Maintaining a healthy gut is one of the most important things you can do to achieve a high level of health and wellness. They say “you are what you eat”, but how you digest the food you eat is just as important. Taking proper care of your gut can help alleviate painful digestive problems, keep you regular, and also help you lead a long and healthy life.

Take Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms. They're a type of bacteria, which is normally seen as a negative thing. You've probably heard about bacterial infections. Probiotics, however, are a type of good bacteria. Everyone has bacteria that lives in their digestive system, but if they get out balance it can cause a whole host of health issues including bloating, gas, and diarrhea. More and more studies are showing that imbalanced gut bacteria can lead to serious diseases. Taking a daily probiotic helps support your intestinal health. Probiotics support the healthy microbiomes that live in your gut which can help prevent gut inflammation and other intestinal and digestive issues. Taking a daily probiotic doesn't just assist with healthy digestion, but it also helps support your immune system and can help some people with weight loss.

Exercise

Exercise is commonly prescribed by doctors for a number of issues including weight loss, heart health, and maintaining low blood pressure. As it tuns out, getting enough regular exercise is one of the best ways that you can ensure your intestines stay healthy too. Studies have shown that people who partake in moderate exercise, such as walking, biking, or swimming, digest their foods more efficiently. In fact, exercise can speed up the amount of time that it takes for food to travel through your intestines by up to 30 percent. Exercise has also helped people who experience chronic constipation have more regular and soft bowel movements and it can also reduce inflammation in the bowels.

Avoid Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Avoiding or limiting your sugar and artificial sweetener intake can also help with your gut health efforts. Artificial sweeteners have been shown to increase blood sugar, even though they don't contain any actual sugars. Eating too much sugar or artificial sweeteners can cause an imbalance in your gut microbes. Some studies show that ingesting sugar and artificial sweeteners can lead to metabolic disease. People who have metabolic disease have a higher risk of getting heart disease and diabetes.

Get Enough Fiber

Almost everyone knows that eating fiber helps support a healthy digestive system, but not a lot of people fully understand why. The sugars found in high fiber foods are absorbed slower than other kinds of sugars, which helps keep blood glucose levels from spiking too high too fast. Fiber cleans out your colon, it acts as a type of brush to help clean out unnecessary buildup in your intestines. Eating foods that are high in fiber keeps you feeling full longer, so it can help maintain your weight. Fiber also moves through your body faster than other foods so your brain gets notified that you feel full much sooner than if you eat sugary foods. Eating high fiber foods helps you have regular bowel movements and reduces constipation. It can also help reduce the occurrence of acid reflux, ulcers and hemorrhoids. Foods that are naturally high in fiber include beans, nuts and oat bran.

Reduce Stress Levels

There are many different kinds of stress. There's mental or psychological stress, environmental stress (such as extreme temperatures) and physical stress. Managing your overall stress level is important for many components of your health, including your gut and intestines. High levels of stress can have a negative impact on your healthy gut bacteria. Have you ever had an upset stomach when you're really stressed about something? Rest assured, it was not your imagination. Some of the ways you can help reduce stress include meditation, getting an adequate amount of sleep and practicing deep breathing exercises.

You would probably feel overwhelmed if you tried to incorporate all of these things at once. Try picking one or two items and see if you feel any improvements.