The gut is often referred to as the second brain and approximately 70% of your immune system is found in your gut so it is REALLY important that we look after it and treat it with love and kindness. Here are my top 5 ways that you can be kind to your gut.
- Eat fermented foods and probiotics It’s a good idea to supplement with a probiotic to boost the good micro-organisms in your gut and improve digestion, vitamin absorption and immunity. But eating Activia yogurt isn’t enough to get your belly dancing like the advert. Eat other fermented, probiotic-rich foods, such as sauerkraut, kefir and miso. It’s especially important to consume probiotics for a month or two after a round of antibiotics to replenish the good bacteria. If you have a specific gut issue, come and see me so we can discuss more specific solutions.
- Eat a balanced diet with lots of organic foods A study in Clinical and Experimental Allergy found that eating organic foods during pregnancy changes the gut flora of the baby for the better. It makes sense that eating organic foods throughout your adult life would be beneficial as well, but if you can’t afford to do that, don’t worry. Eating a balanced diet that’s rich in fruits, veggies and fibre is the best thing you can do for your gut. Your long-term diet has a much larger impact on gut health than short-term changes. Focus on eating a nutritious diet you can sustain for life. Remember it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet!
- Eat more fibre You need fibre for proper nutrient absorption. Fibre can’t help flush out bad bacteria from your gut, but it can help prevent overgrowth of bad bacteria. It also absorbs toxins and carcinogens and helps carry them out of the body, so eating more fibre can help reduce your health risk of many diseases including cancer. Eating veggies is one of the best ways to up your fibre count, with celery, carrots and gorgeous greens topping the list.
- Limit antibiotics Nothing has a faster, more dramatic effect on gut flora than antibiotics. Yes, there are times when antibiotic use is necessary, but excessive overuse of these may be causing serious long-term consequences that not only affect our individual health but they may even be causing permanent changes to the our gut flora.
- Eat what your ancestors ate One of my favourite quotes is from Michael Pollan “If your Grandmother wouldn’t eat it, you shouldn’t eat it.” If you try to live your life this way as much as possible you will be on the right track. Our bodies appear to like what our parents and Grandparents ate, meaning they probably wouldn’t be able to digest all the processed foods and chemicals that are relatively new to the human diet. Keep it simple and just eat real food!
Check out this gut healthy recipe it is in one word beautiful. It’s earthy and satisfying, and made with local and seasonal ingredients, making it ideal for raw food eating in the fall and winter months. It’s also one of my favourite recipes from my 14 Day Eat Real Food Cleanse.
The Beauty Bowl
1 apple or pear, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
Juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup fresh berries
1 tbsp soaked goji berries or 2 chopped dried apricots or figs
A few chopped nuts of choice
1 tbsp hemp seeds
Sprinkle of unsweetened coconut
Sprinkle of ground flaxseed or chia seed
Place all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!