The key to understanding gut health is recognizing just how closely it is tied to your overall health. As a result of this, it has become more and more important to focus on your gut health on a much more immediate, daily basis. It is, by all means, a slow and gradual process, but these daily habits will ensure you get on (and stay on) the path to all around better health. From The Complete Gut Health Cookbook.
Quiet time. Quiet time energizes us and enables us to function more efficiently and with more enjoyment. Pick the quiet time that sings to you–meditation, gentle walking in nature, chi gong, tai chi, gentle yoga, deep-breathing practices. Aim for 10 minutes daily. If you do 20 or 30 minutes, fantastic!
Drink good-quality filtered and remineralized water. As well as removing undesirable substances, most water filters remove the good stuff too–including minerals that act as electrolytes to facilitate water absorption. Remineralized water is filtered water with the beneficial minerals added back in.
Remember, you are made up of about 75 percent water, and need water for nearly all your body functions–for example, to make enzymes and digestive acids to carry nutrients into cells and toxins out. Drink 64 fluid ounces (8 cups) per day, or ½ fluid ounce per pound of body weight.
- Start each day with a glass of warm water, mixed with the juice of ½ lemon and a tiny pinch of “dirty” sea salt (sea salt that is a bit grayish in color, damp in texture, and high in minerals).
Chew your food, chew your smoothies, swish your liquids. It’s amazing how something this simple can transform your digestion. Aim for twenty chews per mouthful.
Eat in a calm state and a calm environment so that you’re in rest-and-digest mode.
Move. Our bodily systems, including our digestion, work like pumps. Movement helps these pumps to function.
- Activities that twist, bend and stretch the abdomen are particularly great for facilitating the pumping of the digestive system. If you’re fatigued or chronically ill, keep in mind you may need to keep your movement gentle and avoid anything high-intensity.
Get 8 hours of sleep a night. This allows for tissue repair and replacement, and for healthy hormone and neurotransmitter production. The rhythm and flow of a good night’s sleep every night will greatly help the rhythm and flow of your digestion and bowel habits.
Write down what brings you joy without the need for another person. Whatever it is that lifts your spirit, brings a sparkle to your eye, or makes you talk really fast! Then schedule a joy time at least once a week.