How to improve your gut health, and why it matters

A 2020 survey showed that 40% of US adults are living with a GI disorder, and many more live with regular stomach discomfort.  In addition to causing discomfort, poor gut health has an impact on our overall health. The microbiome in our gut and mouth produces small amounts of vitamins, help to ferment and break down foods we eat, and supports overall immune and inflammatory functions.

We spoke with our friend Alaina from Nightingale College about gut health.


Many Americans have poor gut health due to the common use of antibiotics, low variety of foods in the diet, and high levels of stress. So, how do we get back on track?

  • Eat slowly and chew your food completely
    • Smaller pieces of food are more easily digested and broken down by the enzymes in the body
    • Eating slowly can aid in more comfortable and more complete digestion
  • Consume a variety of minimally processed plant-based foods
    • Food such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, starchy tubers, and beans
      • These foods feed the gut bacteria and help to increase their overall health
      • They also provide the bacteria with helpful phytochemicals that can help to decrease inflammation
    • Pay attention to how certain foods make you feel
      • If specific foods are causing stomach discomfort consistently it might be a good idea to limit that food in your diet
      • If you suspect food sensitivities or allergies connect with your healthcare team for screenings
    • If you take antibiotics add some good bacteria back in
      • Consider using a probiotic
      • Consider using kefir
      • Talk to your prescriber about restoring gut and bacteria health back to balance
        • A study showed that it takes over 6 weeks to begin to restore gut bacteria after antibiotic use
      • Move your body
        • Physical activity and cardiovascular fitness are associated with more microbial diversity and more short-chain fatty acids
        • Engaging in mild-moderate exercise, you stimulate the parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) nervous system
        • Movement in the body can encourage movement in the gut (aiding both digestion and elimination)

These tips can help to maintain normal gut health and support immune health and normal inflammatory responses.

To Top