How You Start the Day is Important
I think most of us have experienced days where we have started out on the wrong foot — and it continues throughout the day. Because of this, I have found approaching the morning intentionally with a positive routine sets the tone for the entire day. I’m happier, more productive, and enjoy better gut health because of it. And I think you will too. Here are my top tips to get you started.
5 Morning Habits to Improve Gut Health
Drink plenty of water. My top habit in the morning, drinking several glasses of warm water with a squeeze of lemon first thing in the morning flushes out toxins that have accumulated overnight and begins the day on the right foot by making sure that I am hydrated. It also is crucial for proper digestion, gut function and motility. But that’s not all. Drinking enough water boosts cognitive function and mood, supports beautiful skin, increases energy and metabolism, assists with nutrient absorption, and improves oxygen circulation.1 It also helps to protect tooth enamel from acids in the mouth, thereby lowering the risk of decay.
Eat a gut-friendly breakfast. Not only will this help to address sluggish digestion, it will also improve microbiome health, which is important for maintaining a healthy weight; defeating anxiety, depression, and brain fog; boosting immunity; calming autoimmune symptoms; and cooling inflammation. Focus on prebiotics, probiotics, insoluble fiber, vegetables, and resistant starch. For example, a bowl of Greek yogurt with active live cultures and freshly ground flaxseed, chia seed, unsweetened shredded coconut, chopped cashews, and wild blueberries covers all but the vegetable category. Plus it gives you a nice protein boost, which can help keep energy levels sustained without sugar crashes. Interested in learning more? Have a look at this post.
Collagen coffee with MCT boost. Blending brewed coffee with a tablespoon or so of both collagen powder and MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides) provides the gut with polyphenols that feed beneficial gut bacteria. What’s more, collagen helps to provide the building blocks to heal leaky gut, while the MCT oil enhances brain health and energy.2 If you struggle with staying regular, the caffeine in coffee paired with collagen can help you get back on track.
Need an extra layer of support? Try our Anxiety & Stress Blend in the Apothecary.
Go for a quick walk. Taking a stroll in a green space after breakfast helps to improve blood sugar metabolism and refreshes the mind so that I am primed for the day ahead. Studies have shown that exercise also encourages gut health because it boosts butyrate production. As I wrote in “The Surprising Connection Between Gut Health and Exercise“, butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that is “well-known for its ability to reduce inflammation, modulate the immune system, and stimulate the production of glutathione — a “master antioxidant” that is involved in detoxification.”3,4
Ultimate Gut Health
Along with the above morning habits, I also use our Balanced Gut Blend everyday. As someone with multiple sclerosis, this is crucial as studies have found that autoimmunity is often linked with microbiome dysbiosis and leaky gut. It contains the following powerful botanical extracts:
- Helps leaky gut through anti-inflammatory action
- High in beneficial beta glucans, glycoproteins, and triterpenes to support gut health
Turkey Tail Mushroom
- Calms inflammation
- Excellent source of prebiotics for encouraging a healthy microbiome by controlling the overgrowth of candida, while also feeding the “good” bacteria in the gut.
- Soothes mucous membranes
Slippery Elm and Marshmallow Root
- Forms a protective layer that helps the gut to regenerate
Lion’s Mane Mushroom
- High in antioxidants that cool the inflammatory response
If you are seeking to improve your gut health, my apothecary is a tremendous resource of information — including the science behind our formulations and why they are the gold standard of medicinal tinctures. Visit today to learn more!
Nicole’s Apothecary Products in this Post
- “Why Is Water Important? 16 Reasons to Drink Up” Natalie Silver, medically reviewed by Natalie Butler, R.D., L.D., Healthline, April 12, 2023. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/why-is-water-important
- Cunnane, S. C., Courchesne-Loyer, A., St-Pierre, V., Vandenberghe, C., Pierotti, T., Fortier, M., Croteau, E., & Castellano, C. A. (2016). Can ketones compensate for deteriorating brain glucose uptake during aging? Implications for the risk and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1367(1), 12–20. https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.12999
- Meijer, K., de Vos, P., & Priebe, M. G. (2010). Butyrate and other short-chain fatty acids as modulators of immunity: what relevance for health?. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 13(6), 715–721. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0b013e32833eebe5
- Zhou, L., Zhang, M., Wang, Y., Dorfman, R. G., Liu, H., Yu, T., Chen, X., Tang, D., Xu, L., Yin, Y., Pan, Y., Zhou, Q., Zhou, Y., & Yu, C. (2018). Faecalibacterium prausnitzii Produces Butyrate to Maintain Th17/Treg Balance and to Ameliorate Colorectal Colitis by Inhibiting Histone Deacetylase 1. Inflammatory bowel diseases, 24(9), 1926–1940. https://doi.org/10.1093/ibd/izy182
- “Stress and the microbiome” Dr. William Davis. January 12, 2022, https://drdavisinfinitehealth.com/2022/01/stress-and-the-microbiome/