7 Easy Ways to Ensure a Healthy Gut

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Welcome back everybody. It is Becky Williams. I'm excited to do another bonus video for you this week. This week is gonna be a little bit different. The structure of what I have to talk about is a little bit different. But still, it's very important that you take notes, that you write down this information because it's going to be a little bit more content-dense today. So, you may want to go ahead and pause this and grab a pen and paper.

But today, I'm going to talk about 7 Ways To Ensure A Healthy Gut. Now, I know I talked about the gut and brain connection in another video. But today, I'm going to talk to you about ensuring that you actually have a healthy gut so that that connection can be working as it should, okay. So the very first thing I want to talk to you about is avoid extended use of antibiotics. Now, I am 34 and so whenever I was growing up doctors gave antibiotics for everything. I mean you had a cold, they gave you antibiotics, which it doesn't even work for that. But unfortunately, my generation because of the overuse of antibiotics, a lot of us have issues with our gut. 

So did you actually know that antibiotics will wipe out all of the bacteria in your gut? It wipes out the good, the bad, the ugly, everything. Okay, so even if you have a good immune system, started right there when you take antibiotics, clean slate everything's out. So the good bacteria that you would need to fight off any other infections that you might have or that might be coming around the corner, they're not there.  And so the infection can take residence in your gut. Okay, all the good bacteria is wiped out. You have no defense system. Basically. 

The second thing is to incorporate fermented foods into your diet. Now, I understand that everybody who's in our Sprightly Soul membership does have different meal plans that you're following. But I just want to talk to you about fermented foods. However, you want to fit that into your plan is good for me. Okay fermented foods. I'm talking about like kimchi, Tempeh, yogurt, sauerkraut those kind of things. Those actually introduce good bacteria back into your gut. Just a word of caution, those store-bought fermented foods are usually pasteurized. What this means is that it kills the good bacteria before you can even consume it. So basically it's defeating the purpose right of buying the fermented food. It is better to make your own fermented foods at home. Do your research, find out what vital nutrients that you need to ensure are in the fermented food before you purchase or go buy a reputable source, right? There are some that are on the market that are good. I'm not saying they're all bad, just saying if you want to absolutely make sure then I would make your own. 

Okay number 3, only consume raw unbleached natural sugars. It seems like every single year manufacturers develop some kind of new artificial sweetener or some kind of new natural sweetener that provides a missing link for those wanting to stay away from white sugars. Note, sugar even in its purest form is not white. Stevia is a green plant. It is not white okay. This means that even if the packaging says pure or says stevia, truvia, heaven-sent what you've been waiting for whatever it is. This does not necessarily mean that it was unprocessed, okay. Don't be discouraged though. There is a list of sweeteners that pass the test for being natural and organic which is agave, raw honey - local if you can get it, blackstrap molasses, pure stevia.

Also note that if something says that it has these things in it. It doesn't necessarily mean that it is pure.  So do like I've taught you in previous videos, flip that bottle over whatever it is. See what other ingredients have been added. Just because it has stevia or something that's pure in it does not mean that the entire content is that sweetener, okay. Also, once again, I do understand we have different eating plans here. I'm just giving you a big aerial view of these different sweeteners. You use them how you see best. If they don't fit into your plan, pick one that does out of this list, okay. 

Number 4 my soapbox lower your stress level. Really Becky, I thought you're talking about my midsection not my head. Yes, remember in my previous video

I talked about 90% of serotonin is made in your gut. So when you are stressed you usually eat, right? Lowering your stress levels, it helps you just to make better food choices. Therefore, you're able to create a favorable gut environment. There is so much more that connects stress with your gut health, but I talked about that in a previous video.  Go back and watch it. 

Okay, here are 4 ways that you can wind down to help keep that occasional stress at bay. Please know that if your stress is continuous, your stress is chronic, please seek out additional help if you need help. Please reach out and do so, okay. 

So, here are my 4 ways that I like to reduce my stress. First is Meditation or Prayer whatever that means for you There are guided meditations that you can do if you're a Christian there are Christian meditations. There's all kinds of things that are option out for you. The main idea is to be quiet and thoughtful and mindful for a little while without all these things, you know happening with your phone buzzing, Facebook notifications coming up, all the interruptions. The point is to be still and

have some white space is what I like to call it. 

The second is Aromatherapy.  You know in my previous videos you've seen I have a ton of oils. Aromatherapy has been used for a very long time to help with soothing and calming. Also along with this is like Epsom salt bath, things that are very cleansing. Warm water will also help you to be able to wind down at night. I talked about that in another previous video as well. 

The third thing is Physical Activity. I know and you know, I am NOT a super big fan of exercise. It's not that I don't think it's good It's just that I don't like to do it. So finding ways to stay busy physically that you actually do enjoy will reduce your stress levels. Now if you are picking something that's super stress inducing that you hate and you dread it, that's not gonna reduce your stress. So find something that's going to be a physical activity that you actually enjoy to get your body moving.

The fourth part of reducing your stress is Diet. Of course, there are food groups that are going to help to reduce your stress and then there's some that will induce your stress. We all know white processed sugar, garbage food, chemical food, those are going to be things that are going to increase your stress, not decrease it.

Some really good things that you could keep in your pantry: dark chocolate, pure dark chocolate. If you're doing something like keto, you could do a stevia sweetened dark chocolate. Those are really really good and good to have on occasion. Walnuts, salmon, garlic, figs if that fits in your eating plan, oatmeal that fits in your eating plan. If not, you could always do like a chia seed oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, Swiss chard, seaweed, citrus fruits. All of these things are really good, that are good for your gut, good for your brain, good for your life. Like I said, just make sure that it fits in your eating plan. 

Okay, also laughter remember laughter does good like a medicine. So make sure that you are laughing at least every day if you are having trouble finding joy in life right now. Go ahead, get on YouTube, get on Facebook, get on Instagram. Look up some comedians. Look up some funny memes, do whatever you have to do, but make it a goal to laugh every single day. All right. 

Number 5 in helping with your gut here is to Eat Prebiotic Foods. Prebiotics are foods that promote the growth of beneficial microbes in your gut. There are many fruits, vegetables and whole grains that contain prebiotics. Here are some that top the charts. All of these are raw except for two, okay: so chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, garlic, leeks, raw onions and cooked onions, asparagus and also bananas. So I know a lot of people will say that bananas are super high in sugar, which is true. It is fructose. It's still sugar. But if you have a green banana and you can freeze it whenever it's green, it is actually really full of prebiotics. It's really good to throw into your smoothie. It's not gonna add a whole bunch of sugar to your smoothie into your day, but it's a really good resistant starch that contains prebiotics. 

All right number 6, we're almost done. Number 6 is to Eat Foods Rich in Fiber. Here's a list of good fiber foods for your gut: raspberries, artichokes, green beans, broccoli, chickpeas, lentils, beans like kidney beans, pinto beans, white beans, whole grains. Once again, if they fit in your diet go with it. If they're ones that don't fit in your diet, find good fiber-rich foods that do fit into your eating plan. All right just want to make sure we're not gonna get emails saying that I'm telling you eat beans and you're on paleo. 

All right, Take a Quality Probiotic is step number 7. There are a bunch of good probiotics on the market. For me, things that I look out for for probiotics. Does it need to be in the refrigerator? That's one that's important to me. Does it contain 5 to 10 billion CFU which is colony forming units? Encapsulated pills are a better choice over liquids for me because the bacteria will help to survive the acidic environment once it goes down your stomach. You don't want to have all your digestive juices and everything completely break down your probiotic before it hits your gut right because it's not gonna get to where it needs to go. Also, make sure that there are multiple strains of bacteria. 

So that's it. That's my 7 Easy Ways To Ensure A Healthy Gut. I promised that it wasn't gonna be anything super hard. Just a reminder, you're gonna have these bonus videos every single week. If you have ways that you like to ensure a healthy gut or perhaps you have favorite foods that you like to eat that help with your gut microbiome, I'd love to hear about it in the Facebook group. I'm gonna see you again next week for another bonus video. You don't want to miss this one coming. Have a great week. Bye. Bye.