| OWL Venice
If you follow OWL, you already know how much emphasis we put on maintaining proper gut care as part of your overall well-being. We know all about the different ways a healthy gut can have major league benefits for the rest of your body. This includes your immune system, your mental health, and that beautiful skin you can’t help but show off. We believe in the power of an all-natural gut routine, and we've put together a list of tips on how to not only maintain good gut health, but how to elevate your gut to the next level. Let's dive right in!
1 — Diversify Your Diet
Your microbiome is constantly adjusting according to its environment, so it's important to keep the bacterial makeup of your gut as diverse as possible. You want to feed the many different kinds of good bacteria so that no one culture takes over and throws off your balance. More importantly, you need different sources of food to supply the long list of vitamins and minerals that nourish a healthy body.
For instance, healthy bones need more than just calcium — for proper development and maintenance they need Vitamin D, phosphorus, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and fluoride. What foods contain an impactful amount of these nutrients?
Vitamin D - fish oil, milk
Phosphorus - salmon, yogurt, turkey
Vitamin E - sunflower seeds, almonds
Vitamin K - leafy greens, pumpkin, soybeans
Fluoride - crabmeat, shrimp, oatmeal
The same is true for a well-functioning gut. A healthy gut needs plenty of fiber (soluble and insoluble) like black beans, sweet potatoes, oats, nuts and avocados; prebiotics like apples and bananas, probiotics like yogurt and pickles, and anti-inflammatory agents like ginger and turmeric1,2
2 — Eat More Plants
Speaking of nutrients that will optimize the environment of your microbiome, it might not be a bad idea to add more plants to your meals. You’re bound to ingest more good-for-your-gut nutrients and a wider variety of essential vitamins and minerals if you eat a few more plants at each meal.
For example, asparagus and garlic operate inside your body as a prebiotic. They contain high amounts of insoluble fiber called inulin that feeds your good gut flora. They also have anti-inflammatory properties along with antioxidants to fight off the damage of free radicals. Cruciferous vegetables are very high in fiber which feeds the microbes in your gut. This includes tasty greens like:
- Bok choy
- Brussel sprouts
3 — Get Your Omega-3's
Studies show the possibility that omega-3 fatty acids help to decrease inflammation which helps soothe the lining of your intestines. More importantly, omega-3s are able to change the makeup of your gut microbiota and aid in maintaining the integrity of your intestinal wall3. Some great sources of omega-3s include:
- Cold water fish like mackerel, trout, tuna, salmon, & herring
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Brussels sprouts
- Egg yolks
Healthy fats are necessary in your diet for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins that aid the health of your gut. However, you should only consume them in moderation because too much may upset the balance of your gut bacteria. Some excellent food sources for healthy fats include ghee butter, olive oil, and coconut oil4.
4 — Sip Bone Broth Every Morning
What exactly is in bone broth that makes it so good for your gut? Because bone broth extracts nutrients from animal bones and connective tissue, it’s full of minerals and compounds that specifically target the structure of your gut lining. These healing minerals and compounds include:
Amino acids like glutamine and arginine
Each of these contributes to sealing/reducing the space between the tight joints that make up your gut barrier. Choose your favorite OWL Broth Elixir to reap the benefits of bone broth without any common allergens or that meaty taste. Enjoy the warm aroma of our healing herbal recipe that tastes more like tea and includes the added nutrients from organic roots and vegetables.
5 — Enjoy Bitter Greens Before Meals
Did you know that bitter tastes stimulate your digestive system? It’s a defense mechanism that your body uses to protect you against ingesting poisonous substances. Once you taste something bitter, your mouth will begin to produce more saliva and your spleen, liver, and stomach will put out bile and other digestive enzymes. This prepares your gut to break down your food and helps with efficient and more complete nutrient absorption.
Some bitter leaves to consider:
Other, possibly more palatable options, to stimulate digestive enzymes include lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water, half hour before eating. Even better, use OWL’s tasteless herbal remedy, Digestive Bitters, for bloating and discomfort after meals.
6 – Avoid Late Night Snacks
When you sleep, your body gets a chance to focus on its job of moving nutrients through your body and takes advantage of the downtime to repair itself5. If you eat a meal too close to bedtime, your digestive facilities don’t get that rest and relaxation that they need to be in tip-top shape the next morning. Aim for wrapping up your meals around 6 pm.
7 — Gut-brain Axis: Mental Health
Well-rounded gut health includes paying attention to your mental health. Your gut and your mind are physically connected ‐ your gut sends mood hormones, sleep-wake hormones, and more to your brain, affecting multiple facets of your life6. Your brain can alter the bacterial makeup of your gut whether you’re in a good mood or if you're incredibly stressed out. And if your gut bacteria gets out of balance it alters the content of what gets sent to your brain.… It's a cycle that never ends.
Some of our favorite ways to care for your mental health:
- Get outside in the sunshine
- Practice gratitude
- Soak in Mother Nature (walking, grounding, etc.)
- Spend time with loved ones
- Practice clean sleep habits
- Start a home garden
Glorify Your Gut
And give it the attention it deserves. You’ll see yourself begin to glow from the inside out.
- Survival and Growth of Probiotic Lactic Acid Bacteria in Refrigerated Pickle Products - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the Gut Microbiota - PMC (nih.gov)
- [Aspects of sleep effects on the digestive tract] - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Indigenous bacteria from the gut microbiota regulate host serotonin biosynthesis - PMC (nih.gov)
Julie is a self-made writer on a forever journey of fitness and health. As a high school music teacher, she has seen and experienced the challenges of maintaining good health while simultaneously balancing a career and healthy relationships.
Julie has always lived a healthy and active lifestyle. She loves the outdoors, hiking, and camping. Over the years she has continued to learn smarter and better ways to take care of her body while continuing to do the things that make her smile. Naturally, all of her teacher friends wanted to know how she did it - what was her secret?
Julie found herself explaining over and over everything she'd learned in her research, and sharing her experiences through trial and error. Her friends would take her advice, try some new things, and then come back to ask how to take it to the next level.
"You should charge for this kind of information!" Became a constant phrase, and so began her career of writing to share her knowledge with the world through health and wellness companies looking to spread healing and healthy habits within their communities. Now Julie gets to combine two of the things she enjoys most - writing and wellness - and use them to affect change in a real way.
When not making music with her kiddos, or writing wellness tips for a higher quality of life, you can find her reading, hiking, drumming, and fitnessing