Resolutions at the beginning of a new year are a common practice. For most, these goals will revolve around finances, relationships, and quite often, physical health. Everyone wants to look and feel their best, and setting goals to improve health is a great way to accomplish both. For quite some time, research has indicated that much of our wellbeing is linked directly to the gut. When the digestive system is balanced and healthy, it is likely that many other areas of the body are as well. Here are just three simple resolutions that anyone can follow for a positive impact:
Hydration for Better Health
You have probably long heard that you should be drinking eight glasses of water every day for optimal hydration. But, do you? Most Americans don’t even come close, with the average adult consuming just under two glasses per day. As a result, most people are unwittingly walking around in a state of dehydration.While the effects of dehydration may not be immediately obvious, it is nonetheless causing undesirable changes inside the body. Even mild levels of dehydration can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps, headache, constipation, and more. When inadequate amounts of water are present in the digestive system, patients are more likely to experience symptoms of gastritis and acid reflux. Furthermore, the body’s need for water is often mistaken as hunger, leading many who are dehydrated to overeat and contributing to weight gain.
Daily Probiotics for Digestive Wellbeing
Bacteria may sound like a dirty word, but it comes in both good and bad forms. The digestive system relies on a healthy amount of good bacteria to digest food properly, absorb nutrients, maintain healthy bowel movements, and support the body’s overall immune system. When an imbalance exists between the gut’s good and bad bacteria, many health problems can result, including some considered to be chronic.Promoting a healthy gut flora (community of bacteria) is an essential part of maintaining overall health. This means consuming the right types of foods such as yogurt or fruits and vegetables high in soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as minimizing sugar and refined carbohydrates and limiting the use of antibiotics.
Increased Fiber Intake for a Healthy Gut
A diet high in fiber can have a number of positive effects on the health and function of the digestive system. Not only does fiber promote the healthy gut bacteria we just discussed, it can also help regulate bowel movements and keep you on track for healthy eating.
On average, Americans take in roughly 15 grams of fiber each day. This is far below the recommended values of 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. Get more in your diet by starting first thing in the morning. Include fruit with breakfast and reach for high fiber options like whole grain cereal or oatmeal. Throughout the day, focus on including fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, and whole grains. Remember that the more processed food is, the lower it is likely to fall on the fiber scale.