These are ten of the best foods to restore gut health
As we know, diet plays a huge role in creating and maintaining a healthy gut. The optimal diet to restore gut health is heavy in fiber, plant-based foods, healthy protein, and healthy fats. Sorry sugar, carbs, and processed foods, but there is no place for you here.
Coconut, such as that found in virgin coconut oil, contains lauric acid, as well as other MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) fats that fight yeasts, parasites, common viruses, and bacterial overgrowth in the body. It can help improve bacteria and gut health by destroying bad bacteria and candida.
2. ACV – Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar has an antimicrobial effect and has been proven to mildly lower the growth of gram-negative bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. Apple Cider Vinegar has also demonstrated antiviral, anti-yeast and anti-fungal benefits, all helpful in supporting microbiome. Additionally, ACV contains a “mother” – a colony of beneficial bacteria that feed those good bugs in your gut.
Not only can collagen give you healthier skin, hair, and nails, but it can also help enhance gut health. Collagen helps build the connective tissue of the protective lining of the gastrointestinal tract, therefore helping prevent any particles in the gut from going anywhere they shouldn’t, which causes major inflammation and discomfort. Glutamine, an amino acid in collagen, helps prevent inflammation in the gut lining. Collagen peptides in the gastrointestinal tract pull in water and attract acid molecules, helping break down and move food through the system.
4. Celery Juice
Celery contains compounds known to enhance the activity of white blood cells and support the vascular system. It also helps to purify the bloodstream, aid in digestion, relax the nerves, reduce blood pressure, and clear up skin problems. Celery is rich in vitamin A, magnesium, and iron, which all help to nourish the blood. Celery is also rich in natural sodium content, which raises stomach acid, helping to break down food in the digestive system.
5. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are some of the healthiest out there – we’re talking anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, immune-supporting, all of it. Specific ones, such as broccoli and cabbage, contain distinctive compounds that can be utilized by gut bacteria. In one study, gut bacterial community composition was altered when cruciferous vegetables were consumed, which could ultimately influence gut metabolism of bioactive food components. It’s best to consume these veggies cooked, which makes them easier to digest.
6. Bone Broth
There is a reason why your grandma has been feeding you chicken soup whenever you get sick – it’s basically nature’s medicine. Bone broth contains gelatin, which absorbs water and helps strengthen the mucus layer of the colon that keeps gut microbes away from the intestinal barrier. Glutamine, an amino acid found in bone broth, helps maintain the integrity of the gut mucosa and intestinal barrier.
7. Jerusalem Artichoke
Jerusalem artichokes are totally underrated taste-wise and super beneficial for gut flora. They are one of the best sources of prebiotics, which feed the healthy bacteria in the gut.
Quick lesson – prebiotics and probiotics are both important to a healthy gut. Probiotics are good bacteria that help keep the digestive system healthy. Prebiotics are carbohydrates that cannot be digested by the human body, which actually feed the probiotics and help keep them around. They are food for probiotics.
8. Fermented Foods
These foods help keep high levels of healthy bacteria in your gut by feeding them.
*Quick note on this that I wish more people knew – It’s important to limit your portion of fermented foods as more is not always better. If you notice that these foods cause an increase in bloating or constipation, seek professional advice. Although mostly beneficial, fermented foods can worsen some conditions like SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) or irritable bowel syndrome.
9. Omega 3 Fats + Monounsaturated Fats
These healthy fats, which can be found in food like salmon, eggs and even supplements will help by decreasing inflammation, giving healthy gut bugs a chance to flourish. In addition to decreasing inflammation, in a large study increased omega-3 intake was strongly associated with the diversity and number of species of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Turmeric is one of the most potent anti-inflammatories out there, which also makes it beneficial for gut health. The less inflammation, the better. Turmeric supports digestion by relaxing the smooth muscles of the digestive tract and gently pushing digested food through the intestines, discouraging gas and bloating. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, can assist in sealing the lining of the bowel and digestive tract, helping to protect us from leaky gut syndrome.
If you follow the formula of fiber + protein + healthy fat, you’ll restore gut health and hopefully find it easy to maintain. There are, of course, certain foods that can wreak havoc on that delicate digestive system as well.
Here is a quick list of the top offenders:
- Refined sugar
Try going a week without any of these toxic triggers and seeing how you feel. Let us know in the comments below!