The gut is the ‘second brain’ of our body, and when it’s in trouble (whether due to an unhealthy diet, chronic stress or food intolerance) we need to take care of it.
You can do a simple detox and rest your gut by eating a clean diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising and getting enough sleep. These steps can help keep you healthy and happy!
1. Eat a Clean Diet
The best way to detox and rest your gut is by eating a clean diet. This means focusing on whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, grains, healthy proteins and good fats.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients that support the health of your organs, including your liver, kidneys, colon, and lungs. They’re also rich in prebiotics — indigestible nutrients that feed the good bacteria in your digestive tract.
These bacteria help maintain the lining of your gut and prevent toxins from getting into your bloodstream, explains Cindy Geyer, M.D., an internal medicine specialist.
When you’re on a detox plan, focus on high-fiber, plant-based foods, like broccoli, spinach and beans, and include healthy nuts and seeds in your meals. Nuts, for instance, are a great source of protein, fiber and healthy fats.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water is the best gut healing tonic you can drink to help detox and rest your gut. It’s also a great way to keep your body feeling and functioning at its best.
A good rule of thumb is to drink about four cups of water per day. This is an amount that should be easily attainable for healthy people.
It’s also important to hydrate right upon waking up and at every snack and meal. You can get a lot of fluids by eating fruits and vegetables, as these are high in water content.
You should also consider adding some lemon, cucumber and ginger slices to your water for a nice taste. These flavors are also a great source of vitamins and minerals.
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Exercise is one of the best ways to detox and rest your gut. Whether it’s running, swimming, jumping rope or yoga, exercise gets your heart rate up and helps your body release toxins.
It also strengthens your muscles, bones and joints. This makes it easier to perform daily activities and improves your overall fitness.
Aside from keeping your heart healthy and helping you lose weight, regular physical activity can help your brain function at an optimal level. Plus, it releases stress, reduces anxiety and improves mood.
Getting adequate sleep is also important, and I recommend 7-8 hours of sleep each night for better mental health.
Another way to keep your gut happy and functioning is to maintain a diet rich in probiotic foods and supplements. Several studies have shown that probiotics can help with digestive and immune issues. Foods that naturally contain these beneficial bacteria include kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi. These fermented foods are also a great source of fiber and prebiotics that feed the microbes.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for both your gut and your brain. Research shows that a lack of sleep can lead to mood swings and depression.
Insomnia can also cause your body to produce more of the hormone cortisol, which is a big player in inflammation. A good balance of the bacteria in your gut can help you regulate these levels and therefore, make it easier for you to sleep.
Your gut microbiome is a dynamic system of trillions of bacteria and other microscopic organisms. It changes in response to a variety of factors like diet, stress, and sleep deprivation.
A healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut helps to regulate your stress responses, including the production of GABA, a key hormone that reels your body into “rest and digest” mode. If you have an imbalance, it can lead to digestive challenges such as recurrent bloating, acid reflux, and heartburn.