The Gut Brain Connection and Top 7 Foods to Help Your Gut
Subject Line: The Gut/Brain Connection – and top 7 foods to help your gut. You’ll never believe what number five is!
With 80 percent of your immune system located in the gut, it makes supporting gut health incredibly important. Many neurological diseases are being traced back to the gut like depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD and Parkinson’s. Bone broth is full of gut-healing nutrients like collagen and L glutamine that also help reduce inflammation. It also is a great source of protein and fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K that are critical for optimal brain health. Consuming broth on a daily basis is an excellent way to nourish the body, heal the gut, and boost the immune system.
Check out this blog post for more information on how to make your own nourishing broth.
Gut health relies on a healed gut lining as well as a healthy balance of bacteria, or more commonly referred to as microbiome. Fermented foods are high in probiotics, essentially are the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut, and are important to incorporate into your diet to maintain a healthy microbiome. Some of the best ferments to consume are sauerkraut and kimchi.
Not a fan of just plain old sauerkraut? Check out this Fennel Apple Kraut Slaw as well as Cucumber Kraut Slaw to switch things up a bit and get more fermented foods into your diet!
Cultured dairy is essentially dairy that has been fermented with lactic acid bacteria. Homemade yogurt or kefir is full of probiotics, often times more probiotics than store-bought yogurt due to the fact that homemade yogurt cultures longer than most yogurts sold at your local grocery store. Plus, by making your own homemade yogurt or kefir, you can choose the quality of dairy and ingredients used. Most store-bought dairy is not made from grass-fed, humanely raised cows and is loaded with sugar and other processed ingredients.
If you are dairy intolerant, you can opt for making coconut water kefir which you can use to make other drinks like this super hydrating Coconut Water Kefir Electrolyte Water.
Prebiotics are essentially what probiotics feed off of in the gut. In order to maintain a healthy microbiome, you must consume adequate amounts of prebiotics so the beneficial bacteria can thrive. One of the best sources of prebiotics is raw garlic. Garlic, often times referred to as nature’s antibiotic, also has antimicrobial properties and has been known to help eliminate bad bacteria from the gut.
A delicious way to get raw garlic into your system is by blending it into a tasty and versatile pesto that can be served with meat and seafood or as a zesty dip for veggies.
While coconut oil is an excellent source of healthy fats, it also has incredible healing properties as well. Coconut oil is great for inflammation but also is antimicrobial which helps eradicate bad bacteria lingering in the gut. Coconut oil also helps remove waste and toxins from the digestive tract that may have built up causing health issues like digestive discomfort or even neurological complications like depression, brain fog and anxiety.
The best way to use coconut oil is for high temperature cooking or frying. You can also use it mixed in with smoothies or on top of oatmeal in the morning.
Chlorella has been referred to as a near-perfect food due to the incredible range of health benefits. For starters, chlorella is used to help detoxify by acting as a binding agent and removing toxins from the body. Many toxins like heavy metals and mercury build up and can cause neurological issues and brain fog that chlorella can help eliminate from the body. It is also rich in B vitamins, iron and fiber.
Chlorella can be consumed in powder or supplement form. Check out some smoothie recipe ideas here for use with the powder form.
Most people struggle to get enough fiber into the diet, leading to a myriad of health issues. Fiber helps to eliminate the buildup of toxins in the body. One of the easiest ways to incorporate more fiber into your diet is by supplementing with psyllium, a soluble fiber that is also a great prebioitc source as well! Once psyullium is ingested, it expands into a gel-like mass and draws water from the colon to promote easy elimination and optimal gut health.
You can consume psyllium in a powder or supplement form and make sure to only buy organic psyllium as many sources are contaminated with pesticides. The powder is also great mixed in with smoothies or oatmeal!