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Gut Healing Foods

"I just have this gut feeling about it!" we hear ourselves say followed oftentimes by a "just trust your gut on this one" from others when we are mulling over difficult decisions. These statements are commonplace but have you ever stopped to ponder why? It is said that our gut is our second brain. Kind of an odd statement if you're not familiar with how the body works. The two are pretty far apart in distance and have very different functions in the how does this work? The gut and the brain are impressively connected in many ways through the gut-brain axis. This throughway of neurons transmits information back and forth from one part of the body to another. So when you've binged a little too much on pizza at lunch or couldn't resist that second donut your gut sends signals to the brain that you are full and it will also kindly (or perhaps not so kindly let you know later on). Or perhaps your monthly bill statement or upcoming work deadline that came it often reflected in our gut as a sinking feeling. What started out as mere thought manifests itself in your gut!

A little know fact that affects us all is that often our general mood and happiness is a reflection of the health of our guts?! When there is dysbiosis in our intestinal microbiome it is reflected in our mood, "the gut microbiota influences the body’s level of the potent neurotransmitter serotonin, which regulates feelings of happiness. Some of the most prescribed drugs in the U.S. for treating anxiety and depression, like Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil, work by modulating levels of serotonin. And serotonin is likely just one of a numerous biochemical messengers dictating our mood and behavior that the microbiota impacts". source what Is the takeaway here? You do have control over the health of your gut (and your mood!) through strengthening, healing, and continuously nourishing it. As the phrase goes...“Your gut is not Las Vegas. What happens in your gut does not stay in your gut!” Let this be all the more motivation to eat to feed and nourish our body to give it what it needs in order to give back to us! Below are some helpful and well researched suggestions to aid in healing and nourishing your gut for better health and wellness.


Gut Healing Foods

Bone Broth: This is probably one of my top recommendations when looking to heal the gut. Bone broth possesses an impressive amount of collagen, gelatin and glucosamine which are all known to strengthen the lining of the gut. I recommend making your own batch of bone broth that can easily be done at home in a crock pot. You can throw all the ingredients in, turn it on, and go! A great recipe for homemade bone broth can be found here. If you're busy and on the go and want to pick one up from the store I recommend the following brands: Kettle & Fire, and Pacific Foods.

Sauerkraut, Kimchi, and Yogurt: We all have bacteria in our gut (and that's not a bad thing) and this "good" bacteria and yeast is actually really beneficial to our gut and overall health. "Beneficial live bacteria and yeasts, called probiotics, which are found in some foods, have been associated with many benefits: weight loss and improved digestion and immunity, among others."source When purchasing yogurt make sure to buy dairy alternatives (cause we all know dairy won't help in the digestive department). Good alternatives to consider are almond and coconut yogurt. Ancient Awakenings is one of my favorites! Note: If you find you are doing worse off after consuming fermented foods this is an indication you most likely have a histamine intolerance and would benefit from a low histamine diet.

Aloe Vera Juice: Not only does aloe vera juice have an alkalizing affect on the body but it also keeps you regular and helps with constipation as well. There are a myriad of other health benefits including balancing the intestinal flora in the gut. In addition it can "decrease irritation in the stomach and intestines. The juice may also help people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other inflammatory disorders of the intestines." source. I like to purchase a whole aloe vera leaf, fillet it, blend it, strain it and store it in a jar in the fridge to add to water and teas. You can also purchase aloe vera juice in most stores.

Salmon: Salmon is both delicious and packed full of beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D. Omega 3's are beneficial as they encourage a good balance of healthy bacteria in your gut but also helps to decrease the bodies overall inflammation. When your gut isn't in good shape (perhaps you've developed leaky gut?) salmon is a good option to help your put a damper on all that inflammation. When shopping around for salmon make sure to purchase wild caught. Farm raised salmon contains a myriad on toxins and PBDE's which are known to accumulate in the body over time (causing negative health affects).

Apple Cider Vinegar: It's great in salad dressing, in kimchi, or added to a myriad of drinks. Like a good friend it's also a giver in that it encourages more hydrochloric acid (HCL) within the stomach. This HCL is better able to breakdown food which aids in overall digestion and lessens the load on the digestive track. It's also antimicrobial and can inhibit the growth of certain kinds of bacteria.