It’s still high summer for most of us, but autumn is just around the corner. Now is the time to squeeze out as much rest and relaxation as you can to get yourself ready for everything up ahead.
Gut health impacts every facet of our overall health, from digestion to mood, from how our skin looks to how our hormones function. It can also have a significant impact on energy levels and fatigue. So how do you optimise your gut health to support your overall health and wellbeing?
Beside a healthy diet, exercise, hydration and probiotics, a great way to help your gut function optimally, is to rest and relax. Read on to find out why, and how, to rest and relax your way to a great start to fall.
How does stress affect gut health?
Your gut is actually very sensitive to stress. If you’ve ever had an upset stomach when you were really nervous about something, you’ve experienced that connection. In fact, lots of feelings, from grief to elation, can trigger symptoms in the gut.
The connection between your gut and your brain goes both ways, so you can experience tummy symptoms due to stress, but you can also experience stress due to tummy issues. This connection is called the gut-brain axis.
Since every person’s gut microbiome is unique, the effects of stress on the gut can show up in different ways in different people. Some common effects are:
- Digestive issues such as bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain and more serious digestive conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Mood issues and exhaustion, such as mood swings, anxiety, depression and sleeping problems
- A compromised immune system, making you more susceptible to infections, and less able to overcome them quickly
How to rest and relax your way to a healthier gut
Not sleeping enough, or not getting enough quality sleep can really impact your gut health. A lack of sleep can throw your hormones, including the stress hormone cortisol, off balance. This can lead to intestinal permeability symptoms such as leaky gut syndrome, where food and toxins from your digestive system leak into your blood stream and cause a number of issues.
Try to prioritise good sleep habits by aiming for seven to eight hours of good, uninterrupted sleep every night. It is helpful to maintain a somewhat regular circadian rhythm, getting up and going to bed at approximately the same time every day, even when you are on holiday. Resting up can also mean taking a little time during the day to do nothing.
Beside catching up on sleep, August is a great time to establish other stress-relieving practices such as gratitude-journaling, mindfulness, yoga, exercise, getting a massage and spending time in nature. These can be especially rewarding to practise together as a family in the summer months.
The best way to recharge for fall and make sure you are ready to take on whatever the new season brings, is to make sure that your gut is feeling its best and working optimally. A great way to support a healthy gut is to take a high quality daily probiotic food supplement. Make sure to choose one with a bacterial strain that is well-suited to humans and clinically proven to reach the gut alive. Like BioGaia Protectis with the patented strain L. reuteri* DSM 17938.
BioGaia Protectis D+ is a high-quality probiotic supplement with an extra high dose of Vitamin D. One tablet contains 100 million live L. reuteri 17938 Protectis and 20 µg (800 IE) Vitamin D. Vitamin D contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system.
Recharge for Autumn today.