How to heal your gut health

The global gut health industry is set to grow 8% annually every year in the next decade. This is because we've all become increasingly conscious of the link between our guts, brains, and physical health. 

What's more, because populations around the world are ageing, more people are living with chronic gastrointestinal disorders including ulcerative colitis or chronic diarrhea. 

But, to truly understand why your gut is giving you gyp, you need to get your head around your microbiome. So, what is it?

The Harvard School of Public Health says: 'The microbiome consists ofn thousands of bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses that are both helpful and potentially harmful. Most are beneficial to the human body.' 

Your gut microbiome helps you to break down food, stimulates the immune system, and creates vitamins and amino acids. However, sometimes there can be some bad microbes that are brought on by illness, bad diet, or other bacteria which can throw your gut into dissaray. 

How do I know when my gut isn't healthy? 

People experience different symptoms when their gut health isn't in check. However the most common signs you have gastrointestinal upset are: 

  • A sore stomach, diarrhea, gas or bloating are all signs that your digestive system is having to work harder than normal to break down the food you are eating. 
  • Feeling tired or sluggish is a key sign of bad gut health, this is your gut-brain axis telling you something isn't right. 
  • If you are always getting sick, it could be a sign your gut isn't happy – it is a key player in good immunity. 
  • A fluctuation in weight could be a sign that nutrients aren't being dealt with properly by your gut. 

When this happens, here's how to heal your gut health

There are lots of things you can do to resettle your microbiome, however here are our top three pieces of advice for healing your gut health:

Try to ease stress: 

The NHS says: 'In some people, stress slows down digestion, causing bloating, pain and constipation, while in others it speeds it up, causing diarrhoea and frequent trips to the loo. Some people lose their appetite completely.' So, it might be heightened anxiety or worry that is causing your tummy issues. 

If you think that's the case, make sure you are getting enough sleep, working on your wellbeing routine, and even trying out some meditation. We have lots of other tips for stress, here

Eat a balanced diet: 

This one may seem obvious, but as we enter the Christmas season it can be easy to fall behind on your fibre and veggies to make way for fry ups and alcohol. In between this winter's indusgence make sure to fill up in fibre by eating things like wholemeal bread and oats. Make sure you're drinking lots of healthy fluids too! 

If you want to boost your gut health even more, add some gut-friendly yogurt to your shopping trolley. Probiotics are great for restoring the natural balance of bacteria in your gut. 

Slow down when you are eating: 

There are lots of myths about how many times you should chew your mouthful, however experts say that 32 chews is the perfect amount - depending on how hard or soft the food you're eating is! The trick here is to make sure all of the food you are chewing has lost it's texture before swallowing, and ensuring that before putting food in your mouth that it all fits on your fork conformtably. 

Also, if you have time, it's good to go for a walk after you eat. This speeds the rate at which food moves through your stomach, aiding digestion.

Interested in learning more about how to heal your gut health? Watch Sophie Medlin's video: 

If you need more tips for your gut health, we have loads of resources here

Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. The content however should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands or treatments.

Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 1 December 2023
Next review: 1 December 2026