I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again and again: health (and illness) starts in your gut.
If you have a sick, inflamed gut, you’ll experience anything from wrinkled skin, to weight gain, to autoimmune disorders, to depression.
We can thank (or blame) the standard American diet (SAD) for most of our inflammation and gut problems. We’ve been told for too long that foods like whole grains and soy are good for us–when they’re two major culprits making your gut sick!
It’s never too late to heal or reset your gut, naturally. You can start today by changing your lifestyle and diet to support gut-healing foods. It’s no surprise what we put into our bodies plays a huge part in our gut health.
Here are 8 simple steps you can take today to feel and look your best by resetting your gut.
Tip 1: Get rid of the toxins
…and irritating substances out of your diet.
These foods are causing inflammation in your body and making your gut sick:
- Conventionally raised, non-organic raised meats. These are high in omega-6 oils, which leads to chronic inflammation. (Instead, eat pastured or grass-fed meats)
- Yes, even whole grains.
- Processed foods
- Refined sugars (Get the full list of sugars to avoid here)
- Seed oils like canola, sunflower, grapeseed, and even vegetable oils. These are also high in omega-6 oils your gut doesn’t want!
If you keep eating these pro-inflammatory foods, you’re poisoning your body and quite frankly, setting your gut on fire.
Tip 2: Fill your diet with fermented foods
Popular fermented foods include kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. These are rich in probiotics–the good bacteria your intestines need for optimal digestion and health. Your gut loves food like these!
Best of all, you can find them at your local health foods store. And they’re packed with flavor to add to any meal.
Tip 3: Take a powerful probiotic
Taking a probiotic daily floods your body with good bacteria like lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium lactis. You may not be able to eat kimchi or sauerkraut everyday, so this is your best option if you want to quickly reset your gut.
And because probiotics are filled with good bacteria, it puts your gut on the fast track to healing. Just don’t forget to take it every day!
Tip 4: Avoid antibiotics like the plague
Antibiotics get rid of ALL your healthy gut flora–they’re the opposite of probiotics. Sometimes doctors are too quick to prescribe them.
If you absolutely must take antibiotics, ask your doctor about also taking a probiotic supplement at the same time, and when you’re safe to do so. If you’ve taken a lot of antibiotics, then you REALLY need this gut reset!
Tip 5: Take a multi-enzyme supplement (preferable after every meal)
Digestive enzymes break down the foods we eat so we absorb its nutrients. But certain things can decrease our digestive enzymes, like aging, chronic stress, and of course, inflammation.
So, even if you eat healthy foods, you may not get all the nutrition you need.
That’s why I recommend you take an enzyme supplement such as carbohydrases (break down carbohydrates), lipases (break down fats), and proteases (break down proteins).
Tip 6: Consume these natural gut-healers
In addition to probiotics and fermented foods, these will seal the walls of your gut:
- Aloe vera
- Vitamins A, C, and E
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Tip 7: Relax
Easier said than done, right?
Look, I know stress happens. Your life gets busy, and maybe you forget to do a daily relaxation practice.
But that’s bad news for your gut, because stress contributes to a sick, leaky gut.
Think about it..aren’t your stomach and your digestion two of the first things affected during an emotionally difficult time? In fact, your gut is where the majority of your body’s serotonin resides, which is why it’s referred to as the “second brain.”
So, give yoga or meditation a try. Take a spa day, get a massage, and simply take it easy. Your gut and entire body will thank you for it!
Tip 8: Sip at least one cup or bowl of bone broth a day
I’ve saved the best for last, folks! Bone broth keeps your digestion on track. It gives you incredible healing power and disease prevention thanks this potent trifecta:
- Glutamine: An amino acid that heals and words off leaky gut syndrome by protecting the gut lining, providing fuel for the cells of the small intestine–improving metabolism.
- Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs): The most commonly known of these proteins and sugars are glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. These create healing mucous, which soothes intestinal inflammation. It also facilitates the passage of food, and strengthens the good bacteria while weakening bad gut bacteria.
- Glycine: This amino acid stimulates stomach acid secretion, helping intestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), acid reflux, and issues with FODMAPs. Glycine is also a key part of bile acid, which plays a huge role in fat digestion and regulating blood cholesterol.
Plus, bones and cartilage (which bone broth is made from) are a whole food, so there are undoubtedly other compounds in them that contribute to their effectiveness. And none of nature’s gifts is more of an all-around health multitasker than bone broth.
Did I mention it tastes delicious, too? It keeps me satisfied throughout the day and curbs any sugar cravings (take that, Sugar Demon!).
No matter what your health is like right now, remember that healing (and weight loss!) starts in your gut. When you do a reset and get rid of inflammation in the body, miraculous things happen!
Keep thinking Big and living BOLD!