TikTok diagnoses are this generation’s version of WebMD. I can’t go five minutes of scrolling without being convinced I have an autoimmune disease or personality disorder.
This is to say, I’m skeptical of any TikTok health trend. Remember when #WaterTok was literally just a hub for disordered eating? Or when that one girl tried to convince us that cyanide gave her clear skin? But sometimes, even TikTok gets it right.
Right now, #GutTok has over 1.1 billion views. And while some of the advice might be closer to pseudoscience, the fact of the matter is this: gut health pays major dividends for your overall health. And even experts swear by it.
Benefits of having better gut health
Hippocrates, the dude behind the Hippocratic Oath, said that “all disease begins in the gut.” And though not everything from ancient medicine is reliable now, there are some foundations that still hold true. One of them is the importance of gut health.
Poor gut health might be the cause of problems you don’t even know about, from fatigue to brain fog. In severe cases, you might experience a build-up of inflammation, bad bacteria, and poor digestion. You could even develop leaky gut syndrome — which is when your intestines weaken to the point where they let harmful bacteria into your bloodstream. Yikes.
Causes of poor gut health might include:
- High-stress levels
- Too little sleep
- Poor diet
And though TikTok might convince you that American gluten is the cause of your problems (though, it is suspicious how much pizza and pasta I can eat abroad), the only way to be sure is by going to the doctor.
But if you want to incorporate better gut health to boost your long-term health, there’s nothing stopping you from starting now.
The benefits of poor gut health can turn everything around from:
- Immune function
- Hormone balance
- Weight stability
- Skin consistency
That’s right, a healthy gut can lead to clearer skin! For me, that’s enough to convince me of anything. So the question left is: how?
How to get better gut health
Better gut health is a lifestyle change, not a quick. The best thing you can do is to change your diet. Though this might sound like a tedious undertaking, don’t worry! By switching out some highly processed staples for gut-healthy foods, you can do wonders for your gut health.
Foods to look for:
- Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, lettuce, and cauliflower
- High-fiber foods, like legumes, such black beans and chickpeas
- Collagen-boosting foods like citrus fruits, nuts, and eggs
- Fermented foods like pickled vegetables and kimchi
- Gwenyth Paltrow’s favorite: Bone broth!
Lifestyle changes like walking more (Hot Girl Walks for the win!), reducing stress (with journaling, meditating, or seeking mental health counseling), and sleeping better also contribute to gut health.
You can also add supplements to your routine to supercharge your digestive efforts and help support your gut.
Supplements for better gut health include:
- Probiotics: Good bacteria that preserve and support the bacteria in your gut. Find them in supplements or foods like yogurt.
- Prebiotics: Prebiotics feed the bacteria in your gut to keep them healthy, and can be found in supplements or fibrous foods.
- Digestive enzymes: These proteins help your body break down food better and easier
- Fiber: Fiber can’t be digested and helps waste pass through your body
- Glutamine: Is the most abundant amino acid found in the body and, thanks to TikTok, it’s a new supplement superstar
Here’s how to get your gut health in order, without sacrificing fun. By adding gut-healthy ingredients and supplements to your lifestyle, you can receive dividends on your health for the future.
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