We brush and floss our teeth every day to prevent cavities, exercise regularly to prevent conditions like heart disease, and incorporate moments of Zen to alleviate stress. But considering the gut’s far-reaching power—from mental acuity and intimate health to emotional well-being—it’s crucial to pay attention to your core, literally. What happens in the gut extends far beyond your stomach.
Here, four well-rounded ways to support your gut microbiome every day:
Eat your veggies (and fiber)
Plant-heavy, fiber-rich, and antioxidant-packed meal plans, like the Mediterranean diet, have been shown to increase good bacteria in your gut. Need some ideas? Whole grains, pistachios, and blueberries have all been shown to boost the growth of good-for-you bacteria. And no need to swear off alcohol completely—a study showed that compared to beer and cider, red wine can actually benefit your microbiome thanks to its polyphenol content. But remember, everything in moderation!
Move your body
You don’t have to be a marathoner. Simply stick to physical activity regularly. It can be high impact like running or low-impact like Pilates. Both have the potential to positively change your gut. Plus, moving your body can release feel-good endorphins that alleviate stress, positively shift your microbiome, and help you shed weight.
Stress less, meditate more
Your gut has a “second brain” with its own neurotransmitters and responses that can translate stress into physical pain in the form of cramps, bloating, acid reflux, and diarrhea. With work, family, and other life obligations, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by stress, but it’s important to be proactive about reducing it to keep your gut in check. Meditation, for example, has been proven to modify the stress response, which can lower inflammation and maintain an optimal gut-barrier function.
Pop a probiotic daily
Probiotics can help alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms like abdominal pain and bowel movement issues and positively influence the brain-gut pathway. In addition to 5 ultra-premium strains sourced from the U.S., Routine For Her includes ashwagandha, a thoroughly studied herb that’s been clinically proven to fight stress and anxiety.