Gut health is intricately linked, and crucial to, our overall health, including maintaining a healthy weight and youthful skin. A healthy gut will boost your energy, moods, immunity, and gives you that gorgeous glow. If you are in the midst of a cleanse, or ready to embark on one, attending to the wellbeing of your gut is key. Check out these five habits to help you build a better gut.

Make Mealtimes Quiet Time - One of the best things we can do to encourage good gut health is to eat in a relaxed state, as much as possible. Make mealtimes a mindfulness exercise: avoid stressful or difficult conversations, and be sure to eat slowly while chewing well. Take the time to fully focus on and enjoy your food: the colors, texture, and taste. Try to eat in peaceful, pleasant surroundings; take your lunch break in the park, or dim the lights at dinner and play some calming music.

Eat Fermented Foods, and Take Your Probiotics - A healthy and balanced internal ecosystem is crucial to the wellbeing of your gut. Beneficial intestinal flora assist in the digestive process, help the body fight invaders, make B vitamins more absorbable, and are a key component to proper detoxification. You can support the good bugs in your gut by eating fermented foods like raw sauerkraut and kimchi, taking a high-quality probiotic supplement, eating fiber-rich foods, and being sure to drink pure, filtered water.

Avoid Food That Cause Sensitivities - There are foods that often taste good and fulfill an emotional need, but may leave us with an impaired gut, and symptoms like bloating, fatigue, indigestion, and chronic inflammation. Over time this damage can lead to chronic and severe illnesses. The most common trigger foods are gluten, dairy, alcohol, and refined and processed sugars. Eliminating, while also identifying which foods you may be sensitive to, is key to vibrant health and a healthy gut.

Get Eight Hours of Sleep Each Night - A full night’s rest allows for deep tissue repair, and healthy hormone and neurotransmitter production. Syncing up with your natural circadian rhythms, and getting into the flow of a full night’s sleep every night, is a powerful way to heal your body and digestive processes. There is simply no substitute for deep and restorative sleep. Creating a good sleep environment is a great practice to keep up: dim the lights and shut devices off at least one hour before bed, make your bedroom calm and peaceful for sleeping and aim for regular sleep and waking times.

Exercise - Moderate physical exercise each day does great things for the beneficial flora in the gut, and helps with tone, digestion, and motility. No need for overly strenuous workouts, though: about half an hour per day of vigorous exercise, with strength and weight-bearing exercise (like free weights or yoga), is perfect.

Rebuilding a healthy inner ecosystem after years of stress and poor eating habits can take some time and patience. Emphasizing a gut-healthy lifestyle, with ongoing cleansing support and a whole foods diet, will have you well on your way to enhanced nutrient absorption, better moods, and a happier and more vibrant you!

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