People in the wellness world are all about their morning regimens. Meditation, lemon water, morning virtual workout classes for most, optimizing your well-being and health starts as soon as you wake up.
The morning brings opportunities for various fresh beginnings, from resetting your mood to hitting your fitness goals. But did you know that improving your gut health should be an essential factor in your morning regimen, too?
Beginning the day with an unhealthy gut or poor digestion can make the day feel tiring and long, and if gut problems become chronic, you could notice such discomfort frequently. That’s why boosting gut health is critical—and you can do so with a few handy morning tips that will begin your day off right.
What happens in the initial hours every morning can set the tone for the rest of the day. Prioritizing a morning gut health regimen can be particularly essential for both physical and mental well-being daily.
There are multiple ways to promote gut health all day long, starting in the morning. Here’s what we recommend:
1. Drink a glass of water ASAP
Beginning your day with adequate fluids can help prevent constipation and supports your overall daily requirements. Besides being uncomfortable, regular constipation spikes the risk of digestive issues such as diverticulosis and colon cancer later in life.
It is recommended to take a tall glass of water before reaching for caloric beverages, such as milk or juice or coffee. This habit begins your day off instantly with water in case you get distracted later, helping you better meet your everyday hydration goals.
[Read: Best Times of Drinking Water]
2. Make your breakfast rich in prebiotic foods
Prebiotics (short for prebiotic fiber) is a kind of non-digestible carbohydrate that helps thrive gut bacteria and feed them. This supports your microbiome and its role in metabolism, immunity, mental health, and more .
We should be consuming prebiotics, which comes from plant foods like barley, oat, and rye, at each meal. But a breakfast high in plant foods with prebiotic fiber doesn’t just make you up for a happy gut first thing in the morning.
Beginning your morning off with high-quality carbs and filling fiber also help you have a more controlled appetite throughout the day. Enjoy cooked barley with cinnamon and chopped apples or banana with oatmeal.
3. Incorporate some probiotic foods to your plate, too
When discussing gut health, we can’t forget the prominence of probiotics—or the “good” bacteria—as well. While frequent intake of prebiotic foods supports the gut over time, foods containing live bacteria or probiotic foods may have a more immediate effect on digestive health .
While yogurt may be your initial thought, it’s crucial to eat a variety of fermented foods or probiotics, so your gut isn’t overwhelmed with the same bacterial strains and results in lacking in others. Try kefir for a more diverse and potent blend, or different yogurt and kombucha tea with your breakfast.
You can also prepare breakfast tacos and top them with kimchi.
4. Get some movement
Physical activity has been proven to enhance the gut’s microbial diversity, meaning growth in beneficial bacteria. By taking a short jog, brisk walk, or at-home workout, you increase your gut’s good bacteria, which improves digestion and nutrient absorption, and overall health.
Moreover, physical activity helps literally keeps things moving through our digestive tract. Part of what makes your intestines move is your intrinsic musculature. When we exercise, we’re jostling around, and we’re also contracting those core muscles, which helps push the stool forward.
You can make time for a complete workout or do some quick jump rope, HIIT exercises, yoga flow, or a short run-up and downstairs for 15 minutes too. You do what works for your requirements and time in the a.m. Every bit helps to wake you up!
5. Eat plenty of fiber.
Most Americans aren’t taking their daily prescribed intake of fiber, but the vital nutrient plays a role in regulating healthy blood sugar levels, feeling fuller, and, of course, improving digestion. Adding seven to ten grams of fiber to breakfast should be a priority.
For extra breakfast motivation, eat a mix of leftover vegetables and eggs or a smoothie with frozen cauliflower, greens, half an avocado, chia seeds, and half a frozen banana.
[Read: Foods High in Fiber]
6. Allow Yourself Time To Poop
A bowel movement is natural in the morning because it is at this time in the day that cortisol is at its peak, which can promote gut motility. So, if you can, set aside a couple of minutes to allow your food to settle and observe if you can poop.
Few individuals claim to have a ‘poop window’ and a preferred time to go. Try to support this digest and rest time, before carrying on with your day’s affairs, to improve daily regularity.
7. Manage stress.
Because of the gut-brain association, stress can directly affect digestion and gut health. They do not call it a “nervous stomach” for no reason.
Mindfulness practices in the morning, like meditation, gratitude journaling, yoga, or a few minutes of alone time, can help handle anxious feelings.
Write a to-do list with the 3 most crucial tasks of the day. This organization technique can keep you from getting burdened by responsibilities later on. Having a handle on stress hormones can help keep them from wreaking havoc on the body and mind and the gastrointestinal system.
[Read: How to Cope With Stress]
Doing just around anything too early in the morning can seem challenging, but supporting a healthy gut doesn’t have to be. Just simple steps like hydration, fiber intake, probiotic supplementation, and stress management will promote better gut health all day long.