Six Simple Steps to Gut Health
Do you or your children struggle with gut issues? Whether it’s gas, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, or pain - gut issues are debilitating.
I know because from my earliest memories these things have been a weekly and sometimes almost daily reality. Over the years I tried many supplements and diets with little relief and a whole lot of effort. I did an elimination allergy diet for 10 years, GAPS for two and Autoimmune Paleo for 18 months...talk about some serious will power and work. Lol. Ultimately, they were not sustainable.
I wanted to share with you the six things that have helped me more than anything else to find relief and, yes, even healing over the past few years. Here they are....
Eliminate Sugar and Embrace Whole, Slow Burning Carbs: White sugar in all its forms has to go if you are going to find true gut health. It causes inflammation and feeds the bad bacteria in the gut. What many people don’t realize, though, is that they can be spiking their blood sugar and feeding bad bacteria in their guts with healthy food options. Things like dried fruit, organic corn chips, honey and maple syrup might be adding to your gut issues...they too can cause inflammation if they are spiking your blood sugar. Keeping carbs from natural sources to around 45 grams in my meals and eating 1-2 carb free meals each day has really helped to heal my gut more than I would have ever imagined. Don’t totally eliminate your carbs though! You need them for your good bacteria, thyroid function, and adrenal health. Also, eliminating carbs can aggravate autoimmune issues which many people with gut issues also struggle with. Healthy, slow burning carb sources you might try are sweet potatoes, green apples, brown rice, fruit in moderation, and rolled oats.
Healthy Fats: Healthy fats soothe an inflamed gut and sources from grass fed animals provide the body with much needed and hard to find fat soluble vitamins like A and D. Sources to love are raw cream, butter, extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil (enjoy this one without heating it too much), lard from pastured pork, and tallow from grass-fed beef.
Embrace Probiotics and Enzymes: Eating foods rich in enzymes and probiotics gives your body the tools it needs to restore the gut lining and heal the cells that absorb nutrients. Plus, enzymes and probiotics help in the digestion process of foods. Great sources include raw milk (rich in probiotics and enzymes), Kefir, Kombucha (beware of brands that flavor with added sugar), and lactose fermented veggies.
Increase Your Veggie Intake: This one can be really hard when your gut is struggling because the fiber in veggies can really send your gut into a tail spin. Nonetheless, your body needs the enzymes and nutrients in vegetables, especially in leafy greens, to heal. Here are some tips....cook your vegetables well (this helps break down harsh fiber), blend your greens into a liquid and drink as a juice or smoothie, cook and purée your veggies in soups.
Enjoy Bone Broth, Collagen and Gelatin: Bone broth is rich in glycine, collagen, gelatin and minerals all of which soothe and heal the gut lining. Collagen and gelatin supplements are also great resources for getting even more of these healing ingredients into your diet.
Stay Hydrated: We hear this one so much that it is easy to take for granted and just assume that, of course, we are getting enough fluid. But for most of us, chronic dehydration is an undetected reality that may be at the core of gut issues. You should be getting half your body weight in ounces each day in pure water or herbal tea. For a 150 pound person that is 75 ounces or 9.4 cups....just over two quart size mason jars a day.
I wish you all the best as you walk the road to finding a healthy gut. For those of you who are in the trenches of pain right now, I would encourage you to keep pressing on because there is healing to be found. I spent many years doubled over in those trenches, but I can now stand straight without pain and say those days are becoming a distant memory in the past.
I would love for them to become a distant memory of your past too. Do you struggle with gut issues, I’d love to visit with you...what are you doing to arrive at a place of healing?