5 foods that are great for gut health

October 09, 2015 0 Comments

I'm reading an amazing book called "Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ" by Giulia Enders. It's a hilarious, and very frank insight into what's literally one of the most amazing organs inside us. The intricacies of how our body breaks down, unfolds and utilises (almost) everything we consume and dispose of waste is a like a beautiful symphony that plays for the entire course of our life time.

Unless you take great interest in the topic, most people (including several GPs I have seen over the years) have little to no idea of the impact an unhealthy or irritated GI tract can have on overall health and well being.

Every single one of us, has a unique bacterial population residing not only within us but even on our skin's surface — as a whole, this is referred to as our “microbiome.”

The microbiome is composed of trillions, yep, trillions of bacteria, and plays a major role in oh so many aspects of our health. Recent research is backing this theory, with findings showing that that our microbial population can have a huge (not pun intended) effect on obesity, Crohn's, colitis, depression, anxiety, asthma and allergies.

The wellbeing of our microbiome also contributes to how well we digest and absorb the nutrients from the food we eat.

So you see, you really ought to take care of your gut.

    So how do you know that your gut might be struggling a little?
    1. If you experience bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea
    2. Food allergies or sensitivities
    3. Anxiety
    4. Depression
    5. Mood swings and feeling irritable
    6. Skin problems like eczema, rosacea, acne
    7. Diabetes
    8. Autoimmune disease
    9.  Frequent Infections, cold and flu
    10. Poor memory and concentration

    Although restoring your gut health and gut related diseases are must talk about topics for another day, there are some foods you can start eating (and drinking) immediately that will give your tummy a helping hand. Here are my top 5

    7 foods that are great for gut health

    1. Kefir

    If you're no on the fermented foods train, get on board because they are are full of healthy, living bacteria that contribute to our microbiome. Kefir is a fermented fizzy drink, that will deliver good bacteria to where it's needed, and help the synthesis of vitamins B12 and K. You can get a dairy based and coconut variety from your health food store.

    2. Raw Sauerkraut

    Forget the pasteurised and process kaka you get at the supermarket. Raw, fresh, crisp and good bacteria packed sauerkraut is the bomb dot com. A small amount with your meals will deliver loads of health-promoting probiotic bacteria to your GI tract. Look out for brands like Kehoe's Kitchen and Peace Love & Vegetables from your local health food store.

    3. Kombucha

    Black tea fermented by a symbiotic mixture of bacteria, fizzy kombucha is becoming one of the most popular fermented foods in the American diet. In addition to beneficial probiotics, kombucha drinkers also benefit from the antioxidants found within the drink's tea base.

    4. Greens (and other fibrous veggies)

    Eating lots of green is like sending the good bacteria in your tummy a packed lunch. Green, fibrous vegetables are a prebiotic that nourish the good bacteria to help it to grow. This process helps build a healthy microbiome. While you're munching on your broccoli, you will also give your body a dose of good  vitamins, petrochemicals and other nutrients.

    5. Garlic

    Garlic is a rich source of inulin as well as a great antibacterial agent meaning it will nourish the good guys, and kick out the bad. Garlic is a great (and cheap) way to flavor your foods and also a great source of Vitamin B6 to aid in metabolism and nervous system health.


    Image kindly borrowed from greenkitchenstories.com

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