improve your gut health

How to Improve Your Gut Health

improve your gut health

If you’re wondering how you can drastically improve your gut health, you’re in the right place. The gut is  the second brain of the body! It produces over 80% of the happy hormone serotonin, controls inflammation, impacts immunity, influences skin health, and much more! A healthy gut is the foundation of overall well-being.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into my top tips as a functional gut health nutritionist to help you nourish and support your gut for a happier, healthier you.

Understanding the Gut-Health Connection:

Your gut is home to trillions of microorganisms, collectively known as the gut microbiota. These microorganisms play a pivotal role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and even influencing your immune system and mental health.

Here’s the thing, you have to keep the good gut bacteria alive. In order to keep these little bugs alive, you have to nourish them with nutrients, water, and love. However, these bugs are a little pickier and need the right variety of nutrients to work in full effect. So I have broken down the four major components that help keep the tiny soldiers happy, healthy, and flourishing!!  

1. Fiber

Fiber is often overlooked but boasts tremendous importance for gut health. Striving for a daily intake of 30-40 grams of fiber is highly recommended. Fiber offers numerous benefits, such as promoting satiety, aiding in blood sugar regulation, nourishing beneficial bacteria, supporting regularity, and facilitating toxin removal.

PRO TIP: When adding in fiber, start low and slow. Also sure you drink plenty of water! 

My favorite fiber rich foods:

  • Vegetables: dark leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, root vegetables (carrots, beets)
  • Fruits: banana, oranges, apples, mangos, figs, raisins, prunes, dates
  • Beans and legumes
  • Oats, flax seeds, chia seeds, nuts (almonds, walnuts), seeds

2. Resistant Starches

Resistant starches, found in fiber-rich foods, journey to the colon where they undergo fermentation by colon bacteria, resulting in the production of SCFAs. These acids play essential roles in blood sugar regulation, gut lining support, metabolism, and inflammation control—particularly vital in addressing chronic health conditions and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Resistant starches resist digestion and absorption in the stomach and small intestine, instead fermenting in the colon to create Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs).

My favorite resistant starch foods:

  • legumes, beans, chickpeas
  • cooked and cooled potatoes
  • oats
  • cooked and cooled rice

potato starch

green bananas

3. Prebiotics 

Many people have heard of probiotics, but have you heard of prebiotics? Prebiotics are just as important as probiotics! Prebiotics and probiotics work hand in hand and you can’t have one without the other. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria in the gut. 

Prebiotics may positively impact diarrhea, inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s), and colon cancer. They are important because they help stimulate the growth and activity of the good gut bacteria. 

My favorite prebiotic foods:

  • Potatoes (cooked and cooled)
  • rice (cooked and cooled)
  • bananas
  • artichoke
  • garlic
  • onion
  • leeks
  • asparagus
  • oat, wheat, barley, rye 

4. Probiotics 

Probiotics are the live good bacteria in the gut that need to be fed by prebiotics. So, it is important to populate the gut with probiotic-rich foods along with prebiotic-rich foods which will help the probiotic/good bacteria flourish. 

Probiotics have shown to enhance immunity, promote excretion of toxic substances, and enhance fecal bulk. Probiotics are also effective at reducing antibiotic-associated diarrhea, traveler’s diarrhea, and bathroom urgency. 

My favorite probiotic foods

  • Yogurt (make sure it say live probiotics)
  • Kefir 
  • Cottage cheese 
  • Kimichi
  • Tempeh 
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso
  • Kombucha
  • Pickles
  • Fermented veggies 

Take Away Message to Improve Your Gut Health:

Prioritizing your gut health is a powerful step towards achieving overall well-being. By incorporating these tips into your lifestyle, you can drastically improve your gut health and reap the rewards of improved digestion, immunity, and even a brighter mood. Remember that consistency is key; small, mindful changes in your diet and lifestyle can make a remarkable difference in your gut health journey. Not ready to embark on this journey alone? Learn how I can help you here!

Here’s to a healthier gut and a happier you!

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