Uncovering the Secrets of Digestion and Hydration for Longevity
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Over the past few years, there have been plenty of diet plans and trends, all of which have various health claims. While many of them lack scientific backing, some of them, such as vegan and ketogenic diets, have demonstrated significant benefits.
One term that has gained attention in the field of health and wellness is “biohacking”. While it encompasses a wide range of health and lifestyle practices, dietary modification is one of its most popular topics.
When you read through various articles, blogs, and other online sources, gut health is one of the most common areas when it comes to biohacking one’s diet. Essentially, your guts play a crucial role in your overall health. In fact, their importance is so high that they can be considered the second brain of your body.
According to Vinshi Khan, a gastroenterologist with Franciscan Physician Network Gastroenterology in Lafayette, Indiana, having good gut health leads to many benefits, such as reduced inflammation, less risk for obesity and heart disease, as well as higher energy levels. Of course, don’t forget about its usefulness in digesting the food you eat, absorbing its nutrients, and using it as fuel to maintain your body. However, if you have poor gut health, you can experience frequent discomfort, constipation, diarrhoea, heartburn, and more.
5 Biohacking Tips for Healthy Guts
Eat Probiotic-Rich Foods
When it comes to gut health, one of its most vital components is the good bacteria that call your body home. However, there are also colonies of bad bacteria that could be potentially harmful. Having an imbalance in your guts can lead to allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and even cancer.
Therefore, balancing your body by having more good bacteria than bad is essential to achieving and maintaining good gut health. An article released by Harvard Health Publishing suggested that eating fermented foods like yoghourt, kimchi, and miso ensures your digestion remains solid and free from illnesses. Additionally, you can also add probiotic supplements to your diet. However, consider asking your physician before consumption.
You can also go for some prebiotics if you want a boost in your overall gut health. These compounds pertain to a group of specialised plant fibres that act as fertilisers to stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut. The following are some examples of prebiotic foods:
- Whole grain
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water is crucial for good gut health. Adequate hydration helps to flush toxins from your body and improves the digestive process, allowing for better nutrient absorption. Natural mineral water and alkaline water can provide additional benefits, such as minerals that support bone and digestive health and properties that promote probiotic growth.
Stay Away From Inflammatory Foods
Certain foods, such as red meat, dairy, fried foods, and sugars, can cause inflammation in the gut, leading to various health concerns. Dana Ellis Hunnes, an assistant professor at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health says that sugary soft drinks, high fructose corn syrup, candies, and processed foods should also be avoided or limited as they can harm some of your good bacteria.
Be Physically Active
Aside from the benefits of regular exercise, you might be surprised to know that staying active can also improve overall gut health. As you let more oxygen reach your brain and bloodstream, there is a rise in body temperature. These conditions are good for your microbiome, allowing bacteria to flourish.
Moreover, Jeffrey Woods, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, states that staying active leads to an increase in the bacteria population that produces short-chain fatty acids, or SCFAs. These fatty acids play an important role in the body acting as the primary fuel for your gut cells, regulating inflammation, modifying your metabolism, and more.
Stress can have adverse effects on your gut health. Kenneth Koch, MD, professor of medicine in gastroenterology and medical director of the Digestive Health Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, says that short-term stress can cause discomfort, such as gas production and constipation, while chronic stress can increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease, peptic ulcers, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Therefore, it is essential to manage stress through activities such as meditation, deep breathing, and mindfulness practices.
Despite being a relatively new concept, biohacking your gut health involves incorporating lifestyle changes that are backed by scientific research. By following these 5 tips in your daily routine, you can optimise your gut health and improve your overall well-being.
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