Bad Habits That Might Be Hurting Your Gut Health

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Jacqueline Alwill, accredited nutritionist and fitness trainer and founder of The Brown Paper Bag blog and meal delivery service, told Bondi Beauty about the 5 worst habits for gut health and how to overcome them.

Doctors have proclaimed the gut to be the ‘second brain to the body,’ due to it’s vital role in the body both physically and mentally.

The gut controls the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, energy levels, skin health, weight loss and immune system. It is also in charge of 95% of the body’s production of the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin, meaning that it pays a large role in mental health as well.

Ultimately, looking after the gut is pretty important in keeping the body functioning at an optimum level.

Bondi Beauty spoke to certified nutritionist, Jaqueline Alwell about the major factors that impact gut health and how to make choices in your day-to-day life that will optimise the function of your gut.

These are Jacqueline’s 5 worst habits for the gut (and how to amend them):

Not eating enough fibre

“It’s important to have a balanced diet that includes fibre-rich foods, which are essential for optimum gut health

Whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and fruits are packed with fibre and can help you hit the recommended daily fibre intake of 25-30g.

Start your day right by choosing a fibre-rich cereal for breakfast and incorporate more plant-based foods into your meals.

Not drinking enough water

Staying hydrated is a simple way to promote a healthy gut, and drinking at least 2 litres of water a day will have a beneficial effect on your gut function.

Keep a filled water bottle on hand, as this will both remind you to drink frequently and make it easy to measure how much water you are drinking each day.

If you find it unpleasant to drink water, adding wedges of citrus fruits like lemon, lime or orange to your water will give it some extra flavour!

Not eating enough whole foods

To improve your gut health, try to focus on incorporating whole foods into your diet these will positively impact your gut.

Add blueberries and yoghurt to a fibre-filled cereal for brekkie or bake your own healthy snack bars using nuts, fruits and honey, which are much healthier and more cost-effective than store-bought snacks.

Not exercising enough

Regular exercise is  highly important for optimum gut health, and studies show that exercising can increase the production of beneficial gut microbes.

Weekly or daily exercise is a key component of maintaining a healthy environment for the vital gut flora that maintains your digestive system.

Feeling stressed

Ongoing stress can negatively affect the trillions of healthy bacteria in your gut, which in turn can have a long-term effect on your entire body.

Studies have shown high stress levels can impact the blood flow to your gut and can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to sickness, exhaustion, and nutritional deficiencies.

Try to take time out to meditate, walk the dog and slow down.”

Click here for Bondi Beauty’s article on why gut health is vital for a healthy, functioning body.   

Jacqueline has teamed up with Kellogg’s on their latest Fibre Fit campaign. Find out more, here.

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Sarah Carroll

CONTRIBUTOR

Sarah navigates health and fitness alongside a sinful sweet tooth and an unfortunate tendency to splash her savings online shopping, eating out or buying $10 cocktails at happy hour. With a love for yoga, animals and musical theatre, Sarah is rarely found without a peppermint-green tea in hand, tearing up over animal videos on Instagram.

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