Gut issues suck! (just ask me) 😞
I have suffered for many years with gut issues and why I am so darn passionate about this topic and helping others to have better gut health and health in general.
I still haven't completely healed my gut, it is a lot better than it was in previous years but healing the gut can be a complex issue (from my own personal experience anyway). I have learned over the years what foods/drinks affect my tummy and I do my best to avoid these.🙅🏼♀️
Some of the foods that I can't eat may be on this list but keep an open mind because some of what I'm about to share with you could really benefit you on your healing journey, the key is to listen closely to your body after you eat and drink anything!
Balancing the Gut Microbiome
To have a balanced gut microbiome (also commonly known as gut flora) is to have a happy gut and in my opinion, a happy gut equals a happy life! Today I am here to give you these Top Ten Tips to balance your gut microbiome, so here we go... 🦠
- Eat more fibre (28-38g is recommended/day). This comes in the form of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains (if possible, properly prepare the grains, nuts, legumes or pulses to reduce harmful phytic acid and other anti-nutrients). Also, eat more legumes, nuts, seeds and pulses. You might also like the Organic Baobab powder to add to your water, juice or smoothie as it's a great source of fibre and prebiotic!
- Go for Diversity! When you eat a variety of plant-based carb's, protein and healthy fats this can lead to a diverse microbiota and therefore a more balanced and happy gut bug community.
Eat the following for better gut health: artichokes, broccoli, beans (kidney etc.), chickpeas, green peas, lentils, raspberries.
Add in Fermented. Eating fermented foods has been shown to be a wonderful way to help encourage a healthy gut environment. These include (but aren't limited to): kefir, Kim Chi, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh and yoghurt (natural & organic).
- Eat yoghurt. Eating yoghurt (if not dairy-intolerant) can be hugely beneficial as it can help reduce nasty bacteria that can be linked to IBS sufferers.
- Avoid Fake Sugars. Fake (artificial) sugars can have negative consequences for your gut's microbiota. Have you ever eaten something with an artificial sweetener before and then had a tummy ache? I know I have and it's not much fun. It's been shown in rat studies (poor rats), that aspartame reduced weight but increased blood sugar and insulin response, what? Read below to see where fake sugars can be found lurking...
- Eat more prebiotic-rich Foods. Prebiotic foods help to promote beneficial microbe growth in the gut and include fruits such as apples and bananas and veggies such as asparagus, dandelion greens, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks and onions. Prebiotic grains would be barley and wheat bran and seeds such as flax. You can even eat seaweed to get prebiotics!
- Eat more plants. Eating a diet rich in plant foods promote completely different gut bacteria than animal-based foods so get those fresh fruits and veggies into your belly! Your gut bugs will love you for it! Just be sure to increase water intake when increasing fruit and veggies and other plant-based foods or you may end up constipated!
- Try the GAPS diet. This is something I am just getting into but it seems to be the best gut-healing protocol I have come across. I look forward to reporting back about this soon (be sure to be subscribed to our emails to learn more)
- Take a Probiotic. These live microorganisms (mostly bacteria) can have some incredible effects on gut health (if your gut is troubled and unhappy). It's said that they don't do much if your gut is healthy and happy. Their purpose is to restore gut microbiota to bring about balance.
Where are Fake Sugars hiding?
Fake/artificial sugars are hiding in so many packaged/processed foods so best to avoid if you want a happy gut. These include:
- Soft drinks (soda pop)
- Lollies and sweets
- Chewing gum
- Some yoghurts
- Anything labelled "reduced sugar"
- Anything labelled "diet"
- Some things labelled "sugar-free"
Give Me More Disease-fighting Polyphenols
To increase consumption of this amazing disease-fighting compound you will want to add the following to your diet:
- Grape skin
- Red wine (preferably organic and preservative-free!)
- Green tea (or Matchinga powder as a tea)
- A high-quality Resveratrol supplement
An Update on Something Else
Ok, since writing this blog I had a sudden realisation that I have left a vital piece of information out of this article and it can seriously affect our gut microbiome and overall health. It's so bleepin' obvious I can't believe I left it out!
It is STRESS!
Stress is corrosive to all areas of our health but it has been shown that stress can affect gut bacteria in a similar way that eating a high-fat diet would, all the more reason to download that meditation app I say! 🧘🏻♀️
If you do suffer from gut issues and you implement the things on this list, you'll likely see and feel some improvement but it's always best to see your trusted health practitioner and get tests done if necessary (I can recommend a full stool test and if 100% necessary, a colonoscopy, just be mindful that colonoscopy can come with their own problems), but this is not health advice and like I said, one should seek professional advice. 👨🏼⚕️
The main takeaway I guess would be to encourage you to listen to your own body and how it speaks to you after you eat or drink certain things. Remember, what is good for some, won't be good for all.
*Disclaimer: the information in this article is intended purely as information and not health advice. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure and one should always seek expert advice from their trusted health practitioner.