Your gut has a few needs to keep things running smoothly.
Your gut wants to maintain a variety of beneficial bacteria, produce appropriate stomach acid, release sufficient enzymes to break your foods down, keep inflammation at bay, and release waste matters appropriately.
If we feed our gut processed and packaged foods, we are not providing the raw materials it needs to do its job. On top of that, we are creating inflammation, which can lead to concerns such as intestinal permeability i.e “leaky gut”. Other factors such as chronic high stress levels, environmental toxins, and medications can further contribute to damage to the gut.
To prevent dysfunction of the gut and keep a happy belly, incorporate the following foods into your diet on a daily basis.
Foods that Make Your Gut Happy:
- Fermented food products are rich in probiotics, which directly increase the beneficial bacteria of your digestive tract. They also contain organic acids that balance both stomach and intestinal pH. Fermented vegetables, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles, tempeh, miso, fermented coconut yogurt are some examples of foods that will maintain the good bacterial balance in your colon. Opt for high quality and organic versions of these foods at health food stores or make your own at home.
- Fiber is the food of your gut bacteria. Prebiotic foods contain high amounts of fiber, which directly feed the beneficial bacteria of your gut. Fiber is also needed to promote healthy bowel movements. Foods that are considered prebiotics are asparagus, onions, garlic, carrots, Jerusalem artichoke, tomatoes, jicama, flax seeds, and chia seeds, to name a few.
- Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids that are easy to digest and processed readily by the liver. Coconut oil has great anti-inflammatory properties that can heal up an inflamed gut lining (great for ulcers). It also has great antimicrobial properties to ward off the overgrowth of bacteria and yeast.
Apple Cider Vinegar
- I highly recommend having a bottle of organic apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s is my preferred brand) in stock at all times. Apple cider vinegar has so many beneficial properties that it is used for a variety of ailments. When it comes to digestive health, the acetic acid property can kick start your stomach acid as well as activate other digestive enzymes. A common concern is that apple cider vinegar may trigger heartburn, but in fact, it can ease heartburn by balancing pH levels. Apple cider vinegar also has antiviral and antimicrobial properties to fend off harmful bacteria and yeast. Drinking 1 tablespoon in 1-2 ounces of water 15 minutes before meals will activate your digestive enzymes.
- Your liver loves bitter vegetables and herbs because they promote its detoxification pathways. They also facilitate bile production, which is needed to help break down your fats. Additionally, bitter foods seem to curb cravings. They may not taste the most appetizing of the vegetables, but if you add prepare them correctly and add them into soups, curries, or stir-fries, you likely won’t notice their acquired taste. Some foods that are bitter in nature are dandelion greens, arugula, mustard greens, kale, brussel sprouts, escarole, and radicchio.
- Bone broth helps in healing the gut lining due to the nutrients it contains such as collagen, gelatin, minerals, and amino acids that reduce inflammation and gut permeability. It is a great food product to incorporate into any gut healing protocol.
Here’s to your health,