When I was in high school, I fully adopted the principle that I had a roundly shaped face.
I had made peace with it, despite it not looking like the other girls with cheek bones and outlined chins.
I didn’t consider it my best feature, but I was slowly making peace with it. Until I got to college and realized that wasn’t the shape of my face at all.
I was just inflamed.
My gut health was so out of sorts that my body was reacting to the foods I was eating, and working against me – causing unwanted and unhealthy bloating and inflammation.
When I lost that bloat (both in my belly, my face, and other areas) I was amazed to see the results.
You will be too – just hang with me and I’ll get you the steps I did that got me my results quickly!
Gut Health and Inflammation: What's the Connection?
Think of swelling.
I always describe inflammation like this – when you’ve fallen down as a kid and scraped your knee, you can probably remember that the area soon was “puffy.”
And while this seems like it would be a bad thing, it’s actually our body working in our favor since we are hurt, and in need of repair.
The same concept can happen within the gut – when there is something irritating the lining of the gut (just like those pieces of dirt that got in your knee cut), the body’s response is to create blood flow to that area to heal it.
This experience can be triggered due to food intolerances, poor gut health, and any digestive distress you personally experience.
And this is called inflammation, so when it happens in the gut (the region of the digestive tract that contains the stomach, small + large intestines), we experience a vast array of unwanted side effects – and in this case, we will specifically reference bloating and inflammation (the “puffy” feeling).
How Do You Know if You're Experiencing Inflammation?
So for years in my case – I didn’t. I had no idea and just thought my normal was my “norm.”
It wasn’t until I started to experience terrible digestive distress (for me it was related to incredible bloating, low energy, and skin reactions) that it made me figure out what the term “gut health” even meant.
By the time I figured it out, my gut health was all out of whack.
Not to worry though, if this is you – there are simple solutions and we’ll run through those in a moment.
I got my gut health back and you will too!
But it’s typically some sort of secondary side effect that leads you to understand digestive health – things like…
- Slow metabolism/Trouble losing weight
- Skin reactions
- Poor immunity
- Bloating/Stomach pain
- Mental fog
- Low energy levels
And an array of other signs and symptoms related to poor gut health (read 8 Poor Gut Health Signs + Symptoms HERE if you’re interested!).
Things that make you stop and think “well that isn’t right” and leads you down the track of understanding how amazing you can feel.
And good thing is, the bonus of this is losing that stubborn inflammation and puffiness!
5 Ways to Kick Inflammation to the Curb (+ Fix Your Gut Health!)
1. Eat an Anti Inflammatory Diet
It makes sense that to reduce the inflammation in our bodies that we would eat an anti inflammatory diet.
But what the heck is an anti inflammatory diet? And what does it contain?
Well, for a complete guide, I did my best to make your life the easiest and created these two resources for you:
Essentially, this diet focuses on healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and good fibers.
Our bodies have not yet evolved to the point where we can fully understand how to digest so much of the processed and artificial ingredients/products that this is my far my favorite food guideline to follow because it ensures everything is super easy for your body to digest.
Thus, your body will not be reacting to the foods you are eating, and it calms the digestive tract.
In fact, these foods work to restore your gut’s beneficial bacteria and actually heal your digestive tract – pretty cool!
2. Try an Elimination Diet
A lot of people have unknown food sensitivities and intolerances without even knowing it – but it isn’t until the food(s) are removed from your diet that you feel relief.
These trigger foods are typically:
- Lactose (the majority of the population is intolerant)
- Citrus fruits
When I removed gluten, I saw the greatest change and that is very common for everyone.
This is because gluten is an added protein during processing that works as “glue” for foods, to hold them together.
The more you stray away from gluten, the easier it is to eat healthier – under this ONE RULE…
You should always go for foods that are naturally gluten free, not store bought processed and labelled as gluten free (these are typically filled with starches and heavily dosed with added sugars).
You can also keep track of all the foods you eat in a food journal to see how you feel after each meal, and find the common denominator for which foods cause you to feel bloated and inflamed.
This will lead you to the best foods you should be eating for your body specifically!
3. Take Probiotics Tailored for You
Here’s the real truth – probiotics only work if you know how to choose them.
Probiotics are supplements that enhance your digestive tract with the beneficial gut microbes that help to balance our the microbiome of your inner linings – thus reducing inflammation and healing your gut.
Not all probiotics are the same, and the labels on the bottles can be incredibly deceptive – making that certain product seem like the holy grail of probiotics.
But we will be the judge of that based on certain stipulations. To make this simple, I created a checklist for you.
❏ Make sure the probiotic contains LIVE strains of bacteria (many probiotics have “dead” strains, which then when added to your digestive tract do absolutely nothing. You need live strains that will continue to flourish your digestive tract with incredible benefits and more beneficial bacteria.)
❏ Expect to pay anywhere between $25-60/month for a good probiotic
❏ Read the reviews – it can be really helpful hearing other people’s experiences
❏ Probiotics for women are measured in CFU (colony forming units). Choose a probiotic that has at least 10 billion CFUs – less strains will simply not be as potent and beneficial (again, you want LIVE strains!)
❏ Has a diverse range of strains of bacteria (If you look at the nutrition label, you can see the scientific names of the strains. Make sure there are multiple strains since different strains will serve different purposes for your body.)
I personally recommend Thryve.
- Their prices are incredibly reasonable
- They offer more personalized probiotics (not a “one size fits all” product)
- They provide amazing results
Thryve has a great selection that is more personal to you and your needs.
The same strains of bacteria found in a probiotic to promote weight loss will be different than the strains of bacteria to increase immunity.
They provide this selection and make choosing the probiotic simple for you.
For more information, check out “How to Choose the Best Probiotic for You + 14 Incredible Benefits!”
4. Lower Stress Levels
I will be very real with you.
I have anxiety, so for me, this is a challenge – however, it is crucial for my digestive health to be in check.
See, the intestines work on compulsions that help to propel our foods throughout our digestive tract, and absorb the nutrients along the way.
Based on external factors (like stress), these compulsions will change speed – if it’s too fast, it will result in undigested food being passed along too quickly, and can even result in diarrhea.
On the opposite end, if these compulsions happen too slowly, you can have constipation.
While it may not be incredibly drastic, you can be constipated without realizing it (I say this from experience).
Once you are regular, you will fully be able to relieve yourself properly and keep those bowels cranking at proper speeds.
Reducing stress is one of the steps to ensure that your organs do not experience stress, which reduces the health of your gut.
But don’t stress about your stress! Just simply do something for your mental health once a day.
Meditate, do yoga, practice breathing, go for a walk, practice intentions, etc…
5. Maximize Nutrient Absorption
The primary job of the small intestine is to absorb nutrients from our foods; however, when our gut is unhealthy, we are unable to properly do this.
This means that even though you could be eating healthy foods, your body is not able to uptake the nutrients, and therefore, your energy levels will remain low.
So what’s a great life hack is to incorporate superfood powders into your daily routine.
The key is in the powder.
These powders are composed of foods that are rich in anti-oxidants and countless health benefits, but the most important thing is this – since they’re a powder, they absorb directly into your blood stream and do not even have to wait to be processed through the digestive tract.
If you’re interested, I personally love and adore Your Super.
I’ve found I get the most bang for my buck, and trust me, I’m never one to throw money at supplements. I did that for too many years trying to find solutions that ACTUALLY work.
But Your Super is the easiest way to maximize energy levels while also working to repair digestive health.
Win – Win.
To get 15% off your first order, use the key “HAPPYNESSISKEY” at checkout. You know I got your back.
P.S. They just came out with their new mix, called “Gut Feeling” and it’s specifically made to help reset your gut!! A MAJOR win! (I loved their products before since they always helped to restore gut health quickly, but now there’s even a special mix for your gut! WIN!!)
The Big Picture
Before we wrap up, I want to leave you with some things to keep in mind:
- Inflammation is the body’s natural response to a foreign substance.
- We become inflamed when we eat foods that are contrasting to our body’s natural desires.
- An anti inflammatory diet, reducing stress, incorporating proper probiotics, and focusing on healthy practices (like superfoods for nutrient absorption) will easily skyrocket our health!
Take it one step at a time – you can do this!
And if you want it done in 21 days, be sure to check out the 21 Day Gut Health Challenge!