Our digestive tract, also known as our gut, is one of the most sensitive and interconnected systems in our body. We now know that our our gut is directly linked to our brain health, with both systems having the ability to communicate via the nervous system, hormones, and the immune system, meaning that our gut is essentially a portal to our overall health and mental well-being.
Unfortunately, many of us suffer from defective guts, caused by years of damage from foods that inflame or perforate our gut lining and promote the growth of ‘bad’ bacteria while lessening the ‘good’ bacteria, also known as probiotics. Some of these uncomfortable diseases can go unnoticed for decades, such as leaky gut or IBS, slowly ticking away at your quality of life until chronic disease manifests.
However, the good news is that we have the ability to heal our damaged guts, over time, by cutting out certain dietary triggers and replacing them with the right food sources.
Dr. Mercola has put together a wonderful list of 10 gut-healing superfoods that everyone should be incorporating into their regular diet regime, here they are!
10) Aloe Vera
As Mercola explains, “aloe vera gel is rich in enzymes and has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. It’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory, making it useful for soothing a number of digestive complaints.”
Aloe also contains high amounts of an immune-stimulating polysaccharide, especially mannose, which has been shown to induce white blood cells to secrete interferon, tumor necrosis factor, and beneficial cytokines.
Aloe is useful in the fight against:
- Candida infections
- Parasitic infections
- Ulcers, including those caused by H. pylori bacteria
- Crohn’s disease, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
9) Bone Broth
While bone broth doesn’t sound like the most appealing of things to ingest, it contains profound immune-optimizing components that are foundational building blocks for healing your gut.
Bone broth is especially helpful in the treatment of leaky gut, a disease which sees partially undigested food, toxins, viruses, yeast, and bacteria passing through your intestine, gaining access to your bloodstream and causing the body to react through inflammatory responses, allergic reactions, and more.
Once your gut lining is continually damaged, the specialized microvilli are rendered defective and our guts lose the ability to break down food and absorb nutrients.
It’s the gelatin in bone broth that has a healing effect on the gut, as well as trace amounts of other minerals and nutrients such as silicon and glucosamine.
8) Fermented Vegetables
Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, contain potent levels of probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that regulate digestion and immune responses.
Dr. Mercola states that “if you ferment your own vegetables, consider using a special starter culture that has been optimized with bacterial strains that produce high levels of vitamin K2. This is an inexpensive way to optimize your K2 levels, which are also crucial for good health.”
7) Coconut Kefir
This dairy-free alternative to traditional kefir uses fermented coconut water and contains higher levels of enzymes and probiotics than you would receive from supplementation.
It also contains beneficial yeasts which seek out and destroy pathogenic yeasts in the body (like Candida), as well as helping clean, strengthen, and purify intestinal walls so they can become more resistant to dangerous pathogens like E. coli, salmonella, and parasites.
6) Flaxseed Tea
This unique tea contains omega-3 fats as well as soluble fiber and anti-inflammatory lignans for a healthy gut.
To make the tea, steep one tablespoon of flaxseeds in boiling water overnight, drain seeds, and enjoy! Try using along with a hibiscus tea for more flavour.
5) Red Cabbage
Rich in the amino-acid L-Glutamine, red cabbage is soothing for any gut-related issues. Try it raw in a juice or lightly steamed.
This single-celled fresh water algae works to regulate gut pH, which keeps the overgrowth of harmful bacteria limited. It is also a major heavy metal and mercury detoxifier.
Moringa is a tree native to the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in northern India, and is commonly referred to as a ‘mop’ for our guts, efficiently cleaning out the remnants of an unhealthy diet. It’s high in protein, calcium, beta carotene, vitamin C, and potassium.
It also contains isothiocyanates, which have anti-bacterial properties that may help to rid your body of H. pylori, a bacteria implicated in gastritis, ulcers, and gastric cancer.
Psyllium is the fiber king, containing soluble fibers that act as prebiotics, helping nourish beneficial bacteria. These beneficial bacteria in turn assist with digestion and absorption of your food, and play a significant role in your immune function.
1) Chia Seeds
These tiny, versatile seeds can be used in a variety of creative ways, such as the delicious breakfast dish chia seed pudding, and act as gut soothing agents which are high in fiber as well as anti-inflammatory phyto-chemicals.
This a great list of foods to start with on your journey back to optimal gut health, consuming a variety of the foods listed in this article will undoubtedly help you feel and look your greatest!
Have you found success in eating more gut-friendly foods? Share with us in the comment section below!
Source: Dr. Mercola
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