More and more science points to how crucial gut health is to your overall health-physical, mental, and even emotional. One big reason why this is true is because your gut is considered your second brain. It's called the gut-brain axis, which is a two-way communication street. In this way, your gut is a very important organ that is unfortunately not always taken care of properly.
Because your gut health has direct implications on your overall health, it's so important to prioritize getting your gut on track. Getting yourself into optimal health can seem a little daunting. Where do you begin?
We view taking care of your gut (as well as your health), as an opportunity to practice self-care -- finding those rituals and practices that help nourish your mind, body, soul and spirit. To find your new gut health rituals, we have put together a list of our favorite gut health tips.
The Confidence Co's 5 Gut Health Rituals
1. Start each day with a big glass of water
Hydration is key. Water works to soften your stool, which can help you stay regular and avoid constipation. And drinking can even kickstart your metabolism. If you prefer something warm in the morning, we recommend a glass of hot water with a squeeze of lemon. For those who want something cool, try mixing in fresh mint or cucumber for a ritual that will transport you to the spa.
2. Try breathwork
Jussssst breath. But really, conscious breathing, or breathwork, can help to relieve stress, fear, anxiety, and helps you be more mindful. Deep breathing aids in gut health because when you breathe, your organs relax and therefore promote digestion. For your ritual, you can take 5 minutes in the morning, or schedule a break during your day, for breathwork. We are enjoying the 4-7-8 method which is breathe in - hold - let out. You can find more breathing exercises for digestion here.
3. Eat each meal (or snack) with intention
We all have a lot on our plates, figuratively speaking. When we're busy-with work, family, or social responsibilities-we can find ourselves reaching for less than ideal snacks or quickly gobbling down something that is quick and convenient. It can be a challenge to eat with intention. If you're too busy to grocery shop, try a healthy meal delivery service like Sakara Life. If you find yourself eating too quickly, try chewing your food slowly (counting to 20 with each bite) or stepping away from a screen while you eat. Lastly, try to listen to your body. Notice when you are actually hungry vs board or tired and recognize when your body is looking for a little extra nourishment.
4. Find mindful practices that you look forward to
Being mindful can greatly improve your health and your mood. Mindfulness has proven to reduce anxiety, stress and can even make you happier. Yoga is a beautiful practice that helps you ground in to the present moment, and connects your mind with your body. Try these 8 yoga poses that help you feel more confident with gut issues like IBS. Meditation allows you to get in touch with your emotions and notice your thought patterns. You can even try eating mindfully (see above).
5. Keep a gratitude journal
We like to say, "gratitude is the attitude." That's because being grateful can actually boost your health by bolstering your immunity, helping you get more rest, and encouraging you to become more empathetic. Our favorite way to practice gratitude is be journaling right before bed, it allows you to wind down and get quiet. Journaling, and reading, puts our bodies into a parasympathetic state which aids digestion and the absorption of nutrients. It's one of the best night-time rituals.
The Ultimate Gut Health Ritual
One major culprit to poor gut health: digestive issues. As humans, we all produce digestive enzymes naturally-they are generated in our mouth, pancreas, and even small intestinal lining called the brush border. Digestive enzymes break down food to help your body absorb nutrients. When you can't break down food properly, you may experience irritants to your GI tract and uncomfortable side effects like bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
That's why the ultimate gut health ritual is supplementing each meal with a digestive enzyme complex. Our bodies can't always produce enough enzymes to make up for all your dietary indulgences or a weak digestive tract.
Our Digestive Enzyme Complex is a premium, vegan blend of all-natural ingredients that work hard to cover a wide array of food sensitivities. These digestive enzymes are conveniently built with real life in mind, making them an easy-to-follow gut health ritual. Plus, our sleek packaging allows you to slip the packs into your pocket or purse for when you need them the most. Shop Confidence Improve your gut health rituals here.