Updated: Jan 18, 2020
Do you suffer from bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, fatigue, trouble concentrating, headaches and moodiness? Your gut health may be the reason you are experiencing these very bothersome symptoms. They can overwhelm your life, making it difficult to spend time and participate in activities with the people you love.
There are many things you can do to alleviate your symptoms. But food is one of the best medicines you can use to feel better and heal your gut. Before I get to the reasons why food is the best medicine, there is one topic I must address: food allergies.
A critical step to healing your gut with food is to identify any allergies or sensitivities you may have. One popular way to do this is to eliminate foods from your routine. After a period of time, those foods are slowly added back and you record how you feel when you eat it. The elimination method can take a long time to identify the foods causing your symptoms.
There are at home tests that you can take to clearly identify the foods you need to eliminate from your routine. Everly Well is a company that you can buy a food allergy test. Their test measures 96 foods that you may be allergic or sensitive. Once you take the test, you'll know for sure the foods that need to be eliminated from your routine. Why guess when you can know?
Eliminating problematic foods from your life will help you feel better and help start your journey to better gut health. Eating the right foods can also heal your gut. Below is a list of foods and the reasons why they will help heal your gut.
But you may feel that you need more support to begin your journey to better gut health.
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist teaching people like you simple habits to overcome the suffering and get back to living. My simple 5-step plan is customized to fit your busy lifestyle. Let's together to talk how you are 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.
Now, here are the foods that can help heal your gut!
FOODS HIGH IN FIBER
The most basic type of food that we need to eat every day to have good #guthealth are filled with fiber. That means lots of fruits and vegetables! This is why food allergy testing is so important. There are many fruits and vegetables to choose from BUT if you are eating some that you are allergic to, then you are defeating the purpose.
Foods high in fiber help our bodies bind and eliminate waste. If we aren't eating enough fiber, then loose stools and diarrhea occur. If we are eating lots of fiber but not drinking enough water, then constipation occurs. Did you know that 75% of our poop is water? That is why drinking water is so important to keeping the gut healthy.
In general, we do not eat enough fiber daily. We should target at a minimum, 8-12 grams of fiber at every major meal. That means finding high fiber foods to take up the majority of our plates. High fiber vegetables include carrots, beets, broccoli, collard greens, swiss chard and artichokes. Also, potatoes have a lot of fiber if you eat the skin.
EAT WHOLE GRAINS
Whole grains contain three parts that support a healthy gut. Each of the three parts of the whole grains, the germ, endosperm and the bran, have a unique role in helping the gut stay healthy. The germ consists of B vitamins and high levels of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that may help protect the small intestines. (Source: NIH) B vitamins are used by the digestive tract get energy from the food we eat. (Source: Everyday Health)
The bran protects our cells from damage and contains magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper and manganese. Each of these minerals support the digestive tract in very specific ways, I'll just touch on a few. Are you constipated? More than likely you are magnesium deficient. Potassium helps eliminate waste. Copper is required for protein metabolism. (Source: Napiers)
EAT ENOUGH PROTEIN
You may have jumped on the protein bandwagon but that is not what I mean when I say eat enough protein. There is a lot of information in the public space about eating high amounts of protein for weight control. The typical result of increasing the amount of protein is a reduction of other foods, such as carbohydrates or fiber.
As you learned earlier, fiber is necessary for elimination. If you aren't eating enough, constipation occurs. The amount of protein that any adult who is 30 years and older should eat daily is 30 to 40 grams, preferably from plants. Most people think that you can't get enough protein by eating a mostly plant-based diet but this is simply not true.
Plant-based foods that are high in protein are shown below.
Organic food significantly helps your gut health by helping you avoid chemicals and pesticides. Every time we eat something our body has to decide what to do with it. Can it extract nutrients? Does it need to eliminate it? Eating foods grown with chemicals and pesticides confuses the digestive system because it doesn't know how to deal with the substances. Plus, it disrupts our natural gut bacteria that we need to prevent illness.
Eating organic food is also highly nutritious. There are more nutrients that the digestive tract can extract from food that does not contain chemicals. The first thing people say to me when I tell them to eat organic food is that it is too expensive. This is no longer true. I often find organic food that is less expensive than food grown with chemicals. Also, since organic food is higher in nutrients you will wind up eating less, which helps save money in the long run.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the foods that promote a healthy gut. Do you think you will try to increase fiber, eat whole grains and mostly plant-based protein or go organic? Leave me a comment below.
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