Vital Foods for a Healthy & Happy Gut
Why is having a healthy gut so critical? Well, for one it’s where 90% of our immune system is housed, as well as where we digest and absorb the nutrients from the foods we eat. The bacterial environment in our digestive tract also plays a vital role in our mood, energy levels, and even our ability to lose weight!
A whole-food’s diet filled with a variety of fresh produce is always going to be a great start to good gut health, but there are a few star ingredients that can really help keep your tummy happy. I challenge you to incorporate these 10 powerful gut-healing foods to your diet on a daily basis:
1. Kombucha– a fermented tea using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast to produce beneficial probiotics. You can buy it in grocery stores or stop by your nearest Target! I love GT’s Kombuca and the Live Soda Kombucha brands.
2. Raw Sauerkraut- a traditional preservation method using salt or a culture starter to preserve cabbage; leaves behind compounds beneficial in overall gut health. Bubbies Raw Sauerkraut is a great brand found locally.
3. The “Onion” Vegetable Family– Onions, shallots, garlic, leeks, and spring onions are rich in prebiotics that act as a food for bacteria already in our gut, keeping them healthy and thriving.
4. Herbs and spices- Gut-loving herbs and spices such as turmeric, ginger, coriander, and cinnamon are all anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial helping to soothe our digestion and support our immune system.
5. Berries- Rich in insoluble fibre, helping to keep our digestive system moving, eliminating waste and toxins. They’re also potent free-radical fighters with their high level of antioxidants protecting our cells from excessive damage that can lead to disease
6. Salmon- Protein and omega-3 rich, anti-inflammatory salmon helps with the management of inflammation in the body and repair of our cells that line our gut wall. Salmon also contains bioactive protein molecules that researchers are studying for their support of insulin effectiveness and control of inflammation in the digestive tract.
7. Gelatin- The highest concentrations typically found in the parts of animal products that we throw away – skin, cartilage, bones etc. Gelatin can strengthen our gut health by enhancing gastric acid secretion and restoring the lining of our stomach. You can also find gelatin from leafy greens, fish, pumpkin, cabbage, cauliflower, kiwi, and bananas. I take the Great Lakes powdered supplement regularly by mixing it into my smoothies.
8. Kefir- if tolerated, kefir can be a wonderful source of probiotics to support digestion and keep the intestinal lining protected. If you can’t tolerate dairy, coconut kefir products are available and natural food stores.
9. Broccoli- Broccoli contains a chemical called sulforaphane that kills helicobacter pylori, the bacteria responsible for peptic ulcers and most gastric cancers. Eat your broccoli, sprouts, cabbage and Brussels sprouts to help reduce your risk of stomach cancers, and other stomach disorders including gastritis, esophagitis, and acid indigestion.
10. Grass-fed Butter- Butter is a source of naturally occurring butyrate in our diets. Butyrate is an important source of energy for intestinal cells. Without butyrate, or with very little supply, intestinal cells die. Food sources of butyrate may also enhance intestinal barrier function and improve overall gut health. If you’re not into butter, a diet rich in fibre – both soluble and insoluble will help your gut bacteria to produce more of this healthful compound.