If you have digestive discomfort you might have an unhealthy gut. Your gut health is directly connected to your immune system – along with your mental well being. And so it’s especially important to know how to reset your digestive system when it becomes unstable.
Did you know that the gut has its own nervous system?
The gut has been described as the body’s “second brain.” Your gut communicates with the brain via the vagus nerve. In fact, more than 90% of the information sent between the two is sent by the gut to your brain.
Because your gut is in such direct and constant communication with your brain, it should come as no surprise that the health of your digestive system can have a big effect on the rest of your body’s performance.
If you’re regularly feeling unwell, moody, low energy, or constantly dealing with an upset stomach, an unhealthy gut could be the culprit. Skin irritations such as eczema and food intolerances could also be indicative of an unhealthy gut.
At this point, you’re probably wondering how to reset your digestive system. It’s not as complicated as it sounds.
In this article I want to explore how to turn an unhealthy gut into a happy, healthy gut!
A healthy digestive system will have a positive effect on the body’s other operations. Your “gut microbiome,” the array of bacteria that live in your intestines, needs to stay healthy to keep the rest of your body in tip-top shape.
Recent studies have found that several strains of bacteria were missing in the gut microbiomes of people diagnosed with depression. This suggests that the bacteria in our guts can have a direct impact on our mental health.
With that in mind, you can see how important it is to cleanse and maintain your digestive system. Gut tests can be kind of hit or miss. (If you want to know more about that, check out this link: https://microbeformulas.com/blogs/microbe-formulas/are-gut-microbiome-tests-accurate-or-worth-it).
Basically, if you want to feel at your best, you must learn what to do – and not do – in order to keep your gut happy and healthy!
There are several methods available if you’re wondering how to reset your digestive system so you can turn your unhealthy gut into a healthier one. You can try everything – from altering your diet – to making key lifestyle changes. Many things can improve your gut health.
An unhappy digestive system can simply stem from unhealthy eating habits. You will want to cut out foods that act against the digestive system and introduce ones that will improve its performance.
Processed foods and sugary foods can stunt digestive health. Artificial sweeteners feed bad bacteria and cause upset stomachs. The less unhealthy foods you consume, the happier your digestive system will be.
There are plenty of gut-friendly foods that will make delicious additions to your diet.
Fermented foods contribute to a healthy gut, so try adding foods like unprocessed yogurt, pickled vegetables, and kombucha into your diet. Polyphenol-rich foods like cloves, blueberries, and green tea can stimulate good bacteria growth and decrease inflammation in your digestive system.
While your body can’t digest fiber on its own, there are plenty of bacteria in your gut that can. Fruits and veggies are your best bets if you want to consume more nutrients and fiber for a healthier microbiota. Feeding them fiber-rich foods will stimulate and improve the growth of these bacteria. There are plenty of delicious high-fiber foods, such as white beans, whole-grain bread, and mangoes. Other high-fiber foods that you should consume for better gut health are broccoli, raspberries, green peas, lentils, and artichokes.
Some foods such as blueberries, apples, pistachios, and almonds, are said to improve the number of bifidobacteria in the gut, which is known to prevent gut inflammation and improve gut health.
Probiotics contain live bacteria that will improve your gut, while prebiotics provides good bacteria with food to feed on.
Some probiotic foods include yogurt, cottage cheese, and miso. Try some authentic ramen noodles with this miso broth that’s also vegan! A vegan diet is said to enhance the gut microbiome, which helps with weight management and improves overall health. If you’re not ready to turn completely vegan, reducing meat intake can still do wonders for your gut.
As far as prebiotics go, add some bananas, garlic, and flaxseed into your diet to give the good bacteria something to chew on.
It’s important to chew your food as thoroughly as possible. This will make the digestion process easier once it reaches your stomach. Chewing your food well also helps the body to absorb the nutrients as fully as possible.
Drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily is a good way to promote a healthy gut too. Doing this will improve the mucus lining of your intestines while promoting the balance of good bacteria. Water also acts with fiber to move solids through your digestive system.
Having a warm glass of water with lemon first thing in the morning will give your digestive system a gentle start to the day. The lemon will work to combat any acidic buildup from the day before!
To build on that morning routine, eat a raw fruit or vegetable before your normal breakfast. The raw product will ease your digestive system into the day and make it easier for it to break down more complex foods.
If you’re experiencing bloating, stomach pain, cramping, rashes, diarrhea, acid reflux, or nausea, this could indicate food intolerance. Observe and eliminate trigger foods and see if your symptoms will improve.
If you don’t already have an exercise routine, it’s time to build one. Sure, it can seem like a hassle, but your digestive system will thank you! Working out helps to diversify the bacteria in your gut.
Exercising pushes waste through your body, and twisting your body can squeeze the liver, which can aid in digestion by speeding up the detox process. Physical activity can also help control your metabolism, which can lead to the body burning calories faster and speeding up the digestive process.
Your overall health can have a bigger impact on your gut than you might suspect.
One of the ways you can reset your digestive system is by getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Not getting enough sleep disrupts the flow of the hormone epinephrine.
Epinephrine is a hormone that causes stress, and lack of sleep can cause an increase in it. This then causes bacteria to rapidly increase and stick to the gut walls, leading to inflammation. Getting enough sleep and reducing stress as much as possible is critical to keeping your gut relaxed and under control.
However, reducing stress is easier said than done, but try to carve out 10 minutes for self-reflection or meditation. Even just journaling or doing some breathing exercises can give your mind a brief reprieve from the stresses of life. You can also try getting a massage, walking, caring for a pet, or diffusing essential oils.
A complete overturn of your lifestyle and dietary routine can also cause mayhem for your digestive system, so make sure that you work this reset into your life over 1-3 weeks. Now that you know how to reset your digestive system though, you can work towards building a happy gut that will positively affect the rest of your body too!
For more insights and tools on healthy living, check out my bestselling longevity book Life is Long.