5 simple steps to a healthier gut and a happier you

Your brain and gut (often referred to as the ‘second brain’), are linked. Numerous studies in this area evidence that a whopping 70% of your immune system is found in your gut. And even more surprising is that over 90% of that awesome happy chemical I often talk about, serotonin, which plays a huge part in your mood, is produced in your gut.


There are loads of findings suggesting that many people that suffer from anxiety and depression have poor gut health. And ever noticed when you feel low or upset, you don’t feel like eating? That’s your brain and gut communicating with each other. So, if your gut can contribute to your happiness, we need to look after it! Here’s how.


Firstly, we need to understand a little bit about how our digestive system works. Our gut is full of bacteria, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The ‘good bacteria’ helps us digest the food we eat and helps our immunity too. In addition to assisting with digestion, the good bacteria in your gut helps keep you healthy by retaining vitamins, which support the immune system, and fend off harmful bacteria.


That’s why what we intake into our body is so important, our gut needs to be healthy enough to retain those nutrients. Ever noticed how you feel tired, sluggish, demotivated after a big, less nutritious meal?


Eating a balanced diet is so important and many favour Mediterranean style diets in this regard for example, as the food tends to create less inflammation. But it’s not just the food we eat. As our brain and gut communicate with each other, we need to make sure we incorporate habits into our lifestyle that ensure we are less stressed, so our brain is sending happy signals to our gut.


Here are just a few things you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle:


✅Eat – high fibre foods such as vegetables, fruit, beans, pulses, oats, whole grains, nuts, seeds and fermented foods like kimchi, kefir. Yoghurt is a great natural probiotic too.


✅Chew – eat slowly, so you can digest your food properly, and your gut can function more effectively


✅Drink – stay hydrated, drink plenty of water to help your digestive system and help your body run more smoothly


✅Relax – try deep breathing (breath in slowly for 5 and out for 5) or do some yoga stretches, meditation, mindfulness. Any form of exercise is great.


✅Rest – wind down properly at night – device free, so your whole body is relaxed as you fall into slumber.


What you eat, the nutrients you get, and your lifestyle all contribute to your gut health.


Fundamentally your diet has a big part to play in your gut health, so fill it with the right foods so you can retain the right nutrients. And then there’s managing your mindset too. 


Build habits into your lifestyle such as exercise and meditation that can help you de-stress and feel more relaxed. Incorporate some of these things into your daily routine and start to notice the difference in the way you feel.

About Dal Banwait

Dal Banwait, aka ‘the happiologist,’ is a certified Positive Psychology Coach and passionate about helping people grow into happier healthier versions of themselves. Her coaching empowers others to cut through their own debilitating, limiting self-beliefs, holistically connecting their ‘why’ and ‘how.’ Dal has a particular interest in how mind-body techniques can control thoughts and emotions and her coaching contains powerful strategies for harnessing these in daily life. Having graduated in law, she has worked as a city professional for over 30 years and also runs Positive Psychology & Wellbeing coaching in the corporate space. Based in London, and having lived in the Far East, Dal is a writer, serial globe trotter, accidental amateur photographer and self-confessed apacarophile (sunset obsessed)!  

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