Gut health, or stomach health, is important for overall health – your gut is home to a whopping 40 trillion bacteria that is hard at work powering your entire body! These microbes are responsible for the way you store fat, how you balance glucose levels in your blood, how you respond to hormones that make you feel hungry or satiated and the wrong mix of these can set you up for obesity and other health issues.
The first step towards healing your gut is to remove foods that are toxic and making you sick, lethargic and contributing to weight problems.
These are the most common culprits when it comes to gut offenders:
- Dairy doesn’t necessarily do the body any good. There are two main proteins in milk, casein and whey, that are difficult to digest and can lead to food sensitivities. People who lack the enzyme known as lactase can also experience symptoms like gas, bloating and diarrhea because gut bacteria will ferment the sugar instead of digesting it.
- Gluten is also a common issue and most people have no idea that they are sensitive to it. Adopting a gluten-free diet will help lower inflammation while also encouraging weight loss.
- Sugar, high fructose corn syrup and “healthy” sweeteners pose a risk to your gut health. Sugar feeds bacteria and can lead to yeast overgrowth.
- Soy and corn are mostly genetically modified in the US, and they get treated with great amounts of pesticide. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in pesticides, can act as an antibiotic in your gut and blocks the enzymatic pathway found only in bacteria that creates the three essential amino acids that are needed by the body.
Once you’ve cut out the above offenders from your diet you need to focus on a diet that is rich in probiotics, and fermented foods that promote good bacteria for ultimate gut health. Once your gut is balanced and healthy you will be able to reduce bloat, lose weight, ease digestion and you will feel better than ever. Here are some of the best gut friendly foods to incorporate into your diet:
- Apple cider vinegar helps your body create hydrochloric acid, which is a beneficial belly acid that digest fats, carbs and protein.
- Ginger has been used for centuries to ease nausea and prevent vomiting. This ingredient also prevents bloating by breaking down and expelling intestinal gas.
- Pineapple contains bromelain, a naturally occurring digestive enzyme that is very powerful in protein digestion. Pineapple bromelain can help treat indigestion and digestive disorders, and it has also show to counteract the effects of intestinal pathogens like E. coli.
- Sauerkraut, a delicious dish made from fermented cabbage, is rich in probiotics that help to improve digestive health and relieve digestive symptoms like gas, bloating and diarrhea.
- Mangos have been proven to help keep good bacteria in your gut healthy – in fact, eating a mango a day could greatly improve your gut health while also reducing body fat and controlling blood sugar.
- Plain, full-fat, grass-fed yogurt has a very high number of beneficial probiotics that help remove harmful fungus and bacteria while also helping to repair your gut and neutralize other irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
- Coconut oil is a fatty acid that is considered to be antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal, which makes it a champion at killing off harmful yeast and bacteria while restoring your gut’s acidity levels.
- Garlic is a wonderful prebiotic that helps to feed and fuel the existing flora that is present in your gut. It’s important to consume both prebiotics and probiotics – prebiotics feed the existing healthy bacteria in your gut while probiotics are full of new healthy bacteria.
- Kombucha is more than just a health trend – it’s a probiotic packed refreshment that is not only delicious but also very good for your gut!
In addition to the gut friendly superfoods listed above, you will also want to add healthy fats, high fiber vegetables, leafy greens, slow carbs like sweet potatoes and clean and lean proteins into your diet. Overall, if you focus on clean ingredients and stay away from processed foods then you are already taking great care of your gut health. It’s also very important to diligently read ingredient labels to make sure something doesn’t sneak its way into your healthy diet.
If you’re interested in taking control of your health, then book an appointment with our team! We would love to meet with you and help you create a customized health plan unique to your needs and goals.