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"Smoking has a big impact on gut health," as it changes the composition of microorganisms in the bowel, says Dr. Gil Kaplan, gastroenterologist and associate professor at the University of Calgary. "If you smoke and have a predisposition for Crohn's, you could develop the disease."
2. Exercise regularly
Being active can speed digestion, so you're less likely to experience constipation.
3. Get more vitamin D
"There's a lot of work on vitamin D deficiency and developing gut diseases," says Dr. Kaplan. "Get vitamin D through sunlight exposure, milk or soy products enriched with vitamin D, cooked egg yolks, salmon, mackerel, cod liver oil or supplements."
4. Avoid unnecessary antibiotic use
Antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial infections such as UTIs, strep throat and whooping cough, but they don't treat viruses that result in colds or flus. Even when taken properly, antibiotics can kill good bacteria in your intestines.
5. Add fibre
Eating 25 to 38 grams of fibre each day can help keep gut troubles at bay. Foods such as raspberries, skin-on pears, 100 percent bran flakes, cooked lentils, green peas and artichokes all have at least four grams of fibre per serving.
6. Consider taking probiotics
Ask your doctor if you should take a probiotic supplement to help restore good bacteria in your gut.
Check out why your gut health is so important to your overall well-being.
|This story was originally part of "Trust Your Gut" in the March 2015 issue.|
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