When you have gut health issues, such as IBS, Colitis, Chron's or you just know something isn't right with your digestive system, food can be the enemy. Never knowing if you'll need to run to the bathroom after eating is embarrassing.
Even worse is the uncomfortable feeling of having to suppress gas or experiencing painful bloating that makes you want to unbutton your pants. One way to help manage the symptoms of digestive health issues is choosing foods that support a healthy digestive system.
FOOD ALLERGIES OR SENSITIVITIES
The digestive system is a complex system of multiple organs working to extract nutrients from the food we eat to support energy production in the body and eliminate waste. Suffering from constipation or diarrhea means the body cannot get the nutrients it needs nor can it eliminate waste efficiently. It is a delicate balance to keep the digestive system functioning properly.
Specific foods may be the enemy! Taking a food allergy test will help you find out which foods you may be sensitive or allergic. Everly Well has an at home IgG test that can identify how your body responds to 96 different foods. By taking the test, you can quickly find out what foods to eliminate from your routine. Eating a food that you don't know you are allergic or have a sensitivity to will only make digestive health symptoms worse.
If you can't take an at-home food allergy test, try an elimination diet. An elimination diet is a diet where you cut out certain foods for 30 days and then slowly reintroduce them. When you eat the food you have avoided for the past 30 days, record how you feel. If you feel bloating, gas, loose stools, constipation, headaches or throat and nose mucus, you have an allergy or sensitivity to that food. You are better off cutting that food out of your routine to heal your gut.
Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation
👉Bloating and gas
👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing
👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
👉Headaches and migraines
👉Acne and itchy skin
👉Tired all the time
👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you said yes to just one of the above, your body is telling you something is not right. Discovering the root cause and how to get healthy can be confusing and hard! I am here to help.
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist obsessed with teaching people just like you how to heal their gut so you can stop suffering and get back to living!
I offer a FREE 30 minute strategy session where we will talk about your specific symptoms and how the Simply Great Health program can help.
How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could:
✅Be more present with your children
✅Focus at work
✅Have more energy
✅Stop running to the bathroom
✅Workout without fear of an accident or farting
✅Restore your confidence
✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family
✅Take an active vacation
✅Reclaim your life!
Simply Great Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your body and fits your busy lifestyle.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing.
NUTRIENTS TO HEAL THE GUT
Fiber, protein and healthy fats are key nutrients to eat when healing the gut. In order to digest food, enzymes are needed. Our digestive system naturally produces enzymes but they become inefficient when we drink cold drinks with meals, don't eat enough protein, over-eat or eat too fast. All of these issues stop our natural enzymes from working.
Keep in mind these simple guidelines to help digestion happen successfully at each meal:
Drink warm or room temperature beverages with a meal, such as herbal tea
Eat enough plant-based protein per meal
Increase fiber intake per meal
Take time to eat - don't rush
Avoiding piling your plate with a lot of food; start small and go back for seconds if you are still hungry
Reducing meat intake also helps heal the gut. Eating a mostly plant based diet improves gut health because of the fiber. Plant based foods, such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains and beans, contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. These fibers are necessary to both feed the good bacteria in our gut that protects us from pathogens and eliminates toxins from the body. If you must have meat, choose organic, free-range, lean portions of chicken and fatty fish like salmon.
What is poop? It is waste from our body that contains toxins. Pooping every single day helps eliminate bad bacteria and toxins from our body. If you are not pooping every day, the toxins are staying in our body and begin to cause illness and disease.
Did you know that 70% of our immune system is in our gut? When our gut isn't healthy, our immune system is weak and can't protect us from illness and disease.
A great supplement to help heal the gut is collagen. Collagen is tasteless and can be added to smoothies, soups and even coffee or tea. Collagen is from grass-fed cows. There is marine based collagen available but it is flavored (as of the writing of this article) which means the taste may not mix with well with foods and beverages.
Below are quick and easy recipes containing fiber, protein and healthy fats to support a healthy gut.
Smoothies (or smoothie bowls) are a great option to start the day because you can achieve a great mix of fiber, protein and healthy fats. Use a scoop of vegan plant protein instead of a whey protein to increase protein content.
Protein powders that use whey could trigger digestive health symptoms. Whey is recognized by the body as an allergen. The below recipes use fruits and veggies to ensure fiber content is high. If you plan on adding seeds or beans, make sure to soak them the night before to reduce lectin's, which are problematic for the gut.
Another great breakfast is overnight oatmeal. Oatmeal is gluten-free and overnight oatmeal can have any add-ins you want. For the recipes below, I use frozen fruit and veggies. It makes my life so much easier so I don't have to worry about fresh food going bad before I can use it. Enjoy!
Lunch can be problematic for a lot of people. Work can be very busy with little time to eat. That breaks one of the guidelines of not eating fast! Also, there can be surprise meetings where take-out is brought in. Typically, the take-out is something fast like pizza or sandwiches but a salad or fruit is not included.
One way to make sure you always have a healthy lunch is to meal-prep on the weekend. The best way to ensure you have a healthy lunch is to make it yourself. Stir-fry's are a great option because you can combine fresh and frozen veggies with a whole grain. They cook quickly and you can make large portions ahead of time.
Soups are also a great option since you can pair it with a salad (if lettuce does not cause digestive issues). Sandwiches are also a good option. Just look for gluten-free breads to help keep gut disruptions low at the office. Here are a few of my favorite recipes.
While I would love to think that dinner is easy to control, life happens. If you have a long commute, traffic delays may make you so tired at the end of the day that you just want to pop something into the microwave and be done with it. Or you may have to stay late at work, leaving the family on their own and you grabbing something unhealthy.
Meal-prep is another way to ensure that a healthy dinner is ready in the evening. I love making casseroles that can be easily reheated during the week or using the crock-pot to start a meal in the morning and have it ready when I come home. Just like lunch, stir-fry's are an easy option and there are a lot more options when it comes to different types of gluten-free pasta or grains that can be made as side dishes. Below are recipes to try.
I hope you learned some new recipes and tactics to help digestion happen slowly and efficiently. Digestive health issues can be the result of food sensitivities or allergies. Taking an at-home food allergy test can identify the foods you should stay away from. If you can't take an at-home food allergy test, try an elimination diet.
Once you identify the foods to stay away from, meal-prepping is an easy way to heal the gut. Meal-prepping means you have control over what you are going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Life happens! It may not be easy to stick to meal-prepping all the time, but if you can do it most of the time, your gut will thank you.
Do you think you will try any of the tips or recipes I shared? Let me know by leaving me a comment below.