Gut Health: 10 Tips for Supporting a Healthy Gut

Published on May 26, 2022

By Gaia Herbs

Gaia Herbs

Maintaining gut health is crucial for overall health. Digestive issues such as indigestion, bloating, constipation, and heartburn can cause discomfort and affect our daily lives. 

However, gut health is not just about digestive health; it can also affect our immune system and physical and mental health. Fortunately, there are numerous methods available to promote a healthy gut.

How Can You Support Gut Health?

Below are ten tips to help manage digestive issues, support a healthy gut, and promote overall wellness.

1. Eat a Diverse Diet

Maintaining a balanced diet with various foods is crucial in supporting a healthy gut microbiome, a collection of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes living within our digestive tract. A diverse gut microbiome can help support healthy digestion and a robust immune system. REF#1737

Consuming a range of plant-based foods like colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and animal-based foods like lean meats, fish, and poultry can provide essential nutrients that can help support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. REF#1738

It's important to note that while eating a diverse diet is generally recommended for supporting a healthy gut, it's equally important to listen to your body and avoid foods that may cause discomfort or allergic reactions. Consult your healthcare provider, registered dietitian, or nutritionist for personalized recommendations to manage specific dietary needs.

2. Avoid Processed Foods and Added Sugars

Processed foods and added sugars are calorie-dense and low in nutrients, often resulting in weight gain and other health complications. Excessive consumption of added sugars can foster the proliferation of detrimental bacteria in the gut, contributing to various digestive issues. REF#1739

Processed foods typically contain refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and artificial additives, all of which can disturb the equilibrium of gut bacteria, potentially leading to inflammation and various health issues. REF#1739

3. Consume Prebiotic-Rich Foods

Good bacteria in the gut can help to maintain a healthy balance of digestive enzymes, helping to aid in digestion. Prebiotics are the dietary fiber that feeds and nourishes these beneficial bacteria in the gut. They can support gut health and healthy digestion by promoting the growth of these beneficial bacteria.

Some examples of prebiotic-rich foods include:

  • Bananas: Bananas are a great source of prebiotics, especially when they're slightly underripe. They're also a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.
  • Garlic: Garlic is not only delicious but also a good source of prebiotics. It also contains sulfur compounds that can help support overall digestive health.
  • Onions: Like garlic, onions are a good source of prebiotics and contain sulfur compounds that can support gut health.
  • Jerusalem Artichokes: Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes, are a root vegetable that's high in inulin, a type of prebiotic fiber.
  • Asparagus: Asparagus is a vegetable that is an excellent prebiotic fiber source.
  • Chicory Root: Chicory root is a root vegetable that is often used as a coffee substitute. It's also a good source of inulin.
  • Apples: Apples are not only a great source of fiber but also contain a type of prebiotic called pectin.

If you're new to prebiotics, start with small amounts and gradually increase your intake. Some people may experience bloating or other digestive issues when consuming large quantities of prebiotic-rich foods. If you experience digestive problems, reduce your intake and talk to a healthcare professional if symptoms persist.

Many of these foods are also rich in antioxidants, which can help support your overall health and protect against free radical damage.

4. Consume Probiotic-Rich Foods

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts. Consuming probiotic-rich foods can help support a healthy gut microbiome and improve digestion. 

Fermented, probiotic-rich foods include:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kombucha

It may be challenging to get enough probiotics from food alone. That's where probiotic supplements come in. These supplements contain high amounts of specific strains of beneficial bacteria that can help improve gut health.

Selecting a high-quality product from a reputable brand is essential when choosing a probiotic supplement. Look for supplements that contain a variety of strains of beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and have a high colony-forming unit (CFU) count.

Not all probiotics work the same for everyone. Finding the correct strain and dosage for your individual needs is essential.

5. Stay Hydrated

When the body is dehydrated, the digestive system may not function properly, leading to problems like constipation, indigestion, and bloating. Drinking enough water can help keep stool soft and prevent constipation. The type of water you drink can also affect the variety of gut microbiota. REF#1740

Although the required amount of water you should drink can differ based on factors such as age, gender, physical activity, and climate, a general recommendation is to consume about eight glasses of water daily.

In addition to water, consuming other hydrating fluids like herbal teas, coconut water, and low-sugar fruit juices can also help support hydration and promote gut health.

6. Manage Stress

When the body experiences stress, it activates the "fight or flight" response, which can cause changes in the digestive system and disrupt the balance of gut bacteria. Chronic stress can lead to issues like gastrointestinal discomfort, indigestion, and inflammation. REF#1741

There are many strategies to help support feelings of relaxation, such as exercise, mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, and yoga. Finding activities that promote relaxation and incorporating them into daily routines can help manage stress and support gut health.

7. Get Enough Sleep

Inadequate sleep can disrupt the gut microbiome and lead to digestive issues. Studies show that sleep deprivation can lead to changes in the gut microbiome, which can impact digestion and immune function. REF#1742

Promoting healthy sleep patterns is vital to establish a consistent sleep schedule. Adults should try for at least seven hours of sleep per night. 

Some ways you can support your sleep quality include:

  • Get sunshine to encourage a healthy circadian rhythm.
  • Create a relaxing sleep environment.
  • Use only red or warm lights to simulate firelight.
  • Limit screen time before bed.
  • Keep the bedroom dark and cool.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening.

In addition to these strategies, natural supplements like magnesium may help promote healthy sleep patterns. Magnesium is a mineral that supports relaxation and may also help promote healthy sleep. REF#1743

8. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is essential to maintaining good gut health, as it can help support healthy digestion and regular bowel movements. Physical activity can increase gut motility or food movement through the digestive tract, preventing constipation and other digestive issues.

Regular exercise can also positively affect the diversity of gut bacteria. Exercise may also soothe irritation in the gut and support immune function, which can further support gut health. REF#1744

Find enjoyable and sustainable activities to incorporate exercise into your healthy lifestyle — you can do anything from walking or cycling to taking a yoga class or lifting weights. You can also incorporate movement throughout the day by taking frequent breaks to stretch, walk, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.

9. Kick Unhealthy Habits

Smoking can have a negative impact on the gut microbiome, which can cause an imbalance of beneficial and harmful bacteria. It can also increase the risk of gastrointestinal issues. Quitting smoking can help restore a healthy balance of gut bacteria and soothe irritation in the gut. REF#1745

Excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt the gut microbiome, resulting in an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and reduced levels of beneficial bacteria. Alcohol can also damage the gut lining, leading to increased permeability, or "leaky gut syndrome," allowing toxic substances to pass through the gut barrier and into the bloodstream. REF#1746

Limiting alcohol consumption, or avoiding it altogether, can help restore a healthy balance of microorganisms and support overall gut health.

10. Consider Herbal Supplements

Herbal medicine can help support gut health by supporting digestion and maintaining balance in the body.* Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, particularly emphasizes the use of herbs and spices to aid digestion and support gut health.

Spices like turmeric, cumin, and cardamom all have properties that can fight against harmful microorganisms and soothe irritation. REF#1747 Slippery elm and licorice root contain mucilage, which can help soothe an upset stomach. REF#1748 Meanwhile, peppermint and ginger tea can also help soothe digestive issues like nausea and cramping. REF#1747

Gaia Herbs offers a range of high-quality Gut Health Supplements & Herbal Blends that can support your digestive health. Our herbal products are made with the best herbs that can help support digestion, promote balance in the body, and contribute to overall well-being.*

These include:

While supplements and herbs can offer health benefits, they should not replace a healthy diet and lifestyle. It's always best to get nutrients and other health-promoting compounds from whole foods whenever possible.

Why Is Gut Health Important?

Gut health is crucial for overall health and well-being. The gut, also known as the gastrointestinal tract, plays a vital role in digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating waste. A healthy gut is essential for maintaining a strong immune system, as well as for holistic wellness.*

One of the key components of gut health is the microbiome, a collection of trillions of microorganisms that reside in the gut. These microorganisms play a vital role in digestion, immune function, and mood regulation. An imbalance in the microbiome, known as dysbiosis, can lead to various health problems.

By prioritizing gut health, individuals can support their overall health, both in the short and long term.

Support a Healthy Digestive System

Remember, a healthy gut is a key component of overall wellness. With the proper support, achieving a thriving microbiome and maintaining good gut health is possible. 

By making minor changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can support a healthy gut and enjoy the many health benefits that come with it. For more tips on how to use herbs to support overall wellness, review our blog.


  • 1. , "The Microbiome", Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
  • 2. Zhang P., "Influence of Foods and Nutrition on the Gut Microbiome and Implications for Intestinal Health", Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Aug 24;23(17):9588.
  • 3. Satokari R., "High Intake of Sugar and the Balance between Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Gut Bacteria", Nutrients. 2020 May 8;12(5):1348..
  • 4. Vanhaecke T, Bretin O, Poirel M, Tap J, "Drinking Water Source and Intake Are Associated with Distinct Gut Microbiota Signatures in US and UK Populations.", J Nutr. 2022 Jan 11;152(1):171-182..
  • 5. Madison A, Kiecolt-Glaser JK., "Stress, depression, diet, and the gut microbiota: human-bacteria interactions at the core of psychoneuroimmunology and nutrition.", Curr Opin Behav Sci. 2019 Aug;28:105-110..
  • 6. Smith RP, Easson C, Lyle SM, Kapoor R, Donnelly CP, Davidson EJ, Parikh E, Lopez JV, Tartar JL, "Gut microbiome diversity is associated with sleep physiology in humans.", PLoS One. 2019 Oct 7;14(10):e0222394..
  • 7. Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B., "The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.", J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9..
  • 8. Monda V, Villano I, Messina A, Valenzano A, Esposito T, Moscatelli F, Viggiano A, Cibelli G, Chieffi S, Monda M, Messina G., "Exercise Modifies the Gut Microbiota with Positive Health Effects.", Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:3831972..
  • 9. Antinozzi M, Giffi M, Sini N, Gallè F, Valeriani F, De Vito C, Liguori G, Romano Spica V, Cattaruzza MS., "Cigarette Smoking and Human Gut Microbiota in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review.", Biomedicines. 2022 Feb 21;10(2):510..
  • 10. Engen PA, Green SJ, Voigt RM, Forsyth CB, Keshavarzian A., "The Gastrointestinal Microbiome: Alcohol Effects on the Composition of Intestinal Microbiota.", Alcohol Res. 2015;37(2):223-36..
  • 11. Fifi, A. C., Axelrod, C. H., Chakraborty, P., & Saps, M. (2018)., "Herbs and Spices in the Treatment of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Review of Clinical Trials.", Nutrients, 10(11), 1715..
  • 12. Peterson, C. T., Sharma, V., Uchitel, S., Denniston, K., Chopra, D., Mills, P. J., & Peterson, S. N. (2018)., "Prebiotic Potential of Herbal Medicines Used in Digestive Health and Disease. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine", (New York, N.Y.), 24(7), 656–665..