Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi

Good for Your Gut: Steps to Improve Overall Gut Health

There’s an intricate bacterium inside of your body that needs TLC: the gut microbiome.

These 40 trillion bacteria play an important role in your overall health including your complexion, immunity and mental health. Your gut health plays a part in preventing endocrine disorders, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, and autoimmune disorders.

While the scientific and health community continue to research the effects of your gut health to your overall well-being, there are a few signs of an unhealthy gut and also proven ways to feel clean on the inside and out.

Some signs of an unhealthy gut:

  • Digestive issues: bloating, constipation, heartburn, gas, stool changes, irritable bowel syndrome

  • Weight gain

  • Hormone imbalance: fatigue, sluggishness, mood swings, sleep issues

  • Excessive sugar cravings

  • Food intolerance

  • Skin irritations

To be more mindful during your day-to-day, ask yourself this: Is this good for my gut?

Ensuring that you eat foods and practice intentionality during your daily life, here’s some advice to get your gut back to normal. Say “goodbye” to a reoccurring upset stomach.

probiotic foods

Are prebiotics/probiotics good for my gut?
Yes! Probiotics are bacteria that can help change the composition of your gut microbiome. Consume probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kimchi or sauerkraut. Try a kombucha or kefir drink to ensure you are getting the benefits of probiotics. Consider probiotics supplements only after speaking with your doctor. Prebiotics are bacteria that will promote the growth of healthy bacteria already in the gut. Try eating foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Should I quit staying up late?
Yes! Sleeping for a recommended 7-8 hours will help improve your overall mood, reduce stress, balance hormones, and prevent you from eating too late at night. The relationship between sleep and gut health are interchangeable. When you have more “bad” bacteria, your sleep becomes worse. When you have diverse gut bacteria, your sleep is proven to be longer and less disturbed. Improve your sleep and gut health at the same time.

Are sugary foods good for my gut?
No. Limit your intake of processed foods and sugar. Instead, add more higher fiber foods into your diet such as legumes, beans, nuts, fruits, and veggies.

Should I amp up my gym routine?
Not necessarily. Just be sure to move your body regularly every day. To lose weight, you can amp up at the gym. However, your gut only needs the opportunity to improve the healthy bacteria already in there, and moving your body keeps your bowel movements regular.


Frederick Health

MD Anderson Cancer Center


Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi

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