In a post-Thanksgiving food coma? You’re not the only one. If you’re feeling a little guilty after too much indulgence, it may be the perfect time for a little detox. But before you order that juice-cleanse, let’s talk about a healthier type of “cleanse”. It’s called the microbiome diet or “eating for your gut.” You may have heard of the term “gut health” or even the term “leaky gut.” Read on to see why this anti-inflammatory way of eating can help you feel less bloated, happier and healthier overall!
WHY GUT HEALTH?
Gut health is super important because it affects everything from your digestion to your mood to your mental health. The main function of the gut is digesting food and delivering energy to our cells. If your gut isn’t functioning properly, you’re probably experiencing bloating or other stomach issues. Things like stress, diet and medication also hurt our gut. This may be TMI, but the easiest way to tell your gut isn’t at optimal health is to keep an eye on your bowel movements (anything from 1-3 times is normal!)
WHAT TO EAT
The best way to take care of your gut is through your diet. Say goodbye to the traditional American diet, which is heavy in red meat and overly processed junk. Instead focus on eating seasonally with tons of veggies, fruits, whole grains and organic, free-range, grass-fed and wild-caught proteins. Eating local is also key! Below find some gut-loving foods to add to your grocery list!
- Fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, yogurt & kefir)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Prebiotic foods (okra, garlic, onion endives & artichokes)
- Roots and Tubers (sweet potato, yucca, taro root & squash)
- Pre-soaked Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios & macadamia)
- Healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, avocado oil & coconut o il)
- Broths and stocks
- Fresh fruits (berries, green banana, apples, cherries, kiwi & coconut)
- Fresh veggies (broccoli, cabbage, kale, eggplant, spinach, mushroom & zucchini)
- Fish (salmon, tuna & other omega 3-rich fish)
- Meats (lean, grass-fed chicken, turkey, beef and lamb)
WHAT TO AVOID
If you’re always feeling bloated, tired or suffering from cystic acne, it’s probably time to eliminate some common gut-destroying foods from your diet. Banning these foods from your diet will “starve” out the bad bacteria in your gut and allow the good bacteria to flourish. Some of these may be obvious, but some of them may not. See below for a list of off-limits foods when eating to repair your gut!
- Lectin-laden foods (whole grains, beans, nightshades, peanuts & cashews)
- Wheat (bread, pasta & cereal)
- Processed meats (deli meats, bacon & hot dogs)
- Dairy products (milk, cheese & ice cream)
- Refined oils (canola & sunflower/safflower)
- Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin & sucralose aka Splenda)
- Antibiotics (avoid unless life-threatening)