The holiday season can present a bit of a challenge for our gut health. More sugar, less sleep and more alcohol are all key factors that are all guaranteed to upset the delicate balance of the microbes that live in our gut.
If you are feeling a little off or find you are lacking energy, then your gut health may need some attention.
Luckily small imbalances in the gut can be easily and fairly quickly remedied. One study showed that within five days of changing your diet, fairly significant positive change was observed.
So, how do you do you improve your gut health?
Let’s start with one of the most effective ways. One of the biggest enemies of gut health is sugar. The problem with eating sugar is that you can cause an overgrowth of the microbes that prefer to live on sugar. This causes a major imbalance in the variety of microbes that live in our gut.
We know that the microbes can influence our feelings. They do this in two ways. Firstly they can hack into our nervous system and secondly, they are responsible for the production of neurotransmitters. So this means that the balance of microbes we have in our gut can change the way we feel about things.
One interesting theory is that if enough sugar-loving microbes take hold of your gut, they can drive our cravings for sugar and then reward us with a flood of feel-good hormones when we satisfy their demands. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen but I do know if I eat more sugar on one day, the next day I have cravings for more sugar. What helps me is to envisage a gang of sugar-loving microbes mounting a takeover of my gut and trying to influence my choices. That image helps my determination to starve them out. I don’t like being told what to do by a bunch of bugs. Maybe this image will help you resist the temptation for that chocolate bar!
You have two options when trying to reign in your sugar intake. Slowly reduce it over time or go cold turkey eliminating all processed and natural sugars. This means avoiding fresh and dried fruit as well. Once you are sugar-craving free, you can reintroduce a few pieces of fruit each day as it is great for your health but at first it helps to have none, natural or otherwise.
Both approaches require some dedication and you will know what is most likely to be the most successful approach for you. But one of the best things you can do for your gut health is to address the sugar issue.
Good luck with your efforts to reduce sugar and don’t forget that you can use the bestow cleanses as a guide or for inspiration. Just go to bestowcleanse.com and sign up for our free programmes.
Alternatively, if you feel your gut needs more attention than simply reducing sugar, I would recommend our book, The Gut-Skin Connection. It contains a comprehensive programme and many recipes that support gut health.