Five Plant Foods to Boost Gut Health
The gut is currently an area of intense research and studies are proving there lies a strong correlation between the health of your gut and the way you feel.
Did you know that in your gut lives trillions of different types of bacteria which play a huge role in your body’s biological processes? We now also know that the gut micro biome establishes and develops your immune system.
We often jeopardise this system by eating too much processed food, taking antibiotics, or experiencing chronic stress. When this happens, our health starts paying the price.
I believe we are just at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding gut health and the best ways to regulate it, but we do know for sure that diet plays a critical role in creating and maintaining a healthy environment in the tummy.
A plant-based diet is particularly helpful in assisting the good bacteria to thrive. All plant foods are prebiotics because they contain a non-digestible fibre that is used for energy by beneficial bacteria that live in your intestines. Plants give your microbes something to chew on, to break down, and extract the nutrients from. They literally feed the little bacteria what they love and need to survive.
A balanced micro-biome that’s healthy and strong is well-armed to fight off chronic health problems, inflammatory conditions, heart disease, cancers, and even dementia. My advice? Pile on the plants and enjoy.
Here are 5 foods that are particularly good for your gut:
It is beneficial to focus on incorporating naturally probiotic foods like fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh and kefir into your diet. They directly inoculate your gut with healthy, live micro-organisms that will crowd out the unhealthy bacteria, improve the absorption of minerals and overall health.
Studies continue to show blueberries may help strengthen our memory, improve our immune system, and diversify our gut bacteria.
In fact, University of Maine researcher Vivian Chi-Hua Wu states that, “The addition of wild blueberries to your diet can alter the balance of gut microbe in favour of members of the Actinobacteria phylum.” Wild blueberries have high prebiotic potential which promotes the growth of good bacteria in the colon.
The vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids in blueberries improve digestion by stimulating the correct gastric and digestive juices to move food smoothly and safely through your gastrointestinal system.
Celery improves circulation within the intestines, It is also useful for improving digestion by helping to relieve bloating and puffiness from water retention.
Many people suffer from lack of HCL (Hydrochloric Acid). This means your body cannot properly digest fibre, plant roughage, and absorb minerals which are crucial for your immune system. This creates toxic residue in the body which leaves you feeling less than great, and creates a breeding ground for bad bacteria and illness to establish itself.
Celery contains unique sodium compositions, and these mineral salts are bonded with many bioactive trace minerals and nutrients. Celery juice in the morning is particularly helpful in supporting the digestion of everything you eat that day, and over time, the minerals and mineral salts will help to restore your stomach’s HCL.
The soluble fibre found in oranges is fermented by our gut bacteria and one of the by-products is a fatty acid called butyrate. Butyrate is the preferred fuel source for the cells that line our GI tract, thereby maintaining a healthy gut. Remember, you must eat the whole fruit to reap this benefit since the soluble fibre is found mostly in the membranes that divide the segments of the orange.
Apples contain a natural pectin fibre which is why they are so great for your gut. Pectin feeds good bacteria and apples are also a good source of inulin and natural FOS (a beneficial type of sugar that feeds the gut). Pectin works like an intestinal broom to sweep debris from the colon. Apple pectin has also been shown to bind with radioactive residues and toxic heavy metals such as lead and mercury to safely expel them from the body.
The phytonutrients found in apples can help to protect the digestive organs from oxidative stress; they will also keep the body alkaline and balance pH levels.
Finally, apples stimulate the release of gastric and digestive juices to ensure efficient uptake of nutrients.
Guest Post Bio
Olivia Budgen is a Certified Health Coach and Entrepreneur who inspires people to heal themselves and take back control of their health through a plant-based lifestyle.
She realises it is critical to take responsibility for your own wellbeing if you want to live a life full of health, passion and purpose. Olivia spends her time blogging about all things related to wellness and providing delicious, plant-based, vegan recipes. She is the founder of the Clean Living Community where she mentors other health professionals on taking their business to the next level and creating their ideal life.