Gut Inflammation: 5 easy ways to decrease it

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I’m sure you’ve heard about inflammation and the anti-inflammatory diet. This has been buzzing around for some time now. But what exactly is “inflammation” and what do people mean by that?

When we think of inflammation, we think of a swollen bug bite or an injury. This is the type of inflammation that promotes healing. Which is usually a good thing, right?

Some inflammation is good! But the inflammation in the gut is a little different.

Gut Inflammation

We have many microbes living in our gut. So many that they far outweigh the number of human cells in our body. The ecosystem that our microbes create relies on what we eat, our lifestyle, habits, stress, and physical activity. 

When the barrier to the gut lining “leaks”, it triggers an inflammatory response by the body.

If you keep your body in a constant state of stress or poor eating habits, you could be contributing to some continuous “low grade inflammation”. Recently, more and more studies have been focusing their research on this low grade inflammation that may be contributing to a number of chronic diseases; including depression and anxiety. 

Stress has been shown to increase cytokine production, which then increases an inflammatory response (1).

Likewise, a high animal fat diet has been linked to increased permeability of the gut lining. Which means, how leaky the gut is (2). Think of it like a leaking pipe in the wall. You can’t see it, but the damage it’s causing internally is something you find later when you open up the wall.

5 EASY ways to decrease gut inflammation 

1. Breathing Techniques

This is simple, yet so hard to accomplish for busy people. BREATHE. Even if it’s only for 2 minutes a day. Take some deep breaths in and out. A good technique I learned at a meditation conference is to count as you breathe in and breathe out for twice as long. For example, breathe in for 3 seconds and out for 6 seconds.  Try to focus on your body and how you feel in the moment.

2. Exercise 

Okay, yeah I know. I’m beating a dead horse here. But, our bodies were meant to MOVE. Even if that means taking a couple laps around the room every hour.  Ideally, you just want to get that heart rate up a bit and get the endorphins flowing. This will help eliminate any unwanted stress. 

3. Eat Fermented Foods 

Kimchi, yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, etc. All of these contain live cultures to help replenish the gut and strengthen that gut lining! 

4. Self-Care

Nothing helps to decrease stress than some self care. I’m not talking about retail therapy here. But, some good old fashioned self care. Go take a walk in the woods or a nice hot bath. Taking time to recharge can go a long way, even if you feel like you don’t have time. You’re making time for your gut. 

5. Eat to Nourish 

Think of your gut as your second brain, which is what it is commonly referred to as. That is how powerful it is. In order to keep it healthy, we need to nourish. Be mindful of what you eat and think about whether it is providing you with substantial nutrients or just filling you up.  


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hi there, i’m michelle

welcome to my little home on the internet! I'm a Registered Dietitian and am here to share with you evidenced based and realistic ways to better your health for the long haul. Here you'll learn ways to eat that are both practical and sustainable. Enjoy!

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