Having a healthy gut microbiome helps control yours gut health. Your gut microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms, some of which are “good for you” and some of which are “bad.” The most important part is that it’s okay to have levels of “bad” bacteria in your gut as long as you have a balance between the good guys. If your microbiome is not in good shape, then you are at greater risk for disease. An unbalanced microbiome can lead to the risk of irritable bowel syndromeinflammatory bowel disease, obesityeven colon cancer.
There are things you can do in your daily life to ensure you have a healthy gut to reduce your risk of these diseases. Some of these changes include looking at who you are eating AND drinking. If you feel like you’re at risk, or just want to focus more on your gut health, try starting with your morning routine. We talked to Jen Bruning, MS, RDN, LDNAcademy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokeswoman on some morning habits to support gut health.
According to Bruning, water it is our main and best source of hydration. And drinking some water in the morning is a good start to your day.
“We’re dehydrated when we wake up, so hydration in the morning is essential to making us perform at our best,” says Bruning. “Plus, dehydration can cause constipation because fiber needs water to do its job. Drinking water in the morning is a great way to start the day off right for your gut and overall health.”
This is good news for coffee lovers who need to be picked up in the morning!
“A cup of coffee can help you stay organized,” says Bruning. And since it is normally consumed in the morning, it has earned its place on this list!
Bruning goes on to suggest that while regular coffee has the most powerful effect, it’s not alone CAFFEINE which is supporting your digestion: “Coffee without coffee it can also stimulate the body to move its bowels,” says Bruning. “Drinking coffee can even favorably affect the composition of our gut microbiome.”
However, it is important to note a few things.
“Don’t overdo it with coffee for the sake of gut health; but if you regularly enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning without adverse effects, your gut may thank you for it,” says Bruning.
Additionally, the effect of coffee is not experienced by all coffee drinkers, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket (or coffee in one cup) about gut health expectations.
Another way to get the fluids flowing is by drinking fiber.
“Some juices contain a dose of fiber, such as plum juice and some tomato-based juices“, explains Bruning. “A fiber supplement mixed with water or juice can help you start your day with a dose of fiber that 90% of Americans lack.”
Bruning goes on to state that a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber is key to health and a healthy gut. Soluble fiber can help improve digestion, while insoluble fiber can soften stools, making this the perfect team for a healthy gut.
“If you struggle to get enough fiber in the day as many people do, then starting the day with a drink that contains fiber can help meet your needs,” she says.
Smoothies are a great way to get into any fruits you cannot enter otherwise throughout the day. It also makes for a refreshing and rejuvenating start to the day.
“Use fruits rich in fiber like berry mixes and include ground flax or chia seeds for added nutrients and fiber,” suggests Bruning. “Like juices and supplement drinks, smoothies can give you a punch or two of fiber and the juice it needs to be effective.
Another suggestion? Add yogurt or kefir and you’ve got a helping of gut-friendly probiotics!
Kayla Garritano is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That! She graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and minored in Marketing and Creative Writing. Read more