3. Not mixing it up
I’m always saying that when it comes to eating well, variety truly is the spice of life. When we’re talking about keeping our gut in tip top shape it couldn’t be more spot on. The gut craves a diverse range of whole foods and nutrients to function at optimal health, so a diet that lacks versatility won’t do much to keep your gut happy and healthy. Don’t worry – if you’re someone that eats chicken for lunch and dinner every day of the week then I’m not saying you have to ditch your one true love. Stick to what works for you but try to add variety with your sides by mixing up your usual veggies for lunch and dinner.
4. Not prioritising sleep
It might be hard to believe, but not getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night can do more than make you tired, foggy and unpleasant to be around, but can seriously influence the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. Research shows that 7.5 hours a night is truly the magic number, so try to prioritise your sleep by setting a bed time to stick to each night and ditching all things digital the hour before you head off to sleep.
5. Too much of the sweet stuff
Sugar promotes the growth of bad bacteria in the gut, so sadly your sweet tooth could be getting your gut in a rut. Coming from a self-confessed chocoholic – my first piece of advice is to be realistic and remember that balance is everything. Don’t stress about cutting out chocolate, lollies (or whatever your sugary vice might be) completely. If you can focus on reducing your refined sugar intake by substituting for healthier sweet alternatives, your gut will already be in good stead. Give my Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Slice a go next time those sweet cravings hit you hard, I guarantee they’ll hit the spot!
This article originally appeared on Women's Health.