WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT A HEALTHY GUT?
Kombucha, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir… The world is literally bursting at the seems with probiotics these days, okay, maybe it’s just my local Whole Foods 😉 But what’s awesome is that there are SO many probiotic foods available to us that we can use to create a super healthy gut!
But what I want to know is how do you actually foster a healthy gut with probiotics? What can I do to make sure my probiotic foods are actually making my gut healthier? That’s the burning question of the day my friends.
Keeping your gut healthy does more than just reduce bloating and promote a healthy lifestyle.
An unhealthy gut can contribute to a wide range of conditions including anxiety, depression, diabetes, obesity, a weak immune system, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Of course, it also affects digestion and elimination. Read more about IBS and gut health right here.
I recently started taking care of my gut, and I’ve noticed myself waking up every morning with more energy and motivation—I’ve also noticed a boosted metabolism and a stronger immune system. Keeping my gut healthy has made me a better me, and I’d encourage everyone to nutriment (nourish through nutrients) your gut to be a healthier version of yourself!
EVERYONE NEEDS A HEALTHY GUT
The gut microbiota (gut flora) refers to the bacteria that reside in your gut, which works in several ways to help the body function properly. The gut microbiota helps the body digest certain foods that the stomach and small intestine aren’t able to digest. It also helps with the production of both Vitamin B and Vitamin K. Two of the most important things that the gut microbiota does is help our immune system and our digestive system. I’d argue that they’re the two most important systems in the body.
Two of the most important things that the gut microbiota does is help our immune system and our digestive system. I’d argue that they’re the two most important systems in the body.
For the immune system, it forms a barrier to block bad bacteria so that we can remain healthy. As far as our digestive system, the gut microbiota keeps it healthy and functioning properly. This bacteria in our gut affects and helps our entire body, which is why it’s so important to keep it healthy.
The main message: Eat right to keep your gut feelin’ good.
EAT THESE PREBIOTICS FOR A HEALTHY GUT
Prebiotics are foods that aren’t digestible, in a good way! They promote the growth of the good bacteria in your gut. Here’s a list of some prebiotic foods:
- Leafy greens
My all-time favorite prebiotic is almond butter. I put in on apples, toast, and it goes great in smoothies! All the brands of almond butter that I’ve tried have been so yummy—just make sure that the only ingredient in the butter is almonds.
EAT THESE PROBIOTICS FOR A HEALTHY GUT
Probiotics are foods that contain healthy and beneficial microorganisms. Keep in mind these must be kept refrigerated to keep the porbiotics alive. Here’s a list of some probiotic foods:
- Cultured dairy products (yogurt, kefir)
- Cultured non-dairy products (coconut yogurt, cashew yogurt)
- Fermented condiments (real kimchi, real sauerkraut, real pickles)
- Fermented beverages (kombucha)
- Probiotic supplements
How Sam protects her gut health:
One of my favorite ways to ensure I’m consuming probiotics every day is to take a shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning. Raw apple cider vinegar has proven to be a great remedy for improving digestion. The living enzymes contained inside help break down food to its bare components, therefore making it easier to digest. The acetic acid that’s present in apple cider vinegar also helps with mineral absorption, enabling us to get the most nutrients out of the foods that we eat. I take my shot in the morning with lukewarm water and lemon juice—it’s a refreshing way to start off the day. The brand that I recommend is Bragg, but any vinegar that says “raw” and with “the mother” will work just as well!
Another one of my favorite ways to consume probiotics is by drinking kombucha tea. I could write an essay about why I love kombucha so much, but I’ll save you the time. Kombucha is naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast which improve digestion, fight off harmful yeast (candida), aid in mental clarity, and improve mood stability.
I’d really love to stress that everybody’s body is completely different and reacts differently to different foods. Personally, I follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, red-meat free diet, which keeps me feeling clean, energized, and healthy. I’ve noticed that for my own body, I need poultry and fish to feel full and energized, so I chose not to cut out meat completely.
Don’t feel like you have to eliminate whole food groups in order to live a healthy lifestyle; I truly believe that life is all about balance in every aspect. Experiment with different diets and do what works for you. I hope this influenced all of you beautiful readers to take extra-good care of your gut so you can be the best version of yourself!
TAKEAWAY: YOU NEED A HEALTHY GUT
The thing is, we all have a different gut environment. And everything from day to day stress, poor sleep, and the foods we eat can impact our gut health. But don’t worry, you can do LOTS of things to rebuild and protect your healthy gut!
Ready? Download this ultimate gut health workbook to get started: