Do you consider yourself gutsy? Well, there might be a good reason for that, and it’s more literal than you think!

Activia has long been known as a probiotic pioneer, and they’re on a mission to educate Canadians on the importance of good gut health. 

Turns out that 57% of Canadians are looking for ways to improve their gut health, but don’t know where to begin. Well, this beloved yogurt brand has just created a fun and easy way to better understand your gut health and its impact on your overall well-being. 

Photo via Activia

Activia‘s free Gut Health Tracker helps you get a handle on your gut health through education and expert advice. The quiz asks you 29 questions about the four key lifestyle habits that affect gut health (diet, sleep, stress and exercise) and provides a personalized percentage score out of 100.  

If your score doesn’t look too hot – don’t worry! The platform will share tailored, scienced-backed advice for every category, so you can start making gut-healthy changes right away.

Did You Know?

We all have a general understanding that our gut health is important. And for most people, that’s where our knowledge ends.

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If tummy troubles are your frequent bedfellow, know that you’re not alone. According to recent research, 96% of Canadians score below 50% on Activia’s Gut Health Tracker, with over half (56%) struggling with gut upset at least once a month.

What’s even more telling is that more than half of people believe they would have better gut health if they knew how to improve it. 

Knowledge is power, after all. So, let’s fix that gap!

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Andrea Hardy, Registered Dietitian and Canada’s Gut Health Expert, agrees. She said, “In an era of overwhelming nutrition and wellness information, it’s easy to feel like we must do it all for optimal gut health, however, as a Registered Dietitian, I firmly believe that it’s the return to basics that yields the most significant health impacts.

Andrea shares four surprising facts you probably didn’t know about gut health. 

4 Surprising Facts About Gut Health

The gut-brain connection

Research in recent years has revealed that the connection between our brain and our digestive system is more complicated than originally thought.

Have you ever gotten ‘butterflies’ around a special someone or before a big presentation? What about a ‘gut-wrenching’ experience, or that feeling of dread ‘in your gut’ when you’re nervous or scared? 

There are many reasons why our gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. For example, did you know that the vagus nerve is responsible for regulating our nervous system? In turn, this influences both digestion and mood! This means gut health plays a much bigger role in our overall mental health than most people realize.

Getting your Zzz’s matters

Did you know that how well you sleep affects your gut health?

Poor sleep can create imbalances in your hormonal system, spiking your stress levels, and leading to more stomach upset. Simple actions like keeping your room cool to creating a routine for deep, satisfying sleep on the regular can help you upgrade your slumber.

Stress really is bad for you 

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We know, we know – shocker! By now, pretty much everyone knows that stress is bad for your health (we can practically see your eyes rolling). So, it’s hardly a shock that it’s bad for your gut health too. 

But we bet you didn’t know that taking up a fun new hobby is one of the easiest (and most fun!) ways to reduce stress. Whether that’s singing, cycling, painting, knitting, or making dioramas – no judgment here! If you find it relaxing, it can help with your gut health. Easy peasy.

Sweating it out can help

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Squeezing in a workout is good for more than just your ego. Regular exercise has many health benefits, so it’s only natural that it would extend to your gut too.

Yoga, moderate cardio and outdoor exercise have all been proven to have a beneficial impact on gut health. It’s all about finding something you enjoy and doing it often. Sounds easy enough!

Photo via Activia

A healthy gut is an integral part of a healthy body and mind, but it’s not always easy to know where to start. If you’ve been hoping to learn more or improve your gut health, then check out Activia’s new Gut Health Tracker online. It’s completely free to use, and you might be surprised at the results!