Our friends at The Beauty Chef have made the connection between our gut health and overall wellness. They believe that our gut is to our overall health what soil is to a beautiful garden. They explain, “the soil needs the right nutrient levels and bacterial balance to support the plants for them to be strong, their leaves robust and their flowers to bloom.”
To feel and look our best, we need the right nutrient balance in our gut. Read their tips below on how to heal your gut:
- Eat low HI – low human intervention foods.
- Eat foods rich in prebiotics. Prebiotics help boost the growth of friendly bacteria. These include non-digestible food substances found in asparagus, bananas, endive, chicory, garlic, globe and jerusalem artichokes, kefir, leeks, onions, sauerkraut, shallots and yoghurt.
- Eat lacto-fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir.
- The combination of prebiotics and probiotics helps promote a healthy gut more than either consumed alone.
- Favour organic foods – they’re far richer in nutrients and free of nasty chemicals that compromise gut health.
- If your gut is in bad repair, it may take a while for it to heal and get your own digestive enzymes working efficiently. Digestive enzymes may be helpful for a period of time.
- Eat smaller meals and chew food slowly so it liquefies before you swallow. Saliva contains digestive enzymes that help break down foods.
- Avoid drinking with your meal as it dilutes digestive enzymes.
- Acidity in the body encourages unfriendly bacteria. Reduce acidity in the body by eating more alkalising foods including your green leafy veggies and reduce your intake of acid forming foods.
- Try not to eat when you are angry or stressed as your body’s fight or flight response predominates at those times, meaning digestion is not a priority and is slowed.
- Grains provide a great source of fibre to aid detoxification but can be hard for some people to digest and contain anti-nutrients. If you consume grains, either soak them or ferment them to make them easier to digest. Doing this helps to neutralise anti-nutrients too. It may be worth avoiding them for a while in the initial stages of healing gut health.
- Lemon juice helps stimulate digestion. A shot of lemon juice before all meals can be a good aid to digestion.
- Gluten and dairy sensitivities are quite common, so these kinds of foods are probably best avoided as they contain proteins that are hard to digest. Fermented dairy such as yoghurt is ok.
- Animal proteins can be hard to digest so are best cooked slowly in soups and stews. Spices such as garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne and black pepper can be added to animal proteins to aid digestion.
- Vegetables are best steamed or sautéed as an excess of raw vegetables can weaken digestion.
- Meat bone broths are high in minerals and other essential nutrients and are excellent for healing gut lining.
- Other beneficial gut foods include chlorophyll rich greens such as celery, alfalfa and sea vegetables as well as fibre rich foods and green tea.
- Stop bad bacteria in their tracks; avoid refined foods and sugar.
- Coconut oil is helpful for gut health as it contains lauric acid, which is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
- Herbs that may aid digestive health include: fennel, chamomile, ginger, peppermint, lemon verbena, lemon balm, dandelion root, yellow dock, gentian root, slippery elm, licorice root, meadowsweet, oregano, garlic, pau d’arco, ginseng.
Read their full article here.