An eating lifestyle to heal your gut
Your gut is in charge. Your microbiome influences your mood, your weight, your immune system, and much, much more. So make sure it is well fed! This is not a "diet". Don't waste your money on that "juice cleanse" and expensive diet fad. Forget the tedious calorie counting and just eat slowly and mindfully until your gut is satiated. Follow this high-fiber, low-carbohydrate, low-glycemic index, microbiome-diversifying, poop-perfecting, cancer-preventing, low-FODMAP, acid-reflux lowering food lifestyle to keep your gut happy & healthy.
Eat fruits. All of them. But more of these: Avocado, bananas, berries, citrus, papayas
Eat veggies. All of them. But more of these: Leafy greens (spinach, swiss chard, lettuce), broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, potatoes (sweet potatoes, yams), squash, pumpkin, tomatos, root veggies (turnip, carrots, parsnip), sprouts (alfalfa), bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, green beans, fennel, endive, fresh corn, snow peas, olives
Eat nuts. All of them. But more of these: Almonds, brazil nut, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, almond butter, peanut butter
Eat seeds. All of them. But more of these: Sunflower, pumpkin, poppy, sesame, chia, flax
Eat protein. Plenty of bean protein (chickpeas, lentils... eat hummus often!), plenty of fish (wild! not farmed), some eggs and free-range chicken and try all of the non-animal protein (tofu, seitan, tempeh)
Eat unprocessed grains. Bread made from spelt/whole wheat/sourdough, pasta made from brown rice/quinoa, brown rice, oats, polenta, faro, millet, quinoa, tapioca
Eat non-dairy “dairy”: Almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, soy milk, cheese made from soy & nuts, vegan butter/mayo/sour cream/cream cheese
Stay hydrated! Drink a ton of water, unsweetened teas (green tea), black coffee. Also sparkling water/seltzers, and spicy lemonade (lemon/agave/cayenne)
Vegan sweet treats (sparingly, of course!): Ice cream (try Van Leeuwen vegan chocolate), cupcakes (try ByChloe), cookies (try Nana's), coconut whipped cream (So Delicious), sorbet (any-- but watch the sugar content!), rice pudding, dark chocolate
Alcohol: Red wine. Keep it classy! Max 2 drinks/day for men, 1 drink/day for women. Cheers!
Make it taste good:
Spices: cardamom, chili powder/pastes, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry, fennel seeds, ginger, marjoram, nutmeg, paprika, pepper, saffron, star anise, tarragon, turmeric, porcini powder
Herbs: basil, chives, cilantro, mint, lemongrass, oregano, parsley, rosemary, lavender, sage
Sauces- soy sauce/tamari, tahini, olive oil, natural ketchup, vegan pesto, Worcester sauce, bbq sauce, mustard
Sweeteners: agave, maple syrup, stevia
Gut bug power foods:
Kimchi, coconut yogurt, kombucha, miso, pickles, tempheh, sauerkraut
The background principles behind #feedyourgut
First, embrace FIBER...
- For oh so many reasons, fiber needs to be the cornerstone of your diet. Feed your gut microbiome!
"Dietary fiber and diversity of the microbiota complement each other for better health outcomes. In particular, beneficial microbes feast on fermentable fibers—which can come from various vegetables, whole grains and other foods—that resist digestion by human-made enzymes as they travel down the digestive tract. These fibers arrive in the large intestine relatively intact, ready to be devoured by our microbial multitudes. Microbes can extract the fiber's extra energy, nutrients, vitamins and other compounds for us. Short-chain fatty acids obtained from fiber are of particular interest, as they have been linked to improved immune function, decreased inflammation and protection against obesity" Justin Sonnenburg, a biologist at Stanford University; adapted from Scientific American, "Fiber-Famished Gut Microbes Linked to Poor Health"
- An increase in fiber intake increases post-meal fullness and decreases hunger leading to decreased calorie intake and weight loss.
- Increasing dietary fiber has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of gaining weight and fat in women.
- Soluble fiber is the best way to generate short-chain fatty acids via microbial fermentation, such as butyrate, which has anti-inflammatory effects and may protect against inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis)
- Fiber is protective against colorectal cancer, particularly fiber of vegetable or fruit origin
- You’ll live longer! Higher fiber intake is associated with lower mortality, particularly from circulatory, digestive, and inflammatory diseases.
- for more, see the "poop" section
Next, forget about...
1. PROCESSED FOODS
- For example, emulsifiers are common food additives in processed foods that cause inflammation leading to an increased risk of
- Removing dairy is part of the low FODMAP diet, which restricts foods high in short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed, osmotically active, and rapidly fermented by bacteria, resulting in abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. In fact, in IBS patients, a low FODMAP diet led to adequate relief of overall IBS symtpoms in 40-50% of patients and significantly greater improvement in pain and bloating.
- They contain testosterone-like hormones, which may stimulate oil glands in the skin and contribute to acne
- Lactose is digested into D-glucose and D-galactose and exposure to D-galactose leads to aging, oxidative stress damage that may shorten your life span, chronic inflammation, and decreased immunity
- Food with significant sugar content and high glycemic loads affect serum insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 levels, both of which promote increased production of androgens leading to acne
- High glucose and insulin peaks increase levels of Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) leading to insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity
4. RED/PROCESSED MEATS
- Eating red meats and processed meats has been associated with increased all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality
5. GRILLING, FRYING, BBQ'ing and SMOKING
- Cooking meat at high temperatures for a long time (eg, barbecuing, grilling, frying) has been implicated as contributing to increasing colon cancer risk, as well as stomach, and esophageal cancer, due to the production of polyaromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines which are mutagens and carcinogens produced from proteins in the charring process. And the more well done and charred the meat is, the higher the cancer risk.
-Fried meat associated with a higher risk of cancer of the oral cavity/ pharynx and esophagus