Did you know your gut health is critical for overall good health? That's right! If your digestive system is not well, neither is your immune system and the rest of your body.
How can you tell if your gut is unhealthy? There are 4 ways to know if your gut is unhealthy:
Not having a bowel movement every day. That's right! You should poop at least once a day, ideally within 2 hours of waking. If this is not happening, your gut is not healthy. When you eat enough fiber daily, you will have a bowel movement daily. This means eating 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. How do you get fiber? Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans.
Stomach disturbances such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and heartburn. If you have any of these disturbances frequently, it is an indication that there isn't enough good bacteria in your gut to help process food that you've eaten.
Insomnia. Really? Yes, insomnia. Turns out our gut produces serotonin, which is the hormone that affects mood and sleep. If the gut is not healthy, it can't produce serotonin to help you sleep. (Source: Healthline)
Moodiness and Brain Fog. Your mood is affected by the health of your gut. When we are moody, stressed and annoyed with others, our gut is talking to us. There is a link via the nervous system between the gut and our brain. This connection affects how we feel when our gut health is not optimal.
While the above are very obvious symptoms another symptom that is less obvious is inflammation. When your gut is unhealthy it causes inflammation through-out the body. When there is inflammation throughout the body, the immune system works hard to fight it. If the immune system is busy fighting inflammation, it becomes tired and weak, leaving it unable to fight disease and illness.
One way to support a healthy gut is to eat a wide variety of plant-based foods and limit the amount of meat eaten daily. This is the easiest ways to support your overall digestive health. Here are some guidelines to follow:
Eat something green. Green vegetables will help keep your gut healthy by providing chlorophyll, which helps lower inflammation in the body, including the gut. Think broccoli, spinach, green beans, arugula and celery.
Eat Fiber. The average person only gets 10 to 15 grams of fiber daily. When supporting our digestive health, we really need to eat 25 to 35 grams daily. This means eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. Just don't forget to drink plenty of water when increasing how much fiber you eat! If you don't, constipation will occur. When we can't eliminate the accumulated waste in our bodies, it can promote the growth of bad bacteria. We recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every day. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, drink 75 ounces of water daily. Herbal tea counts towards this total if you need something flavorful to drink.
Eat fruit. Fruit can make a really easy mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Fruit can be included in recipes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For breakfast, oatmeal with blueberries or for lunch an arugula salad with strawberries.
If your gut is unhealthy and you need help creating a customized plan that works for your lifestyle, I am here to help. I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist teaching others the Simply Great Gut Health plan. In 5 simple steps, we can create a plan to heal your gut. I offer a free 30 minute consultation where we can talk about how your feeling and how I can help.
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 your gut.
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To help you start working on eating foods that support a healthy gut, I've included recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner below. Click on the name of the recipe to view it. Enjoy!
RECIPES FOR BREAKFAST
Green Breakfast Smoothie from The Endless Meal. Spinach is the main star in this smoothie!
Ultimate Gut Health Smoothie from Hello Glow. This smoothie adds aloe vera juice, known for gut healing properties.
Best Overnight Oats 8 Ways from Life Made Sweeter. Overnight oats are a huge time saver for busy mornings. Here are 8 ways to make them.
Spinach Kale Chia Muffins from The Healthy Chef. Think muffins are always about fruit? This recipe proves vegetables are great for breakfast.
RECIPES FOR LUNCH OR DINNER
Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry from Dinner at the Zoo. If you or someone in your family has to have meat, this is a great compromise. Why? If you would like to try a vegetarian version, simply cook the chicken in a separate pan and then put it on top of the veggies and rice. This recipe is ready in 30 minutes.
Mexican Cauliflower from Vegan in Freezer. I love this recipe because it is so versatile. Use it to add more veggies for a meatless stir-fry or use it as the meat substitute in tacos.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts from The Food Charlatan. Another great option for a meatless meal, lunch or a side dish.
Lemon Pasta with Arugula from Proud Italian Cook. I throw arugula in almost everything! It has a great peppery taste and wilts quickly, like spinach.
Chickpeas and Turmeric Basmati Rice from Oh My Veggies. A dish that can easily be lunch or dinner option. With the very popular spice turmeric. I would add in some frozen chopped spinach to add a green food to it.
Chopped Kale Power Salad from She Likes Food. A great way to get in greens and lots of fiber!
Mexican Grilled Chicken Salad from A Spicy Perspective. This salad has the key elements of greens, vegetables and chicken for those who prefer to eat meat.
The Best Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger from Skinny Taste. A great way to get veggies and have a hearty burger,
I hope you enjoyed this post on eating for good gut health! You can follow our blog on Bloglovin.