The 12 Proven Strategies to Improve Gut Health

Background Image

The 12 Proven Strategies to Improve Gut Health

the important of gut health

What does it truly mean to be healthy? So many different systems in your body work together to affect your overall well-being. When one aspect of your physical health is lacking, you can experience serious disruptions to your quality of life and even feel the effects throughout the rest of your body. 

Gut health is one important aspect of health that many people, even the health-conscious, don’t know enough about. Your gut affects more bodily functions than you might realize, which is why maintaining positive gut health is so crucial.

Table of contents:

Understanding Your Gut Health

Your gut includes all of the organs involved in your digestive tract, and “gut health” specifically refers to the delicate balance of bacteria that live inside these organs. 

Gut health is also referred to as your gut microbiome. It contributes to many aspects of health, including digestion, immune responses, and mental well-being. 

Some of your gut bacteria were present when you were born, but some bacteria develop throughout your life based on your environment and diet. 

Most people assume that all bacteria are harmful, but in fact, there are many types of bacteria in your gut that support good health. A healthy gut should maintain a proper balance of good and bad bacteria at all times. If your gut has too much of one type of bacteria, you can experience the symptoms that come along with poor gut health.

Symptoms of Poor Gut Health

How can you tell if you have poor gut health? There are a few common symptoms to look out for.

Digestive Issues

Since your gut microbiome is within your digestive system, an unbalanced gut will naturally cause issues with your digestion. This could look like:

  • Bloating
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Changes in stool

When the gut microbiome doesn’t have the proper balance of bacteria, other parts of your digestive system can struggle, and you can experience these unpleasant symptoms. 

Sudden Weight Changes

Sometimes, poor gut health can lead to sudden and unexpected changes in weight. Usually, this will take the form of weight loss, but weight gain can also occur depending on other health issues present at the time. If digestive issues accompany a sudden weight change, the problem may be connected to your gut microbiome.

Poor Immune Response

Did you know that your digestive system and your immune system are very closely linked? If your gut microbiome lacks certain bacteria or has too many of another, your body may be unequipped to fight infections. Getting sick more often than usual could be a sign that your gut health needs some attention.

Poor Mental Health

Mental health primarily takes place in the brain, where neurotransmitters create feelings of happiness and contentment. However, some of these neurotransmitters (including well-known examples like serotonin) also come from the gut.

The emotional effects of poor mental health are usually created by a lack of feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine. This lack can create feelings of discontent or sadness. When your gut health is out of balance, your emotional and mental well-being can be affected.

What Can Damage Your Gut Health?

Before diving into the many ways to boost gut health, it’s important to understand the lifestyle factors that can damage your gut microbiome.

Poor Diet

Many of the bacteria in your gut grow throughout your life based on what you eat, which is why a poor diet can make such a big difference in your gut health. 

Different foods will affect people in diverse ways, as everyone’s gut microbiome is unique. However, some of the most common foods associated with gut health issues are:

  • Meat
  • Fried food
  • Artificial flavors and sweeteners
  • Sugar

Most foods are okay in moderation, but if you over consume any of these potentially problematic foods, you may notice symptoms of poor gut health.


Stress can negatively affect so many different aspects of your health, and gut health is no exception. If you experience high levels of stress regularly, your gut health could be affected, leading to digestive issues and other symptoms.


Most people know that alcohol isn’t healthy for them, but regularly drinking alcohol can cause specific issues in the gut. Repeated consumption has been linked to gastritis, or inflammation in the stomach lining. Gastritis can cause unwanted symptoms like heartburn, bacterial infections, and stomach ulcers.

Antibiotics and Other Medications

how antibiotics affect gut health

Antibiotics are a useful medication that can effectively fight a variety of illnesses. However, the nature of antibiotics is to kill bacteria and other pathogens in the body, which can lead to your gut bacteria being damaged along with the bacterial infection you’re trying to remove.  

Many other medications can cause gut health issues besides antibiotics. Even medications as common as ibuprofen can damage your gut if used consistently. However, you should never stop taking a prescribed medication without consulting with your doctor.

12 Ways to Improve Gut Health

Now that you understand what can cause gut health issues and how to spot poor gut health, take a look at the top 12 ways to boost your gut health and feel your best. By implementing these healthy habits, you can improve your gut microbiome — and other health markers along the way.

1. Add Fermented Food to Your Diet

Fermented foods are very common in some cultures and less common in others. If you’re not sure whether you regularly eat any fermented foods, it’s probably a good idea to consume more of them. 

Some common examples of fermented foods to include in your diet are Greek yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi. These foods help increase the diversity of bacteria in your gut microbiome, which allows your healthy bacteria to grow and thrive.

2. Take Probiotics

probiotics and your gut

Have you heard the buzz about probiotics? Probiotics are microorganisms that can help to balance the gut microbiome. Essentially, adding probiotics to your body means adding more good bacteria to your gut.

Ask your doctor whether you need to supplement your diet with probiotics based on your current diet and gut health. Many doctors recommend that patients take probiotics alongside antibiotics to reduce the damage done to the gut microbiome. 

3. Keep Micronutrient Consumption High

A balanced diet is made up of macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and maintaining the proper balance of these is important for meeting your nutritional needs. However, consuming all of the necessary micronutrients is also crucial to staying healthy and supporting a thriving gut microbiome. 

Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals, which occur naturally in a variety of foods. In order to increase your micronutrient consumption, try to include more fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. A cold-pressed juice or smoothie is an easy and delicious way to do just that!

4. Reduce Your Stress Levels

Stress can wreak havoc on many of your body’s systems, your gut included. 

While switching up your diet should be your first line of defense against an unhealthy gut microbiome, reducing stress can also make a huge difference in how you feel and how well your digestive system functions. 

Try to incorporate mindfulness practices into your routine, take on fewer projects at work, or spend more quality time with loved ones. When you have less stress and fewer responsibilities to worry about, you might find that it’s a lot easier to make better food choices for your gut health.

5. Change Your Cleaning Products

Your gut health can be affected by your environment just as it is by your diet and stress levels, and this includes the products you use to clean your home. 

Specifically, toxic chemicals found in many major cleaning products can disrupt the gut microbiome. Switch out some of your name-brand cleaning products for nontoxic alternatives, or do some research to find out how you can use everyday household products as effective cleaning tools. 

6. Avoid Sugary and Fatty Foods

How Sugar affects the microbiome

Everyone loves a dessert once in a while, but eating too many foods that are excessively high in sugar and fat can affect your digestion and create an imbalance in your gut. Save these foods for special occasions and practice moderation when you do consume them.

7. Cut Back on Artificial Flavors and Sweeteners

Too much sugar can be harmful to your gut microbiome, and too much artificial sweetener can do the same. Most artificial sweeteners include problematic chemical compounds like aspartame to create a sweet taste without any calories. Many artificial flavors do the same to achieve a desired flavor, adding unnecessary chemicals to your food. 

Take a closer look at the ingredients list of any artificial sweeteners and flavorings. If the list is long and full of chemicals, you may want to cut back. Some naturally occurring zero-calorie sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit can be safe in moderation but may still cause digestive upset in some people.

8. Try a Vegetarian Diet

Of all the foods that are linked with gut issues, meat is one of the most prominent. Meat is an excellent source of protein, and including meat in your diet can make reaching your nutrition goals easier. However, meats like beef, chicken, and pork are directly linked to gut inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease.  

If you’re having gut issues, try switching to a vegetarian diet for a few weeks to see whether your symptoms improve. If you need to include animal protein in your diet, seafood options like fish and shrimp tend to be better for your gut than poultry or red meat. 

9. Remove High FODMAP Foods

If you have irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, cutting high FODMAP foods out of your diet can help relieve your symptoms. The acronym FODMAP stands for:

  • Fermentable oligosaccharides
  • Disaccharides
  • Monosaccharides
  • Polyols

A low FODMAP diet should not include dairy, wheat, legumes, and certain fruits and vegetables. Over several weeks, you can add one type of food back to your diet at a time to determine whether it is the cause of your digestive distress.

10. Limit Alcohol

Alcohol does not create any positive effects on the gut. While small amounts of alcohol might be harmless for those without significant gut issues, regular servings of alcohol can cause serious inflammation to the digestive system. That’s why avoiding it when possible is the best plan of action for gut health.

11. Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is your body’s chance to fully rest, reset, and get ready for the day ahead. If you don’t get enough sleep, you can experience a range of problems, poor gut health and digestion difficulties included. Eating too close to bedtime can cause digestive issues, too, as your digestion slows down during sleep. 

The right amount of sleep will vary based on age, lifestyle, and other factors. Chat with your doctor to find out how much sleep you should be getting to support your health. Once you have a sleep schedule laid out, organize your mealtimes so that you won’t be eating a large meal too close to bedtime. 

12. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is good for your health in general, but some early studies are showing a connection between aerobic exercise and gut microbiome diversity, independent of diet. Additionally, exercise can help with weight management, and those with a healthy body fat percentage are more likely to reap the benefits of exercise for gut health.  

Boost Your Health From the Inside Out With Clean Juice

A healthy gut starts with smart choices — about your diet, exercise routine, stress levels, and overall lifestyle. Of all the factors that can improve gut health, taking artificial flavors out of your diet and increasing your intake of whole foods are some of the most practical and worthwhile ways to improve your gut health for good. 

At Clean Juice, we make healthy eating easy and tasty with a varied menu of cold-pressed juices, smoothies, bowls, sandwiches, and much more. Find your nearest Clean Juice to get started on your journey to better gut health today!


Disclaimer: The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. Consult your doctor before using any health treatment, including natural remedies, and tell your doctor if you have a serious medical condition or are taking any medications.