(BPT) - You’ve probably heard a lot about gut health lately, and how it can affect your overall well-being. You may have questions about how to improve your own gut health, and what it means for your digestive wellness goals. Improving your gut health can make a difference in how you feel from day to day and for years to come and can be as simple as adding a probiotic to your daily routine.
Here are five tips to support gut health and bust myths about probiotics.
1. Hydrate for better health
This is a simple health tip you may know but is all too easy to forget. The CDC recommends drinking water every day for your overall health. Staying hydrated also aids in your digestive function. If plain water is not appealing, try sparkling water, or flavoring it with lime or lemon. Fill a water bottle with water you like (iced, sparking, flavored or plain) and keep nearby to sip throughout the day. You can also drink herbal teas, but avoid too much caffeine, as it can have a dehydrating effect. Foods with more water content, like soups and fruit, can also contribute to hydration.
2. Boost your digestive system with probiotics
Probiotics help balance the bacteria in your gut microbiome and help support the body’s overall digestive wellness. Stress, eating unfamiliar foods and some medications may change the balance of your healthy gut microbiome, throwing off your digestive system.
Although we know probiotics can be present in certain fermented foods or foods with probiotics added, it's hard to get enough probiotics through foods, as it’s unclear how much to consume, or even which foods contain probiotic benefits.
Registered dietitian Vanessa Rissetto, MS, RD, CDN recommends an easy solution: Align 24/7 Digestive Support*§, developed by gastroenterologists* and backed by over 20 years of research. It has been the #1 probiotic recommended by gastroenterologists for 13 years‡. Align 24/7 Digestive Support*§ is the only brand that contains the natural probiotic strain, Bifidobacterium 35624™, which helps support digestive health and helps with occasional abdominal discomfort, gas and bloating*.
“Prioritizing gut health is so important to overall well-being and is something I discuss regularly with my clients and friends,” explained Rissetto. “If you’re looking for a simple way to build a healthy digestive system, I recommend adding Align 24/7 Digestive Support*§ to your daily routine. And did you know 70% of your immune system is found in your gut? For added immunity support*, try Align Gut Health & Immunity Support. Both require only one probiotic a day, making it so easy to work into your routine, and for myself, I take it with my morning smoothie and other supplements, so I never forget.”
3. Find more ways to relax and move every day
De-stressing throughout your day means not just taking naps or breaks — although those can help — but also pursuing activities that you know help you slow down, calm down and breathe more deeply. Whether you practice yoga, meditation, simple stretches or mindful breathing, relaxing your body and mind can increase your overall sense of well-being.
Exercise also helps you relax and work through your daily stresses, while getting your heart pumping. Wherever you start from, add a little more movement throughout your day. Can you take a short walk or bike ride? Consider light housework, dancing around your kitchen or going for a swim all great options for exercise. Increasing activity in your daily routine can help your digestive system function better, among other potential health benefits. Always seek your healthcare provider’s advice before beginning a new exercise routine.
4. Bust that myth: Probiotics are an instant fix
In an age when everyone wants a quick fix, it helps to remember that many products and practices to benefit your health need time to take effect. For example, it's important to continue taking Align Probiotics every day for at least a month. Remember, everyone’s gut is different, and not all probiotics will work the same for everybody. To enjoy the maximum health benefits of taking probiotics, continued daily use is needed.
5. Increase your fiber intake
Another important ingredient to digestive health is whether you’re getting enough fiber. Find ways to add whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal and whole wheat bread to your meals. Increasing your fresh fruit and vegetable consumption can also help provide some much-needed fiber. You can also take a fiber supplement to help ensure you're getting enough each day.
These easy-to-follow steps may help you not only feel better throughout your day, but can also support your overall wellness journey.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
‡Among Gastroenterologists who recommended a brand of probiotic in a ProVoice 2008-2020 survey.
§Fortifies your digestive system 24/7 with continued daily use.