health

4 simple ways to get your gut back on track for the rest of 2020.

Nutra-Life
Thanks to our brand partner, Nutra-Life

If we know one thing for sure, it's that 2020 has set us all out of whack. Our brains, our bodies, even our bank accounts - it's not exactly been a year of a balance.

Pre-COVID, you might have established a routine that meant exercising and eating well was built into your day-to-day life.  

Now, you might find it a lot harder.   

And even as restrictions ease in some parts of the nation, many of us are feeling the after-effects of the past few months. 'COVID skin' is totally a thing, and we'd add 'COVID belly' to that. You'd know the symptoms - an unsettled tummy, feeling sluggish and bloated, toilet, ahem, issues. All the fun stuff (not).

Thankfully, it's not too late to get your gut back on track. We spoke to Nutra-Life's in-house naturopath Jelena Savic, to find out some straightforward, sustainable ways to get 'gut fit'. And the best part? It doesn't need to be a difficult, deprivation-filled process. Of course, if you're ever in doubt, speak to a healthcare professional.  

1. Focus on the basics to keep it sustainable.

While you may be aware of the obvious signs of poor gut health (we're looking at you gas, bloating, constipation and heartburn), there are a whole host of other symptoms you may not have considered.

"The gut is an extraordinarily complex organ," Savic tells Mamamia. "It plays a pivotal role in maintaining the health and function of our whole body, both physically and mentally."

Everything from your skin and sleep patterns to your mental health can be impacted by your gut, and it's an obvious place to start if you feel like you're experiencing a little "off".

So where do you start without getting overwhelmed? Jelena advises focusing on improvements one step at a time and getting back to basics.

"Consuming more wholefoods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrains and legumes and fermented food such as sauerkraut, miso and good-quality yoghurts will effectively help to rebalance and restore the health of the gut," she says. 

Small, sustainable steps are a far better option than massive, sweeping changes that are impossible to maintain long term.

Easy gut-friendly breakfast idea: Yoghurt, muesli and fruit in a jar. 

ADVERTISEMENT

2. It's not just about making different food choices.

Adjusting or swapping unhealthy food choices for better options where you can is an easy way to incorporate more gut-friendly foods into your day while reducing less nutritious choices. 

The foods to shift to the 'sometimes' list includes the usual suspects; refined carbs and sugars, alcohol and anything highly processed, but food isn't the only culprit when it comes to poor gut health.

"Stress is also a huge factor that must be considered," says Jelena. 

"Chronic stress can really jeopardise the health of our gut, especially if we are not able to get it under control." 

Various studies have identified the link between the mental state of stress, and the physical effects it can have on our gastrointestinal system. 

So, it seems that figuring out strategies to minimise stress and manage its impact may be just as important as cutting back on fatty foods and extra glasses of Pinot.

3. Consider supplementation.

While focusing on what you're putting in your mouth (and what you're not) is a great place to start, your gut can sometimes need some extra TLC, which is where supplementation can be helpful.

"Supplementation can be a great tool to kickstart motivation and help begin the journey to a healthy, happy gut," says Jelena.

While probiotics are a great start and can help re-balance the gut microflora, they only target one part of an incredibly complicated system. A gut-specific supplement which includes gut-building ingredients like Slippery elm, Aloe Vera, Glutamine and Globe artichoke, is a great option when getting your gut back on track. 

Nutra Life Gut Relief combines prebiotics with key nutrients and plant extracts to help soothe gut irritation, protect gut lining, and nourish gut bacteria. It's a multi-pronged approach that can complement other lifestyle changes to make a bigger impact.

ADVERTISEMENT

4. Incorporate gentle movement.

Gut health, as you've probably established, is a whole-body kind of thing. A holistic approach that combines nutritious food choices, management of stress levels, quality supplementation and gentle exercise is the best way to both kickstart and maintain a healthy gut.

Recent research has pointed to a high level of cardiorespiratory fitness leading to a more diverse bacterial population of the gut and, while research is ongoing, it points to the promising impact of regular movement on a healthy gut.

What has worked for you? Tell us below.

For more gut fit tips, visit Nutra-Life's Get Gut Fit info hub here.

Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, worsen or change unexpectedly, talk to your health professional.

Feature image: Getty.

Nutra-Life
Nutra-Life Gut Relief is the first step to getting your gut back on track. It combines the power of prebiotics with key nutrients and plant extracts – slippery elm, globe artichoke, marshmallow & aloe vera – to help soothe gut irritation, protect the gut lining, and nourish gut bacteria. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, worsen or change unexpectedly consult your health professional.
00:00 / ???