If you like it or not, both health and illness start in your gut. Bloating, gas, cramps, food sensitivities, autoimmune disorders, and aches and pains throughout your body can all be related to gut inflammation.
Your gut’s environment was simply not made for today’s popular western diet. The microbes living in your gut are flourished by fermented and nutritious wholefoods, and whither on high fat and high protein Western diet.
The good news is, it is never too late to reboot your gut in a natural way. If you introduce a gut-friendly diet into your daily habits and make it your lifestyle, the real magic will happen in a matter of time. We will discuss 7 simple steps for healing your gut that can easily be integrated into your daily life.
# 1: Your gut loves fermented foods
Yogurt, natto, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh… The list can go on and on. The wide selection of fermented foods eliminates any excuse why you shouldn’t include these rich probiotics in your diet. The good bacteria found in probiotics are responsible for achieving optimal digestion and health.
Great part about this is, they are relatively cheap, tasty and available in most local health food stores.
# 2: Take a probiotic supplement
Fermented foods are tasty and healthy, but for most people it is highly unrealistic to include them daily, on their healthy plate.
Therefore, taking a probiotic daily can be a great replacement and a boost for your gut. Many powerful probiotics are filled with good bacteria like lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium lactis.
Bare in mind, supplements aren’t regulated as closely as medication, so the quality and the ingredients can vary greatly from product to product.
# 3: Toxins GET OUT of my life!
Just like Western diet isn’t doing any good for your gut, there are certain substances that are truly harming you from the inside out. Interestingly, many of these are largely considered as part of the Western diet.
Here they are:
- Caffeine, I know, sorry ladies!
- Alcohol, I’m sorry again. Alcohol consumed in moderation is acceptable but anything closer to binge drinking is for sure a strong NO!
- Gluten products, and by this I am not recommending anyone to just swap their bread, muffins or sweet snacks for gluten-free options.
- Processed foods
- Refined sugars
- Oils high in omega-6 ( sunflower, grapeseed, vegetable, canola oils)
# 4: Include multi-enzyme supplements
Our digestive system absorbs nutrients, such as: amino acids, fatty acids, glucose and cholesterol. These nutrients are tightly packed in our food that needs to be first broken down before being absorbed into our bloodstream.
The saliva glands, stomach, pancreas and small intestine produce digestive enzymes that assist in our digestion.
External factors affect our digestive enzyme production, like aging, chronic stress, low stomach acid and low-grade inflammation.
Therefore, no matter how healthy you eat, unless your food is effectively being chewed and broken down, you are not absorbing the optimum number of nutrients you need.
A good way to know if you should be taking digestive enzyme supplements is to look for symptoms like, bloating, feeling full after eating only few bites, undigested food in your stool, floating stool or even an oil slick in your toilet bowl. Of course, the golden standard is to do a stool test.
The good news is that digestive enzymes are very safe and reasonably cheap, so you can experiment and see how your digestion reacts to them.
# 5: Nature’s gut-healing gifts
Probiotics, fermented foods and digestive enzymes are all great and necessary when healing your gut. But, if you want to fully commit to your gut-friendly transformation and heal your inflamed gut, adding some natural healers will further benefit and possibly speed up your healing process.
Natural gut-friendly healers:
# 6: Also a natural gut-healer but BONE BROTH deserves its own section
Bone broth is the key to a healthy gut! And I’m talking from experience. I went through my own health issues, just like you, hence why Vietnam and their amazing broths (phở bò) on every corner have made an incredible difference to my gut. It has amazing super-nutritious powers and abilities to prevent diseases thanks to its amazing combination of the right nutrients.
What are they?
There are numerous effective nutrients and compounds found in a bone broth:
- Glutamine: Important amino acid that works as a building block of protein and plays a crucial role in the immune system. Your body naturally produces this amino acid but sometimes it may be needed from dietary sources. Glutamine is an important energy source for intestinal and immune cells. The intestines play a huge role in the immune system. Glutamine supports a strong barrier between the insides of your intestines and the rest of your body. If the barrier becomes weak, a condition called leaky gut can form.
- Glycine: Effective amino acid in stimulating stomach acid secretion, which can be related to acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It also plays a role in producing bile acid, which is essential for fat digestion and regulating blood cholesterol.
- Glucosaminoglycans (CAGs): Most importantly glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. These create a mucous, which heals and soothes intestinal inflammation.
- Gelatin Tannate: Found to have anti-inflammatory effects, boosts intestinal health and enhances the integrity of the gut.
Winter is behind the corner and this delicious and warm bowl of nutritious, healing broth is the perfect way to keep ourselves warm and healthy.
# 7: Finally, Quit Stressing!
We all receive constant pressure. We all experienced both physical and psychological pressure at some stage of our lives. And in small doses, it’s even good. It keeps us alert and motivated and gives us particular emphasis or importance.
It’s when the occasional stressful moments, develop into ongoing chronic scenarios that seem to never end is when we should worry.
Stress, and specifically chronic stress is strongly related to inflammation, leading to inflamed gut, illness and leaky gut.
Stress activates the famous “flight or fight” response in your central nervous system, leading to a digestive shut down. The blood flow is optimized affecting the contractions of your digestive muscles and decreases secretions needed for digestion.
In general gut health and its related illnesses consist of a very wide spectrum. If you are super healthy and have no issues with your gut or if you have severe gut-related issues, it is always good to give your gut what it needs the most!