As you may of noticed, I have been a little obsessed with gut health and gut healing lately. I have learnt about the gut and gut bacteria a hell of a lot with my course lately and I am fascinated. The gut is sometimes referred to as our second brain and it could be absolutely true. Our gut kinda feels like the center of our bodies and is interconnected with many body systems. When our gut or gut bacteria is off, it can throw off other processes in the body.
Why would I need to heal my gut?
I feel most of us take our gut for granted. In this western modern life we often eat for social reasons and for pleasure. This can lead to maybe not the best diet for our gut health and over time can lead to damage. It is hard to really know whether the gut is damaged. After all we cant see it. A common problem that can occur is a ‘leaky gut’ or intestinal permeability, if we want to be scientific. This is when the cells that line the gut can become less intact and damaged allowing large food particles or even pathogens to leak through to the blood stream. This can lead to less protection from getting sick, inflammation throughout the body and even inflammation in the brain causing headaches, fatigue and brain fog. Skin problems and joint pain are other signs of a leaky gut. IBS like symptoms like a change in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea and bloating are also tell tail signs.
IBS and a leaky gut
It is wise to consider the health of a perons gut if they have IBS as that is where the symptoms are present. There is strong evidence between IBS, a leaky gut and the balance of gut bacteria. If a persons gut bacteria is imbalanced and ‘bad bacteria’ are overgrown, causing damage to the lining of the gut this can lead to a leaky gut and IBS symptoms. If you are experiencing IBS symptoms try a gut healing diet for at least 4 weeks and see if there is an improvement.
Gut healing diet
If you feel you may need to have a detox and heal your gut, just one smoothie isn’t going to do it. It is recommended to avoid gluten and dairy. Gluten is a hard to digest protein and can irritate the walls of the intestines. If a person has damage in their gut, diary can increase IBS symptoms and act as a pro-inflammatory, so it is best to avoid diary during the healing process. As well as diary red meat is high in saturated fat which can also be inflammatory. The mind set to adopt is to consume as many fruits and vegetables as you can as well as easy to digest white meat. The consumption of fruits and vegetables are high in anti-inflammatory chemicals calming inflammation, as well as feeding good bacteria which will help to balance the gut microbiome. Collagen is really important for healing the lining of the gut so consuming white meat, bone broth and eggs will help to repair any damage. It is recommended that this diet is followed for a minimum of 4 weeks.
Gut healing smoothie
I like to start my day every day with a smoothie. I find it easy to digest, and it’s great to get all of those vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in first thing in the morning so you have it covered. Think about having a bacon balm for breakfast, it’s a lot of salt, gluten and saturated fat, it’s not going to be very helpful for a damaged gut. I know it’s sad. I love bacon too. Its freaking tasty. But once the gut is healed, bacon can still be eaten in moderation.
Coconut milk is a great milk choice. Is is diary and gluten free and incredibly soothing for the gut. Look at the ingredients and find the milk with the least additives. I find then Rude Health brand the best. It has nothing added and it tastes so so so good.
Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, fighting any harmful bacterias.
Mango also suppresses inflammation as well as feeding good bacteria with lots of fibre and plant chemicals. You could swpa mango for pineapple in the recipe for some pino colada vibes. Pineapples contain Bromelain, an enzymes that breaks down protein. It helps to reduce pain and inflammation in the gut, as well as helping to restore the health of the gut lining.
Banana is a very easily digested food, giving the gut a break. As well as being high in fibre and inulin stimulating good bacteria growth.
Check out some of my other favourite smoothie recipes here.