Your Gut and Your Health - Part Two

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In the last post I talked about the gut microbiome and gut barrier and how these two factors greatly affect our digestive health. Below you will find a list of 15 easy to incorporate foods and habits that can greatly improve the health of this important system and in turn our overall health.

1. Berries- blueberries, raspberries, cherries, blackberries

2. Apples

3. Green tea

4. Raw Cacao (in moderation)

5. Red wine (in moderation) -These foods are high in polyphenols, which change the composition of the gut bacteria in favour of the beneficial species, and the gut bacteria are responsible for metabolizing the polyphenols into their bioactive metabolites.

6. Garlic - Garlic is a prebiotic food for the good bacteria and is also antimicrobial against some of the problematic gut species

7. Ginger - Ginger is anti-inflammatory and can help break down biofilms around pathogenic gut microbes making them easier to get rid of.

8. Fermentable fibre (prebiotics)- Sweet potato, yam, yucca, psyllium, raw dandelion greens, chicory, inulin. Provides food to help the beneficial bacteria species in your gut. These can aggravate some types of gut overgrowth such as SIBO so if they bother you talk to your health care provider who may suggest a Specific Carbohydrate or Low FODMAP diet.

9. Fermented foods- Sauerkraut, Kefir, Yoghurt, Kombucha, Kimchi (Kefir and Yoghurt contain dairy so only if you tolerate). Help to continually maintain beneficial gut species.

10. Bone Broth- Stock made from boiled bones- beef, chicken, fish whatever you prefer add a few tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice and boil for several hours. Bone broth contains several components that can help heal an inflamed and leaky gut.

11. Stress reduction- Meditation, Yoga, Massage

12. Sleep- 8hrs, same time every night. Don’t underestimate these two! Stress and sleep deprivation can contribute to inflammation and poor digestive function.

13. Eat biggest meals between 10am and 4pm- most metabolically active times of day.

14. Use medications that effect gut only when needed- antibiotics, NSAIDS, antacids, Oral Contraceptives. These can compromise the gut barrier and affect the gut ecology.

15. See a health care practitioner to address any underlying infections, deficiencies, intolerances and other related conditions that may be contributing to these issues.