We all want to live happy and healthy lives right? Of course we do!! Our gut health plays a big role in how well we feel, how often we get sick, and even how much energy we have. So how can we eat to promote good gut health so we can healthy? This week’s blog is all about helpful tips on how to eat to keep your gut healthy!
The Good, The Bad, and The Fermented
While shoppers are becoming more aware of healthier and cleaner foods, many companies have caught up with the craze as well, often leading even the most adept of shoppers astray. And while many Kombucha and probiotic-rich granola bars litter the shelves of Whole Foods, many other products you see in stores are chock full of gluten and refined sugars. Unfortunately, these are the exact things that gum down our gut in the first place. People often feel if they are eating gluten free (even if it is processed) then they are making a healthier choice. The sad part is, that is not always the case. So how do you know what is good and what is just labeled as “good”?
I like to keep this extremely simple with one easy rule…….
If the label has a very long list of ingredients and most of them you can not pronounce, then chances are it is filled with chemicals. When shopping for clean food you want the label to be easy to read, pronounce, and recognize. Ideally you want to stick with whole foods as much as possible. You will find that sticking to whole foods makes eating healthy easier. You spend less time reading labels, and you know that an apple is an apple. It keeps it simple!
Good for the Gut
So let’s talk about some good foods. These are both Pro and Prebiotics – fuel for your probiotics, but also food conducive to the growth and maintenance of healthy bacteria like bifidobacteria and lactobacilli (the second one is most common when you think about Probiotic supplements).
Those healthy bacteria are measured in groupings that we call CFU’s or Colony Forming Units. which simply refers to the number of live and active microorganisms that can be found in each serving of the probiotic you are taking. Generally fermented foods tend to be higher in CFU’s and a good probiotic rich food choice.
Foods with high CFU’s, good for your gut:
- Bone Broth
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Foods high in Prebiotics (the food for your probiotics):
- Lentils, Chickpeas, Beans
- Jerusalem Artichokes
These foods are all great options to add to your diet. One thing to remember though is that variety of foods vs eating the same thing over and over is really important. You can actually develop a food sensitivity by over eating the same foods! Also, when you eat a variety of pro and prebiotic foods it helps you to give your gut bacteria the diversity it needs. Diversity helps to keep you gut healthy and running like a well oiled machine.
Things that Harm
While there are a few foods that can be harmful to the bacteria in your gut, the biggest culprit of what might affect a healthy gut are usually lifestyles and tendencies. For example, irregular sleep cycles, lack of regular physical activity, or even Antibiotic use can lead to changes or long-term alterations in gut flora.
Of course diet plays an important role as well. Processed foods, sugars, dyes, GMOS, pesticides on foods all damage your good gut bacteria. Instead of feeling like you have to “eat perfect”, do yourself a favor and decide what works best for you. Our family has found that the 80/20 rule works well. 80% of the time we eat whole foods, organic, and non processed. This allows us to have 20% for parties or gathers. Let’s face it, in America we are surrounded with junk food left and right! It is near impossible to eat perfect 24/7. This is why when we are at home we are intentional about eating healthy and eating gut healing foods as much as possible!
Things you can typically avoid to promote gut health:
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Lack of Sleep
- Lack of Physical Activity
- Refined Sugars and processed foods/ dyes/ non organic (if you want to go the extra mile)
I like to give you free resources on this blog to help empower you with the tools you need to stay healthy and live a holistic lifestyle, so below I’ll be sharing a yummy gut healing soup recipe from my 30 Day Anti-Inflammatory Gut Program. It is easy, filled with prebiotic rich foods, and is a great option for those trying to improve gut health! Enjoy!
Creamy Broccoli Soup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
10 garlic cloves
4 14-ounce cans coconut milk
4 cups vegetable broth or bone broth
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons all purpose seasoning (salt-free)
2 cups broccoli florets
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Add coconut oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add in remaining ingredients. Stir well and cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
Functional Medicine Health Coach & Wellness Entrepreneur
Helping you improve your gut health naturally and create a lifestyle you love!
PS. If you want access to a free gut healthy recipe each week, join my free FB community here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/820504251659465