Though the best time to get healthy is right away, many people view the new year as a chance to plan and implement health goals.
Some aim to train for a fitness competition, a race like a marathon or Iron Man. Others want to work on losing weight or going to Zumba and yoga regularly.
It’s not often you’ll hear someone say “I can’t wait to improve my gut health this year!” or “I’m finally going to address my food sensitivities!”. It just doesn’t happen. But, it should!
Your gut is incredibly important to your health goals, whatever they may be.
The gut is a complex web of microbiomes and houses 70 percent of your immune system. That’s right–70! That means the health of your gut dictates almost all of your entire body’s defense against infectious organisms and other invaders.
Most of these microbiomes fit snug into the pocket of the small intestine.
Your gut works to:
- Digest fiber
- Produce short-chain-fatty acids
- Prevent weight-gain, diabetes, & heart disease
- Communicate with immune cells and their functions
- Helps body respond to infection
- May also affect the central nervous system & brain function
The microbiome that operates the primary function of the gut is made of trillions of bacteria, 1,000’s of species, and each with its own function. It’s no wonder why keeping this system healthy is crucial to overall well-being.
These bacteria have evolved as the human body has, all of its genetic mastery has kept us alive ever since. The bacteria have changed as its stressor became more complex.
Through lifestyle, pollutants, and the way the modern man eats- we’ve really given the gut a run for its money.
So, in this article we’re going to focus on how to improve gut health in the top 3 ways.
What is Health to You?
As health goals vary for different folks, so does the definition of health.
For some, a bowl of fruit for breakfast is the best way to start the day. While others turn their nose to that many grams of sugar first thing in the morning. Some dieters swear by the Keto or Caveman diet, while others believe in a strict plant-based way of life.
What’s right for someone else, may not be right for you. That is a beautiful thing to recognize and a fact you should cater to when exploring a new diet.
Habit helps you personalize your eating plan based on a DNA and metabolism testing kit that you can use right at home. The kit will provide results that include 7 reports about your biology, including how your body handles carbs, fats, and protein. Learn about your heart health and predisposition for weight gain, caffeine sensitivity, and lactose intolerance.
You won’t have to guess or wonder if your new diet is right for you because your body knows what it needs and with this test, it can tell you!
Are Food Sensitivities Plaguing Your Health?
Before you get started on your journey to health, it’s important to recognize any foods that leaving you feeling sick, uneasy, or uncomfortable.
You could be ignoring food sensitivity symptoms. Stop guessing. EverlyWell wants you to put an end to the mystery of your symptoms and let you enjoy food again. This at-home test measures your body’s immune response to 96 foods to help provide guidance on what foods may be the best to choose for an elimination diet.
Food sensitivities can sabotage your health goals if not addressed. Irritable bowel symptoms may also have its grip around your health. It can feel impossible to lose the weight you want and gain the strength you need when you’re not addressing IBS.
Journal Your Journey
You can’t improve your gut health if you’re not aware of your food sensitivities. By not identifying them, you put yourself at even greater risk of autoimmune attack. Ultimately, these recurring symptoms will not only be uncomfortable but will create inflammation and inflammation weakens your autoimmune response even further.
Furthermore, along with your at-home food allergy testing kit, keep a journal. Journaling your health journey can be far more beneficial than just writing what you eat and when.
It serves as a record-keeper for your thoughts and feelings on any given day. You will be able to recognize any parallels between how you feel and how you eat or how well you perform during your workouts.
Additionally, journaling can be a deterrent to making bad eating decisions or skipping the gym. Not only can you look back at how you’ve overcome negative feelings in the past and inspire yourself to stay motivated.
Navigating any food sensitivities or recognizing any patterns irritable bowel symptoms can help you navigate what you can eliminate from your diet.
Journaling also requires you to face your feelings of frustration or defeat instead of turning to unhealthy and addictive behaviors like consuming copious amounts of chocolate after a long hard day at the office.
Ways to Measure Your Success
Measuring your health goals and success goes beyond numbers. It’s more than a number on a scale and more than the inches of a measuring tape.
Measure your success in how you feel. Is the quality of your sleep improving? Are taking more initiative to be healthier like choosing the stairs? Can you walk for a longer period of time without feeling winded?
Your body is incredibly sophisticated and has ways far more than the scale to demonstrate its health.
You could even do a blood test to see how your diet is impacting your glucose sensitivity, cholesterol, and blood pressure. If you’re going to obsess with numbers, these are the ones to choose.
If you can’t help but be determined and motivated by fat-loss, take a look at how your clothes are fitting. Sometimes the scale won’t budge but suddenly your skinny jeans fit like a glove.
Keep in mind, if you’re building lean muscle, you may be simultaneously losing fat but the number on the scale won’t reflect that. Just keep doing what you’re doing and stick to the narrow course.
Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People
Humans are heavily influenced by their environment. Finding a group of people committed to a healthy lifestyle is going to motivate, inspire and hold you accountable to your own goals.
This group can be in a nutrition class, kickboxing or workout class, or a facebook group of people eating a similar diet as you. Being a part of a community who are focused on health will be an abundant resource for discovering more tools and advice throughout your health journey.
Start Improving Your Gut Health Now!
You are now equipped with tools for preventative measures (facing food sensitivity testing), motivation through journaling, and multiple ways to measure your success.
You know how to improve gut health and the only thing left to do is to start. Start your journey to health now, today! Don’t wait for a holiday, your birthday, new years, or Monday. There is nothing magical about those future dates but everything magical about the power of your next decision.
So, start with your food sensitivity testing, then discover the appropriate diet and lifestyle based on your genes, repair your gut health, journal your journey, and measure success using many variables. Regaining your strength and feeling better won’t happen overnight, but every little step brings you closer to feeling like your best self.