We have another really interesting post this week from our resident Nutritional Councillor, Sharisse. This week it's all about the best and worst foods for a healthy gut.
Sharisse... take it away...!
Gut health is becoming a really popular topic and, as a nutritionist, I see this as great news! By starting to pay more attention to the role that food and lifestyle play in the health of your gut, you begin to improve your overall health.
While awareness is important, it can also lead to information overload - making it hard to know which information is accurate or where you should begin.
If you’ve got symptoms that have you feeling a little (or a lot!) off, start by following what these simple guidelines that nutritionists use to promote a healthy gut.
WHAT TO AVOID FOR A HEALTHY GUT
These are some key foods that I avoid, and recommend my clients avoid, in order to protect the gut and reduce any symptoms:
GLUTEN is important to avoid because it promotes inflammation in the body, affecting the integrity of the lining of the gut, opening the door to leaky gut and other disorders or diseases. Most people have no idea gluten is a problem, but with over 30% of Americans having a gluten sensitivity, it’s worth taking action.
SUGAR should be removed due to its ability to throw off your gut microbiota by feeding the bad bacteria and fungi like candida. This increases your chances of gut issues like candida, SIBO, parasites, and other digestive disorders.
DAIRY, though controversial, is best avoided because many people struggle to digest its proteins, and most adults do not produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to breakdown lactose. It also produces inflammation within the body.
WHAT TO EAT FOR A HEALTHY GUT
These are important foods to include your diet in order to improve your gut health and prevent symptoms and disease:
FERMENTED FOODS are worth adding into your diet because they feed the good bacteria, promoting a healthy gut bacteria balance. With the gut and brain communicating via bacteria, this simple change can affect your digestion as well as your mood, energy, and sleep. Kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut some of my favourite fermented foods.
NUTS AND SEEDS, or any healthy fats, are important for lowering inflammation to help with nutrient absorption in the gut. Good quality fats also help to increase the good bacteria. Salmon, coconut oil, hemp hearts, and almonds are all healthy fats that I love to eat.
GREENS, and other fruits and vegetables, are full of fibre and help to promote good bacteria in the large intestine (where much of your bacteria live). They also help to keep you regular, removing toxins and bad bacteria from the gut. Adding in dark leafy greens, avocado, carrots, and apples are all ways to increase your fibre.
If a healthy gut is a priority for you, whether due to symptom relief or just wanting to live healthier, start out by following the same guidelines I use in my day-to-day diet to keep my gut happy and my body healthy.
Sharisse is a Registered Nutritional Counsellor focusing on helping her clients find the link between their digestive and mental health struggles, and their gut - helping them heal using the power of whole foods.
Learn more at www.sharissedalby.com