A healthy gut is the foundation of your entire body and therefore has an enormous impact on your health and well being. If you think your gut might need some TLC, try the following steps:
1) Eat PRObiotic foods – probiotic bacteria aid digestion, balance the immune system, and ward off infection. In my opinion, they are one of the keys to optimal health and disease prevention. Probiotics are found in fermented sauerkraut or pickles (you’ll find them in the refrigerated section), kefir, miso, kombucha, kimchi, and tempeh. Yogurt can be a great source as well, but avoid brands that add sugar, colour, and other junk.
2) Eat PREbiotic foods – prebiotics are indigestible plant fibers that the probiotic bacteria eat. If you get really gasey or bloated when you eat high fiber foods, it’s because prebiotics feed the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria so it’s usually a sign that your bacterial balance has too many of the ‘bad’ bacteria. Cut back your dosages to manageable levels (for you and everyone else!!) and slowly increase until you have no symptoms. Prebiotic foods include garlic, onions, leeks, dandelion greens, chicory, asparagus, and bananas. These foods work best as prebiotics when consumed raw.
3) Eat glutamine rich foods – the cells along the digestive tract that absorb all our nutrients are called enterocytes. These little guys thrive on an amino acid called l-glutamine. Eating foods high in glutamine can help decrease inflammation and increase digestive productivity. High glutamine foods include spinach, cabbage, parsley, beets, peas, beans, and lentils (again, it’s best if the vegetables are consumed raw).
Happy digesting everyone!