The gut is the center of our health. It’s a highly sensitive and delicate body organ that plays an important role in metabolism, immune function, nutrient absorption, and mood regulation. A healthy gut has been related to improved memory and concentration, reducing anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, many of us suffer from digestive issues without even realizing it. Below are some tips and tricks for healing your gut so you can start feeling better fast.
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Easy On the Sugar
Sugar and other refined carbohydrates are some of the worst things you can eat when you have a gut problem. They cause inflammation, digestive problems, and weight gain. Sugar also causes a rush of energy followed by an energy crash, leaving you tired and moody. So start trying to cut down on the sugar or sugary foods in your diet.
Eat More Fiber-Rich Foods
- Eat more fiber-rich foods. Fiber is one of the vital nutrients for healthy digestion and gut health. Fiber helps feed the good bacteria in your gut and keeps you full longer, so you don’t overeat. Studies have also linked high-fiber diets with reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Good sources of fiber comprise whole grains (such as oats), fruits and vegetables (like broccoli), beans/legumes (like black beans), nuts/seeds (like almonds)
Fermented Foods Are Your Friends
If you want to heal your gut, adding fermented foods to your diet is a great place to start. These foods contain probiotics, which help keep the gut healthy by providing good bacteria that fight against bad bacteria and balance the pH levels in your digestive system. Probiotics are also known for improving immune function and skin health.
Take Probiotics and Prebiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria. They’re the good guys in your gut. Probiotic supplements are available at most health food stores and online, sold as powders or pills. You can find probiotics in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, and kombucha.
Prebiotics are fiber-rich foods that nourish the good bacteria in your gut. The best sources of prebiotics include bananas (the peel), garlic cloves, and onions.
Understand What Foods to Avoid
- Avoid processed foods.
- Avoid sugar and refined carb-heavy snacks.
- Avoid gluten, dairy, and other common food allergens.
- Avoid alcohol consumption.
- Avoid caffeine consumption (e.g., coffee, soda). Caffeine can inhibit nutrient absorption; avoiding it while healing your gut or considering a gut microbiome transplantation is best. Additionally, caffeine can be addictive—and if you’re trying to get off it before surgery or transplantation, you may want to do so before starting this protocol.
- Avoid non-organic meat and fish products (due to potential exposure to pesticides).
Clean Up Your Diet and Restock with Healthy, Whole Foods.
If you want to know how to heal your gut you can start by cleaning up your diet and stocking up on whole foods are important. Then avoid processed foods, additives, preservatives (including artificial sweeteners), artificial colors, MSG (monosodium glutamate), hydrogenated oils, and refined sugars.
- Avoiding artificial flavors is also crucial for healing a leaky gut because they are often disguised as “natural” ingredients on the label.
Eat Mostly Plants
A plant-based diet—largely composed of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains—is the best way to improve your gut health. Plant foods are lower in calories than animal products, which means they’re less likely to cause weight gain (or make you retain water). Animal products also contain more fat and cholesterol, which can increase inflammation and lead to weight gain. Plant foods are also higher in fiber than meats or dairy products, helping you feel fuller for longer periods, and making you less likely to overeat or binge eat unhealthy snacks between meals. Finally, many plant foods contain phytonutrients—plant compounds that help protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals (particles found inside our bodies). These antioxidants have been shown to reduce the risk for many diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
A healthy gut is crucial for a healthy life. If your gut isn’t functioning at its best, it can negatively affect many aspects of your health—from brain fog to digestive problems. While many other factors contribute to how well our guts function (such as stress), there are also some simple steps we can take daily to help keep our digestive systems happy and healthy.