3 steps to spring clean your gut

how to spring clean the gut
  • Ali

Spring cleaning season has well and truly arrived. I've already donated old clothes, reorganized my drawers, and started to pack my winter clothes away as I get all my summer clothes out. Please let the forecast for a sunny weekend by correct!

As soon as I had started on my home environment it made me think about what other environments I could help restore (once I'm in my cleaning mode, it's hard to break me out of it!). After all of my external spaces are in order, it’s time to look internally and you know me. My first stop is always my gut microbiome.

My mission to "spring clean" my gut has nothing to do with a cleanse and certainly not a diet. I simply wanted to take stock of my current habits and see how if there were any improvements I could make.

It’s always worth checking with other gut health experts are recommending so I looked to others in the gut health industry and found three gut-friendly habits those in the know prioritise.

3 spring cleaning habits for your gut

1. Paying attention to nutrition. 

So many gut health practitioners work on eating mindfully as a key prerequisite to good gut health. For me that’s about eating whole foods in their most pure state and incorporating more probiotics, prebiotics, and antioxidants into my dishes. Here's what that might look like:

Probiotics: While I already get plenty of certain strains of probiotics from my food I like to increase the diversity of the strains I’m incorporating on a daily basis

Adding more fermented foods, like cultured milk and yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut and tempeh can help do the trick. Taking a high quality probiotic daily is also a good insurance policy for your gut health, too.

Prebiotics: Less talked about, but equally important, as they feed the probiotics that live in the gut. These unique fibres are like the fertiliser boosting the plants in your garden and for your gut ensuring the good bacteria can push the bad bacteria out. Prebiotics can be found in foods like apples, sauerkraut, asparagus, leeks, garlic, onion, leafy greens, dandelion greens, chicory root, artichokes, bananas as well as oats, barley and konjac root (not often seen in the UK) and cocoa

If you’re struggling to reach your recommended 25 – 30g of daily fibre then supplementing can really support your digestion and elimination too.

2. Moving every single day.

While too much exercise can be bad for the gut due to the “stress and pressure” of having to workout every day, or reach a specific goal,  doing a 20-minute workout at home, every day can be beneficial. There’s no pressure on getting to the gym or blocking out an hour (or more) on your schedule. Rather than setting lofty fitness goals I always recommend committing to daily movement. It can be as simple as going for a walk, doing a few yoga sun salutations or playing sport with the kids. There are a myriad number of ways to sneak in exercise.

3. Managing stress.

We’re probably all aware that the cortisol, the stress hormone has its benefits, from regulating blood pressure and the immune system to managing stress, too much is not such a good thing. Because gut health and mental health are so interconnected, limiting stress  may support healthy digestion, promote regularity, and ease bloat.

We’re all different and will benefit from different stress reducing activities but whether it’s exercise, yoga, therapy, walking in nature, mental health exercises, creating a regular cacao ritual or sex – you should do whatever it is that you need to do to reduce the emotional burden you feel.

Need more help?

I hope I’ve offered you some encouragement to not just get the feather duster out and spring clean your environment but to look a little deeper too. Take stock of the things that will help declutter your mind and your body. And if you need a little support on your spring cleaning journey reach out, I’m here to help.