1. What mot people do when trying to heal their gut:
Most people when dealing with gut health issues will try to increase their fiber intake, and take a probiotic supplement.
Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with increasing your fiber intake if it was low to begin with and by any means you should do so if a lack of fiber is the problem. However, it is important to remember that in many cases, fiber is NOT the problem or not the only problem. Moreover, you should be aware that fiber can be triggering for certain gut conditions, and that adding too much too fast can lead to unpleasant gatrointestinal symptoms.
Regarding probiotics consumption, it is extremely important to know that probiotics are strain - dependent. What does this mean? It means that certain strains will be helpful in certain cases while some others will be better avoided in some others, and could even make things worse.
2. What you should be doing instead:
Focus on a whole food based diet adapted to your gut condition: depending on what is really going on in your gut, some types of foods might be more recommended than others during a short - amount of time: wether it is to manage your symptoms, kill off fungus or figure out which foods are causing you to react. There is no one size fits all in diet, and that is particularly true when it comes to gut health. However, one thing is true for all: focusing on whole foods in the way to go.
Find & address the root cause: first you must identify what kind of gut issue you are dealing with: is it SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)? is it candida overgrowth? or a "simple" lack of beneficial bacteria? Are you dealing with leaky gut? Of course, before wondering about any of this it is important to remove any serious condition with a doctor. That being said, once you have figured out what is going in your gut, the work does not stop here: you must put your detective hat back on to figure out what caused the imbalance or issue to appear in the first place: could it be your diet? could it be stress related? or could it be due to a food poisoning you had a few month ago? These are only examples of all the things that can cause the gut to not function optimally. It is very important to find and address the root cause for optimal recovery.
Eat mindfully and chew properly: digestive functions rely on the sympathetic system to be activated, AKA our "rest & digest mode. Eating a relaxing state and chewing your food properly is a must to ensure proper mechanical (break down of foods) and chemical (release of enzymes) of foods.
Sleep sufficiently :a restorative sleep is too often underrated when it comes to health - However many very important biological processes happen while we sleep including the release of growth hormones needed for proper repair of tissues, included gastrointestinal tissues
Stress management/ trauma release: mental health and gut health are intrinsically connected. While stress can wreck havoc on your gut, and your health in general, an unhealthy gut can reciprocally contribute to anxiety and stress.
Time in nature/ contact with dirt: nature is healing in so many ways, including when it comes to your gut health. Being in contact with soil and dirt for instance has been shown to increase the diversity of our microbiome, while spending time in Nature has been shown to lower stress levels, an important factor in gut health management.
Tailored supplements if applicable: the " no one size fits all" rule applies to supplements as well. Each person will have different needs depending on what the issue is, and that is especially true for probiotics. It is very important to make sure you pick high - quality supplements that are adapted to your need. Probiotics especially are strain - dependant and must be picked with care to avoid wasting your money or making things worse.
This article helped but you still don't know where to start? as a holistic practitioner specialized in gut health, my job is to give you tools adapted to your very unique bio-individual needs to support your gut health including nutritional recommendations, lifestyle recommendations, and tailored supplements.