How to Keep Your Gut Healthy in the New Year
The new year is here! In the spirit of “new year, new you”, there’s literally no better time to fully commit yourself to achieving optimal health!
As you know, total body health begins in your gut. If you support your gut health, everything else will fall into place. Follow my five tips to kickstart your gut health in 2019 to ensure that your new year is full joy and laughter, health and happiness.
1. Eat a Nutrient-dense Diet
If you fell off track over the holidays, your gut is likely feeling the consequences! Now that the cookies, cocktails, and other holiday temptations are behind you, the new year is the perfect opportunity to optimize your diet. To keep your gut healthy this year, it’s essential to recommit to The Myers Way® 100%. Choose organic, nutrient-dense, whole foods over processed or refined junk food, and ditch all toxic and inflammatory foods, including sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, and dairy.
The new year is a wonderful time to branch out and shake up your recipe routine by experimenting with new foods. Diversity in your diet creates a healthy diversity of gut flora in your microbiome. The more diversity of bacteria you have in your gut, the more health benefits you can enjoy. My website is filled with immune-supporting, nutrient-rich, and delicious recipes, and you can find even more ideas in The Autoimmune Solution Cookbook, which contains over 150 recipes featuring an array of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and grass-fed meats to support your gut health in the new year.
2. Tackle Your Underlying Gut Infections
Overindulgences and stress during the holidays can increase your risk of Candida overgrowth and SIBO. You’ll want to tackle these underlying gut infections as soon as possible, since both can set you up for leaky gut, which in turn can lead to autoimmune conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Graves’, Crohn’s, and Celiac disease.
The supplements in my Candida Breakthrough® Kit and my SIBO Breakthrough™ Kit can help you overcome these gut infections naturally. Taking Leaky Gut Revive™ and collagen can further help repair your gut and keep recurrent infections at bay. You can learn more about how to beat SIBO here and Candida overgrowth here.
Plus, now is the perfect time to tackle Candida overgrowth, as we are about to launch our annual LIVE Candida Breakthrough® Challenge! Along with all of the materials and supplements in my Candida Breakthrough® Program, you’ll have the support of me, my team, and hundreds of others just like you working to overcome Candida overgrowth. Sign up today and start 2019 off strong!
3. Take Probiotics and Prebiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics both play super important roles in your gut health. Despite their similar names, they are actually quite different from one another. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that are fermented in your gut by probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that keep your microbiome balanced. Prebiotics feed your probiotics, and they work together to improve your gut health.1 Without prebiotics, probiotics can’t do their job effectively, and vice-versa.
Prebiotics are found in many common foods, and are essential for your gut health. Since your body cannot completely break them down, they reach your gastrointestinal tract undigested and end up being fermented in your gut by friendly bacteria. In this way, prebiotics “feed” your good gut bacteria, helping them to produce important nutrients for your colon cells, which in turn leads to a healthier digestive system.2,3,4,5 Eating plenty of prebiotics can improve your digestion, reduce your risk of GI infection and inflammation, and boost your metabolism.6,7,8
Prebiotic-rich foods include:
- Dandelion greens
- Jicama root
- Jerusalem artichokes
Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria that help keep your gut in balance. Eating a diet high in inflammatory foods, exposure to environmental toxins, and stress all feed the bad bacteria in your gut. And, taking even a single round of antibiotics wipes out your good bacteria along with the bad.
Taking a probiotic supplement can help replace your good bacteria and keep bad bacteria in check, restoring balance to your gut, and keeping it functioning properly. Probiotics improve your digestion, reduce your risk of autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and prevent yeast-related infections, such as Candida overgrowth and eczema.9,10
I recommend taking a high-quality probiotic supplement daily to maintain optimal gut health. If you are fighting Candida or working to repair a leaky gut, my Probiotic Capsules 100 Billion can provide extra support for your gut. And if you have SIBO, be sure to take only soil-based probiotics, such as Primal Earth™, as certain strains in other probiotics can actually feed bacterial overgrowth.
4. Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is your body’s way of rejuvenating itself at the end of each day. It is when your body has a chance for repair and recovery. The relationship between your sleep and your gut health is a two-way street. While an unhealthy gut flora can lead to difficulty sleeping, your sleep and circadian rhythms can also impact the diversity and health of your microbiome.
Recent research shows that not sleeping enough can negatively affect your gut health, and sleep apnea can compromise your microbiome. Disrupted sleep and misaligned circadian rhythms can also lead to obesity and metabolic disorders.11,12,13,14
Developing a regular night-time routine and sleep schedule, and sleeping 7 – 8 hours a night is crucial for your gut health. Avoiding sugary foods and alcohol, decreasing your blue-light exposure by wearing amber glasses in the evening, and choosing relaxing activities, such as reading or journaling before bed can help you fall asleep easier and get deeper and higher-quality sleep. Read more of my favorite tips to reset your sleep cycle here so you can optimize your body’s overnight gut-repairing abilities!
5. Relieve Your Stress
Your brain and gut are constantly interacting. When you are under stress, your gut can feel it too. Just think about it: when you have to make an important phone call, give a presentation, or have a difficult conversation with a loved one, you may have butterflies in your stomach and feel nauseous. You are also more likely to overeat or reach for comfort foods when stressed.
Research shows that major stressful events can affect your gut for health months or years later. And, chronic stress damages your gut more seriously than acute stress. Ongoing stress from work, sickness or death of a loved one, lack of sleep, a poor diet, and other daily stressors creates dysbiosis in your gut. An imbalanced gut can leave you open to more serious complications, such as inflammation, frequent illness, fatigue, autoimmune conditions, and other chronic diseases. That’s why it’s so crucial to make time to de-stress and practice self-care!
Some of my favorite stress-relieving activities include:
- Meditation and breathing exercises
- Walking Mocha with Elle and Xavier
- Relaxing in my infrared sauna
- Sipping on herbal tea
- Taking a warm bath with calming essential oils such as lavender
Are you ready to make this your healthiest year yet? By repairing your gut and making The Myers Way™ a part of your daily life, you will see–and feel–the difference a healthy gut can make! Wishing you (and your gut) a happy new year!