Eating for Gut-Health

There is a common saying that goes something like “you are what you eat.” Scientifically speaking, that statement holds some truth. A healthy gut starts with what is put into the body. It is crucial to remove anything that could do more harm than good, and then to incorporate nutrients the gut microbiome needs to thrive.

It is important to see how the body reacts to each food that is consumed. Looking out for reactions to the typical allergens like dairy, gluten, soy, corn, lectins, sugars, eggs, and nightshade vegetables can be the first step. Many individuals have a hard time digesting dairy and gluten as this can lead to bloating, gas, and lethargy.

Soy and corn-based foods are one of the most controversial things out there. Soy and corn grown on certain farms may contain pesticides that contain glyphosate. Glyphosate has been found to cause leaky gut and can even prevent the body from absorbing amino acids that are vital to the body.

Lectins and sugars disrupt the gut flora and can contribute to inflammation. This inflammation may trigger an autoimmune response where the body ends up attacking itself.

Eggs and nightshade vegetables do not always cause problems, but they can. Eggs can cause problems if the hens are fed corn or soy-based diets. It is important to buy organic, cage-free, and free-range eggs whenever possible as this mimics the natural diet that hens are supposed to eat.

As for nightshade, they often contain lectins and sugar-binding proteins which can be the root of the problem.

Once steps are taken to avoid unnecessary triggers, it is time to add nutrients that benefit the microbiome. This should include natural prebiotic sources like sweet potatoes, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, nuts, seeds, plant-based proteins, organic eggs, and wild-caught fish. Probiotics should also be added in order to replenish the body with good bacteria. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, or kombucha are able to kill off pathogens but it can never hurt to take an extra probiotic supplement with multiple strains.  

Resources:

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-best-and-worst-foods-for-gut-health