By now it's pretty established even beyond the holistic community that gut health is paramount in maintaining good health. With terms like, 'flora', 'leaky gut' and 'the human microbiome' becoming more mainstream, there are endless blog posts and articles on the topic that inform us on the amazing health and mental benefits of staying in tune with your gut.
Best foods to eat for a healthy gut
Prebiotics are indigestible plant fibres that nourish and promote good bacteria growth in the colon. Prebiotics help the good bacteria flourish and are a great complement to probiotics. Some great natural sources of prebiotics are raw chicory root, raw Jerusalem artichoke, raw dandelion greens, raw jicama, raw garlic, raw leeks and raw or cooked onions.
The root of the word probiotic comes from the Greek word, 'pro' meaning 'to promote', while 'biotic' translates to 'life'. Probiotics introduced to the body in supplement form or whole foods allow good bacteria to thrive and keeps the harmful, bad gut bacteria at bay. Some great natural food sources include fermented veggies like raw vegan kimchee, raw vegan sauerkraut, pickles, miso, kvass, brine-cured olives and fresh wheatgrass. Brands like Health Force Nutritionals Friendly Force, Prescript Assist, and Juice Press Proviotic provide good options.
*On fermented vegetables – note that many sauerkraut and kimchee brands are fermented with sugar. Seek out brands that use sea salt or Himalayan salt as the fermenting agent.
Best practices to incorporate for a healthy gut
The colon becomes dehydrated by hosting trapped and undigested waste for years on end. Take in ample amounts of filtered water, fresh vegetable juices and water containing foods like cucumbers and greens, to keep the colon alive. Remember, hydration is key for the whole body to stay well.
4. Avoid refined sugar
Refined sugar is a killer in the colon. Refined sugar feeds candida, the strains of yeast that destroy the lining of the gut, and destroys the good bacteria the gut needs to do its job and remain vital. When the good bacteria are overtaken, we can become subject to many different health issues. Try to replace your sweet needs with unrefined versions – unless Candida or some other type of yeast is present, then a Candida protocol is recommended to heal. Healthy alternatives to refined sugar are raw honey, unsulphured dried dates, date sugar, dried figs, coconut palm sugar, coconut nectar, stevia, xylitol, monk fruit, yacon syrup and maple syrup.
5. Say NO to GMO
Genetically modified organisms, or GMO foods, are grown with Glyphosate which is a herbicide that disturbs the gut micro flora balance by promoting harmful bacteria strains to proliferate. Avoid corn, sugar beets, high-fructose corn syrup, soy (lecithin), corn starch, Hawaiian papaya, squash, vegetable oil, canola oil, infant formula, non-organic synthetic vitamins, aspartame, conventional beef, conventional and pasteurised milk.
6. Eat fruit alone: Food Combining 101
Eating fruit alone is simple, effective and one of the most overlooked hacks when talking about gut health. Fruit creates fermentation in the body when eaten with or after meals, which is not gut friendly. Try to stop eating fruit after a meal, for dessert and in salads, for example. Enjoy organic fruit in the morning alone or mix apples, pears, lemons, limes, grapefruit or even pineapple with greens in fresh juices and smoothies.
7. Stay calm
Every human being has undigested matter that sits in the colon. The most important health hack is making sure we move toxicity out of the body. Ideally, we want to eat clean foods that are properly combined to limit this inevitable build-up. However, there are herbs and supplements that can be highly effective as well as safe like, Natural Calm. It's pure magnesium that supports bowel movements without aggravating the colon and can help with insomnia by calming down the nervous system. There are many products that will promote wear and tear on the colon so make sure you consult your health practitioner before trying anything else.
Remember, a healthy diet must be in order to experience true gut health and nothing is a real replacement for that.
Wishing you all happy tummies and excellent digestive health!
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