Your gastrointestinal tract, or simply the gut, significantly influences and is influenced by your overall health. Here are some general tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and in turn ensure good immune and gut health.
To prevent inflammation and illness, evaluate your current health behaviours to start taking charge of your overall health and manage lifestyle factors that affect wellbeing. For more information on gut health, read our evidence-based tips to supercharge your gut health.
Tips to Ensure Good Immune and Gut Health
Following these simple tips will help safeguard against poor gut health, immunity, and inflammatory disease.
Remaining well hydrated is one of the best things you can do for health. 55 to 60 per cent of our body weight is made of water and maintaining a healthy body water percentage is needed to perform every function. Dark coloured urine is one of the tell-tale signs of dehydration. Not drinking enough water can result in dehydration, constipation, and muscle fatigue.
If you don’t enjoy drinking water, try flavouring your water by adding slices of fruit or some cucumber. Herbal tea is also another option to vary your water intake.
Exercise increases blood flow to all your organs, stimulating the muscles and realising good chemicals or endorphins in your brain. If training isn’t a regular part of your life, short bursts of movement or even going for a walk every day can make a difference. If possible, having an exercise routine with a mix of activities is ideal. Find an activity you enjoy and do at least two 30 minute sessions a week.
If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation, but if you have any gut or stomach problems, it is best to stay away. Drinking alcohol regularly can irritate your digestive system, harm your stomach and cause inflammation. The Australian Guidelines for alcohol consumption recommend “drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day” and “no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion” for healthy men and women.
We all lead busy lives and often feel as if there are not enough hours in our days. Feeling overwhelmed can lead to stress and burnout that can wreak havoc on your body, as the ‘fight or flight’ response adversely affects wellbeing and gut health.
Calm your mind by taking some time for self-care, exercise and meditation. Taking care of your emotional wellbeing is key to managing your stress levels.
A lack of sleep is linked to inflammation, a weakened immune system, and weight gain. Sleep deprivation affects brain function, hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin, the release of insulin, all of which cause increase your risk of disease. While you may think you can function perfectly well on little sleep, numerous studies have suggested otherwise. To be performing at your best, aim for 8 hours of sleep a night.