Before we dive into eating for gut health, it is essential to understand; this is NOT a diet. If you want to get healthy, lose weight and keep your gut healthy, you need to ditch the diet mindset. Instead, we will focus on the best foods for gut health and the most significant lifestyle changes needed to optimize your gut health.
- Take a few deep breaths before you eat
- Tune into your hunger (how hungry are you, etc.)
- Appreciate your food
- Use a small salad plate or bowl (avoid large plates)
- Use all your senses when eating (see, smell, taste, etc.)
- Eat sitting down and without distraction
- Chew your food well
- Eat slowly
- Do not eat until full. Leave about 20% room in your belly
AVOID FOODS THAT CAUSE SENSITIVITIES
Let's be real; foods such as coffee, donuts, chocolate and alcohol taste good and fulfill an emotional need. But when we overindulge in these foods, they can leave us with a damaged gut and problems such as bloating, fatigue, constipation, and inflammation. Over time this damage can lead to increased food sensitivities. Keeping these foods in check is key to vibrant health and a healthy gut.
EAT FERMENTED FOODS
These are foods that boost the function and populations of the microbiota found in the gut. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, miso, tempeh, kimchi, traditional pickles, and kombucha are great sources of probiotics for the gut.
EAT MORE FIBER
Dietary fiber helps in the digestion of food, consequently preventing gut problems such as constipation. Whole grains (quinoa, millet, barley, buckwheat, oats and so on), legumes, beans, fruits, and vegetables are all great sources of fiber.
EAT GREEN FOOD
Greens are important in protecting against cell damage and in managing cholesterol and hypertension. Greens are also a vital source of vitamins that support the growth of gut microbiota and facilitate the normal functioning of the body. Greens you can incorporate in your diet include broccoli, asparagus, seaweed, kale, dandelion greens, among others.
EAT MORE ROUGHAGE
Roughage such as Jerusalem artichoke, jicama, and flaxseed are important in helping the body to digest other foods properly. They promote optimal gut health and assist in weight loss.
KICK UP THE FRUIT
Fruits such as blueberries and apples have been proven to increase the development of Bifidobacterium in humans. This is bacteria that can prevent inflammation of the intestines and, as a result, promote gut health.
Garlic, leeks, and onions have powerful immune system-enhancing properties that directly impact the functioning of the gut. Including them in your diet gives your gut health a much-needed boost in every way.