“The lining of our gut plays an essential role in the absorption of these nutrients as well as the proper excretion of waste.”
Start improving your digestive health with these top 10 gut healing foods
We all know that an efficient digestive system is essential to overall health and wellness.
Our gastrointestinal tract (GI tract or 'the gut') is very important when it comes to supporting our health. But if you don’t work well with to the trillions of microbes in the gut, they may eventually cause health issues.
Why should we prioritise gut health?
A healthy digestive tract absorbs the foods we consume so that our body can use all of the nutrients for our bodies natural daily function.
The lining of our gut plays an essential role in the absorption of these nutrients as well as the proper excretion of waste.
Chronic stress, medications, alcohol, processed foods ,or an imbalance in your gut microbiome can cause nutrients and pre-digested materials to 'leak' out from our gut and into our bloodstream, which can cause an inflammatory response in the body.
This inflammatory response often leads to bloating, gas, acid reflux, joint pain, irregular bowel movements, fatigue, skin issues such as eczema, insomnia, brain fog, anxiety and depression.
Poor digestion and a leaky gut have been associated with many diseases such as obesity, autoimmune diseases , inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
So, how do you keep your gut lining strong & healthy?
At InnerHealth we advise starting with what is on your plate.
By taking a holistic approach, we dive deeper into your diet and create a personalised treatment plan to help you feel your best.
Our popular clinician and health coach will work together to understand your individual gut and how well it functions with dairy and gluten, medication, and provide a diet and supplement plan that’s tailored to you.
Many individuals need further in-depth testing to get a deeper look at their gut microbiome and food sensitivities.
If you’re looking to take control today, here are our recommendations for the top 10 gut healing foods:
1. Bone broth
This easily digestible broth contains lots of gelatin and collagen, the building blocks of our connective tissue (including the tissue in the gut).
Some research shows that collagen can help to repair our gut lining which can prevent unwanted byproducts of digestion getting into our bloodstream and triggering inflammation.
Bone broth also contains amino acids which contain anti-inflammatory properties.More specifically glutamine can heal and seal the lining of our gut by protecting the intestinal cells from damage.
Consume 2-3 cups of bone broth daily. If you’re sensitive to histamine, bone broth may be more difficult for you to deal with. Therefore, we recommend substituting a collagen protein powder.
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, but it also has positive effects on our gut microbiome.
Olive oil contains oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat which reduces inflammation in the body and can help to prevent some types of cancer. It is full of antioxidants, an additional contribution to its anti-inflammatory effects.
Anti-inflammatory foods like olive oil not only reduce inflammation, but can also reduce bacterial overgrowth which leads to leaky gut.
Replacing seed oils with a high quality extra virgin olive oil will help you reduce the amount of processed food you consume that causes inflammation in the gut.
Packed with Vitamins B-6, C, E, K, omega-3s, magnesium—you name it, avocados are full of it. They contain high amounts of potassium and fibre (1 cup contains 10 grams of fibre and more potassium than a banana).
These very important nutrients help to keep everything moving in our digestive system, helping prevent constipation and bloating, and therefore maintaining a healthy gut.
Having avocados in your diet will allow you to capitalise on all the essential nutrients these fruits have to offer, without the uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms. Add it to your salads & smoothies to see benefits from this gut healing superfood.
4. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, anchovies or sardines are packed with EPA and DHA (omega-3s that help to fight inflammation and maintain healthy blood vessels).
What’s more, DHA may even reverse the negative effects of sugar, which feed the bad bacteria in your gut and cause harm to our digestive system, potentially leading to the growth of yeast and candida.
Aim for a 3 to 6 ounce serving of fatty fish two to four times per week. Make sure you check if you can get a wild-caught cuts of fish, as this will have much more omega-3s.
5. Dark Leafy Greens
Greens such as kale and spinach are great options to add to your list of gut-healing foods, they contain sulfoquinovose, a natural sugar molecule acts as an energy source for the bacteria in our gut, fuelling the growth of these healthy microbes to create the ideal home for our gut to grow strong and healthy.
They also have plenty of fibre and important minerals like folate and vitamin C, which all contribute to a healthy digestive system.
6. Fermented foods
Fermented foods can be some of the best foods for digestive health, and consuming sauerkraut and kimchi is good places to start. These foods promote the growth of probiotics (good bacteria) in our gut.
Trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes in the gut decide our health by controlling digestion. Therefore, keeping a healthy balance of gut bacteria is essential for our long term digestive health.
Fermented foods have been shown to control more severe symptoms with gut issues like crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and IBS.
Other gut-healing fermented foods include miso and kefir. But it’s important to know that the benefits of fermentation go away once the food has been heated, so be sure to eat them raw/cultured to gather the benefits.
7. Raw garlic, onions, and scallions
These foods and other raw vegetables like chicory root and artichoke are all known as prebiotics, the equally as important fibre to probiotics.
Prebiotics are types of dietary fiber that help to feed the bacteria in our gut. This happens because prebiotics aren’t broken down by digestive enzymes, so they ferment in our colon, leading to the growth of 'good' bacteria. So essentially, eating more prebiotic foods will help probiotics work better in the GI tract.
8. Chia Seeds and Flaxseeds
Fibre is one of the best ingredients for your overall health as well as your gut health, and chia seeds and flaxseeds are both forms of concentrated fibre, making them great gut-healing foods.
When you have poor digestion, you can experience uncomfortable side effects, which make it harder for your body to absorb the nutrients you’re eating. Just one ounce of chia seeds has half of the recommended daily amount of fibre.
Both seeds contain insoluble fibre, which speeds up digestion and helps to relieve constipation and diarrhoea. They are also great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation in our body.
9. Dark Chocolate
Fulfil your sweet tooth and help your gut? Science shows that cocoa flavanols promote the growth of good bacteria in our gut.
Dark chocolate is also packed with antioxidants, and has the ability to improve cholesterol and cognitive function (brain health).
The health-promoting benefits of dark chocolate come from the cocoa, so it is wise to choose a chocolate that has a high cocoa concentration 70% and upwards is is a good place to start.
10. Resistant Starch
Resistant starch is another prebiotic food that reduces inflammation and helps to manage symptoms with crohn’s disease, diarrhoea, ulcerative colitis, constipation and colorectal cancer.
Resistant starch can be found in whole grains, green bananas, potatoes, and plantains.
Adding these gut healing foods to your daily intake is a great way to start supporting your gut, fixing any damage and avoiding inflammation.
Call us today for a FREE consultation to discover the best approach to fixing your gut so you can become free from digestive stress!
InnerHealth Clinic: 07989777035