We are becoming more and more aware of how important our gut health is to our overall sense of wellbeing. To a holistic nutritionist this is music to our ears because we have been shouting about it for ages! The only problem is that when something like this starts to become “trendy” the world of marketing catches on and suddenly EVERYTHING has probiotics in it and is “good for our gut”….
Unfortunately this is not true.
How do you know if you need gut support?
In my personal experience almost all of us do! So many things can affect our internal eco system (like diet, the state of our food, our soil, stress, toxins, alcohol, antibiotics, prescription drugs … and the list goes on).
If you are looking for symptoms that your gut health might be out of balance here are some of the more obvious ones:
- Gas, bloating, abdominal pain
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Brain fog
- Anxiety or depression
- Skin issues
- Lack of energy
So if you want to start feeling better, looking better and have more energy it’s time to start taking your gut health seriously!
Here are my top 3 ‘Gut Friendly’ foods to introduce to your diet:
1. Fermented Foods:
Yes that’s right! Those pickled and often funny smelling foods that many of us think must have gone bad… These foods are loaded with healthy gut bacteria! I love having a scoop of sauerkraut just before a meal to warm up my digestion or I toss it on top to make it that much easier for my body to break down and absorb.
Fermented foods include:
- Raw unpasteurized sauerkraut (no vinegar! Find in the refrigerator section)
- Kefir (We have a fantastic coconut kefir recipe here)
- Kombucha (be careful as some now have unnecessary added sugar)
- Pickles (again no vinegar and in the refrigerator section)
2. Gut Healing Foods
While it’s very important to make sure you have a balanced gut flora it is also important to make sure your gut lining is strong and that you don’t suffer from leaky gut. When our gut lining is weakened large particles of food can pass through undigested and cause things like allergies, food sensitivities and a whole slew of other conditions.
Gut healing and supporting foods:
- Bone broth
- Aloe Vera
- Slippery Elm or Marshmallow Root Tea
- L-Glutamine (amino acid) – Found naturally in meat, poultry and fish or in supplement form
- Cabbage Juice
3. Prebiotic Foods
Ah yes the underappreciated prebiotic… While probiotics are all the rage and getting lots of camera time it is also important to think about prebiotics. Prebiotics help “feed and fuel” probiotics.
What are prebiotics? They are a type of non-digestible fiber compound. These bad boys pass through the upper part of our GI tract undigested and land in the colon where they are fermented by our microflora.
- Raw garlic
- Raw or cooked onions
- Dandelion greens
- Raw leeks
- Raw jicama
- Jerusalem artichoke (aka Sunchoke)
Just like anything when we introduce new foods to our diet it is best to start slow and gradually increase so we don’t cause additional digestive upset! Happy gut healing everyone!
If you need support healing your gut and finding a food plan that works best for your body and health goals you can schedule a Full Nutrition Assessment with Monica! Check out our Nutrition Coaching Page for more information.