June 16, 2020
Gut health is all the hype these days, and for good reason. Scientists have begun to refer to the gut as our second brain and the link between chronic illness and an imbalanced microbiome gets stronger every day. Research as connected poor gut health with many diseases including depression, diabetes, autism, allergies, autoimmunity, cancer, fibromyalgia and asthma.
Your gut contains tens of trillions of microorganisms, including up to 1,000 different species of bacteria with over 3 million genes and is a major factor in food digestion, vitamin absorption, hormone regulation, toxin excretion and immunity. So how do we make sure our microbiome (or gut bacteria) is in good working order?
Peak gut health begins with your diet. It is essential to eat a good amount of fiber, plant protein and healthy fats from whole foods. Here are 5 tips for improving your gut health:
Eat whole, unprocessed foods. Cut out sugar, refined carbs and processed foods. Add in high fiber foods like fruit, nuts and seeds- which can provide prebiotics to feed the good bacteria. Focus on eating whole plant foods and cut out animal protein that does no good for your gut.
Add fermented foods. Probiotic-rich fermented food such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and miso support your microbiome with healthy bacteria called Lactobacillus.
Rethink your fats. Get rid of inflammatory omega 6 rich fats such as vegetable oil and animal fat. Replace these with omega 3 rich coconut oil, which helps decrease inflammation, boost immunity and fight infection.
Add supplements. You might also consider adding a high quality algae-based omega 3 supplement, which supports healthy gut flora. Also, take a good probiotic supplement to give your microbiome a boost.
Reduce stress. Even the best diet can be compromised when stress, fatigue and burnout interfere. Try adding in some self-care practices to your daily life. Some ideas include meditation, yoga, epsom salt baths, walks in nature and an earlier bedtime.