Healthy Gut = Healthy Person
“All disease begins in the gut” – Hippocrates
For today’s Nutrition Tip Tuesday, I want to talk about a topic near and dear to my (and Hippocrates’) heart: gut health. Our gut is made up of a lot of bacteria, both good and bad. In an ideal world, we’d have around 85% good and 15% bad, but the chances of that happening with the diets we consume and the lifestyles we lead are very slim!
For instance, if any of the following sound familiar to you, chances are your good and bad balance is a bit out of whack, and you have more bad than good:
- been on antibiotics
- take the birth control pill
- have a diet high in processed foods
- drink a lot of coffee
- experience a lot of stress
So what do the good guys do?
- They fend off the bad bacteria by helping to prevent flus and colds.
- They keep things moving in the digestive process by stimulating intestinal peristalsis.
- They help facilitate absorption of nutrients in the gut which are critical for overall health
- They keep us happy as proper nutrient absorption allows for serotonin (a happy hormone) to be produced in the gut
For myself, I take a probiotic supplement daily; however, I also really try to include foods that will naturally lead to good gut health. Lots of these foods are found in the healthy refrigerated section of a big grocery store, or you can definitely find them in a health food store. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can even try to make your own (but that’s for another post!)
Here are some of my favourite healthy gut foods:
- Tempeh (organic, and in moderation)
- Miso (organic, and if you want gluten free, not barley based)
- Kefir (goat or coconut milk based if cow’s milk dairy bothers you)
- Any other fermented vegetables
One other thing: Occasionally if you start eating a lot of these foods all at once, you can experience a bit of a mild detox or die-off effect (headache/acne/digestion changes). Don’t stop!! That’s a good thing and should pass after a few days 🙂