Lifestyle Tips to Keep your Gut and Digestive System Healthy

Written By :

August 25, 2022

You’ve probably heard the term “gut health” and know that “good” gut health is important. But what does it really mean to have a healthy gut? What does the term “gut” refer to anyways?

Your gut is when people ask you how you knew something and you shrug saying it’s a “gut feeling”, it also  refers to the digestive system as a whole, or to the stomach specifically. Having a healthy gut means having the right balance of tiny bacteria and other microbes in your digestive tract and stomach (microbiome) which leads to stronger immune system, better mood, more productivity, healthier heart and mind, and minimal discomfort after food.

What is the digestive system?

The digestive system plays a major role in our overall health, and it consists of the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, liver and gallbladder. It is responsible for breaking down everything you eat into smaller simpler compounds (macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and protein, and micronutrients: vitamins and minerals) that your body then absorbed into the bloodstream. They are then used as sources of energy, cell repair and function.

The interesting thing about our gut (and our body), is the huge number of bacteria, fungi and viruses living peacefully on and inside us, especially in our small intestine and colon. They are known as the gut microbiome. They weigh 2kg and are bigger than the human brain.

Any imbalances in the gut microbiome (read more here) or in the digestive process leads to digestive problems such as: abdominal cramps, bloating, flatulence, heartburn, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, which everyone experiences occasionally and is completely natural. However, if these symptoms occur frequently, they can interfere with our everyday life and become frustrating. More importantly, these symptoms are signs that should not be ignored because our body can’t benefit from the food we eat if it’s not digested and absorbed correctly.

The first step if you have any persisting pre-mentioned symptoms is checking up with a health professional to ensure that there are no underlying medical issues such as:

Meanwhile, you can start having a healthy gut and better digestion through these 7 diet and lifestyle simple tips at home and naturally:

Eat fresh high fiber foods

There are three common types of fiber (soluble, insoluble, and prebiotics). Soluble fiber absorbs water and helps add bulk to the stool. Insoluble fiber acts like a toothbrush, helping the digestive tract keep everything moving along. Additionally, fiber along with adequate water intake helps the digestive tract to function properly and can reduce the risk of digestive issues such as ulcers, constipation, reflux and IBS.Finally, Prebiotics are considered the food for our microflora in the large intestine which promotes a healthy gut.Fiber recommendations according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:Women: 25g per dayMen: 38g per dayExamples of high fiber foods: broccoli, artichokes, pears, nuts, lentils, chia seeds, oats and quinoa

Add healthy fats to your diet

Healthy fats slow down digestion which helps with better nutrient absorption such a s fat soluble vitamins. Healthy fats also give the body essential fatty acids such as omega-3 which controls inflammation and may decrease the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease. Fats promote satiety and regulate blood sugar which helps you feel fuller for longer.Examples of healthy fats: salmon, avocado, chia seeds, olives, nuts, and coconut oil.


Probiotics assist in digestion by breaking down indigestible fibers that can otherwise cause gas and bloating. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that provide powerful health benefits to the digestive tract, reduce depression, and improve symptoms of constipation and diarrhoea.Probiotic foods to add to your diet:Pickles, yogurt, kefir, balsamic vinegar, kimchi, miso, cottage cheese and fermented olives. Probiotics can also be beneficial when taken as supplements in capsule form. You can check our range of probiotics products here.

Drink Plenty of Water

This tip is extremely underrated. As water is vital for good health and drinking water helps how your body breaks down and processes food. Water also makes stool softer, which helps prevent constipation.Recommended water intake:Women: 2.7L/dayMen: 3.7L/dayIt’s important to note that these are recommendations only, and water intake varies according to our physical activity, protein intake, stress, hot weather and a lot more.To increase your water intake:Drink 2 cups before every meal when you wake up and before you sleep. Add lemon, mint or strawberries for a better taste. Substitute sodas, juices, drinks with water. Keep a bottle of water next to you so that you don’t forget to drink.

Manage Stress

You’re what you eat. This is true to some extent, especially looking at how the digestive system and the brain are connected. The digestion is affected by stress because when you are in a flight or fight mode, digestion is interrupted and your body thinks you don’t have time to rest and digest. During these periods of stress, blood and energy are diverted away from your digestive system.Stress has been linked to irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, bloating, flatulence, and constipation.Here are suggestions to help you with stress:Meditation Yoga, Stretching and Pilates Long walks in nature Taking supplements such as Ashwagandha Weights training and exercise

Get Moving

Physical activity has enormous benefits that extend to the whole body. It helps in relieving tension and maintaining a healthy digestion. Furthermore, exercise regulates the digestion time by stimulating movement in the colon and helps things move along. Regular exercise also protects against constipation and may lower the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease.Examples of physical activity: working out, jogging, swimming, cycling, and literally anything that gets you moving on a regular basis.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting or time restricted feeding simply refers to when you cycle between fasting and eating. For example you fast for 16 hours straight, then you have 2 meals in an 8 hour eating window, however you also fast between these two meals. There are a variety of different approaches to fasting such as one meal a day or even a 48 hour fast..etc.Actually, fasting doesn’t have to be this hard, a small window of 3-4 hours between meals might be more than enough. This will allow the migrating motor complex to complete a full cycle in which the leftover undigested material is swept through the digestive tract. In this way fasting (even for a small time) protects against constipation and promotes a healthy gut environment.The bottom line is that big changes start with small steps. So start incorporating these tips to your daily routine and I promise you will see the difference. If you need to take this one step further you can directly contact our wellness coaches through WhatsApp or book a 1:1 consultation.

Written By :

August 25, 2022