We’re continuing on with Gut Health. As mentioned in the previous post on “Good Intestines,” our gut is so central to our health. Gut health is about establishing and gut-friendly lifestyle. These are just broad strokes.There are so many resources out there on the topic. Many of the articles attached in the links are to PubMed, my favorite resource backed by scientific information available for the public. It’s a wonderful resource, so feel free to check them out further on your own for this topic as well as many others.
A Gutsy Girl
What’s the deal with this whole gut thing?
When I was in the height of severe GI inflammation, intestinal tears, and my weight plummeted because my body was not able take in nutrients, I read the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book and implemented the rigid GAPS diet and lifestyle change. I saw drastic improvement in my gut and my overall health. After coming off the GAPS diet I still pull from it to maintain my gut health when it comes to the staples.
Read more about GAPS here.
Being that everything else had not worked and I was hadn’t been able to keep real food down for weeks without severe pain, as knives tearing, and bloody expelling of the food I tried to eat. Sorry for the graphic and unpleasant information, but just painting the reality here. I knew I had to try something that I hadn’t tried before. The normal go-to’s to ease stomach distress, a simple sprouted grain toast (Ezekiel Bread) and extra virgin coconut oil or other easy foods proved impossible to keep down and something had to give.
You may have experienced similar or worse symptoms than I have. You may not have. But the state of your gut can exhibit symptoms far beyond the stomach itself. Your gut is an intestinal ecosystem that has a profound effect on your health. One layer of cells is all that separates your immune system from the contents of your gut, and inflammation is our immune system’s main weapon against foreign invaders.
Do you have:
It’s likely that the state of your gut could be causing or increasing the severity of your symptoms.
So are you ready to start pursuing gut health?
A toxin is something capable of causing disease or damaging tissue when it enters the body. Our modern diet is laden with toxins. Almost any good thing can become a toxin if unrestrained or in excess, even water in large doses can be dangerous and toxic to us.
Remove the offending foods and toxins from your diet that could be acting as stressors on your system such as caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, bad fats, refined sugars, conventional meat and eggs, gluten, and dairy. All of these irritate the gut in some form and create an inflammatory response. Avoid antibiotics if at all possible (Eat Garlic and more, last week’s Facebook Health Hub Food of the Week! I take YL’s Oregano oil in capsules, which you can buy here.)
Want more info on toxins?
The next step is to begin to repair the gut and heal the damaged intestinal lining. You do this by consuming an unprocessed diet and giving your body time to rest by providing it with substances that are known to heal the gut, like L-glutamine, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, Vitamins A, C & E, Quercetin, aloe vera, and turmeric.
- L-Glutamine – Helps to heal and seal the gut along with aiding in recovery after workouts, so it’s a double whammy supplement.
- Quality Fish Oil – This helps reduce inflammation, balance hormones, and supports the immune system.
- Cinnamon – It can help to improve digestion and, as an added bonus, is great at balancing blood sugar levels.
- Mint – Great at soothing the stomach and can help to relax the gastrointestinal tract.
- Ginger All the Way – Ginger Tea. peel and chop ginger root or grate. Boil in water & strain. Drink throughout the day.
- Zinc – Very important as it is utilized to form digestive enzymes and also used in regulating hormones.
- PH Balancing or Alkaline Foods
THE DYNAMIC DUO: Prebiotics & Probiotics
¹ Prebiotics are a type of fiber. Probiotics feed off of Prebiotics.
Artichokes, asparagus, bananas, plantains, barley, rye, wheat, alliums (garlic, leeks, onion), brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts), jicama, lentils, chickpeas, and red beans. If you aren’t used to eating a lot of fiber-rich foods, increase your intake slowly!
Foods. Probitoics can be found in fermented foods, bio-available yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
Supplemented. Provide live strains of good bacteria to help bolster your defenses. Make sure to choose a QUALITY probiotic, bio-available and alive.
Here are the go-to’s and staple for gut health. So get it.
Fermented & Probiotic Foods
Fiber Rich Veggies
Fat is Rad & Gets a Bad Rap:
A Note on Fat
While I was on the GAPS diet bone marrow and nut butter were life, so much so that I kind of started a nut-butter business out of this whole ordeal somehow. I’m still scratching my head on that one. But, point is, don’t be afraid of fats. Fat doesn’t make you fat. In fact, fat doesn’t make you produce fat, sugar does, really. But that’s a whole other blog series that I’m not touching…yet.
There is so much gut healing power in natural mono-saturated fats. Opt for plant-based sources of monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. Reduce saturated fat by including more plant-based meals in your week. Pick one day of the week and just go for it. (Meatless Monday, anyone?)
Hope this has been helpful and digestible for ya’ll.
Stay gutsy & stay tuned for gut healthy product recommendations & recipes being served on The Health Hub next.