serve of Raw Honey Probiotic Concentrate to your diet. This is a healthy and easy way to boost the number of good bacteria in your gut. And if you’re looking for recipe inspiration, head here.
But don’t just start emptying the shelves of pickled veggies at your local supermarket. In most cases, those items have been pickled in vinegar, which kills the good bacteria that you want. Instead, look for naturally fermented vegetables in the refrigerated section.
Yoghurt is also a big winner. People who eat yoghurt regularly tend to have more lactobacilli in their intestines and fewer Enterobacteriaceae, which is a bacteria associated with inflammation and chronic diseases. Be aware, however, that many yoghurts – particularly those labelled as flavoured yoghurts – have high levels of sugar, which can defeat the purpose of eating yoghurt for your gut health in the first place.
The best yoghurt is natural, plain yoghurt. And if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, the best addition is to mix in some raw honey for a full flavour effect – and plenty of gut-health benefits. You can add your yoghurt and honey to granola for a delicious breakfast that is packed with fibre and good bacteria for your overall gut wellbeing.
Explore our wide range of Meluka products, including a variety of probiotics, to support your health. You can also get healthy ideas at our blog, and find tasty recipes for ongoing health and wellness.