We’ve all heard the saying, “listen to your gut.” And while that advice often refers to our intuition, it should also speak to our digestionYour gut guides your overall well-being. Quite literally, your gut is the epicenter of your mental and physical health.

What happens inside your gut?

Your gut holds trillions of bacteria that help process your food, produce nutrients, and fight disease. Since what you eat, drink and think affects the environment in your gut, your daily choices play a critical role in whether those trillion plus bacteria help or hinder your well-being.

How can you take care of your gut?

1. Take a probiotic supplement.

A daily probiotic supplement will help boost the good bacteria in your gut, keeping the bad guys under control, boosting your immune system and easing digestive issues.

2. Eat whole foods.

You can also eat whole foods that are fermented and contain large amounts of good bacteria. Sauerkraut, kimchi, quick pickles, miso, and Kaanji (specially in the winter when carrots are seasonal), rejuvelac  are fantastic plant-based probiotic-rich foods.

3. Eat regularly, but not constantly

To give your gut a chance to clean up and clear out bacteria and waste, it needs a rest from digestion. Every 90 minutes to two hours, the smooth muscle in your intestines move and groove to keep bacteria and waste truckin’ through your digestive tract.

4. Lessen refined dairy, sugar and processed foods.

When you consume processed, sugar-laden, refined foods, you’re giving bad bacteria an all-you-can-eat buffet, which increases the likelihood of all the aforementioned bull crap that weighs you down and dims your shine. Dairy keeps the body and digestive system damp, which also feeds the bad bacteria, so it must be avoided.

5. Lessen stress.

When you experience chronic stress, your brain goes into fight or flight mode, causing your digestion and blood flow in the gut to slow down, the muscles that push along waste and bacteria to freeze up and the secretions for digestion to decrease. All of these stress responses equal a poorly functioning gut!

I hope this information inspires you to love your gut back to health.  Also, my book The Beauty Diet has amazing recipes for the foods that help clean the gut, do pick it up if you have a chance.

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