The Key to Unlocking Your {Gut} Health

The health of our Gut {our microbiome} is super important! Inflammation within our gut can cause a host of unwanted health symptoms, from fatigue and chronic constipation to irregular periods. A few changes to our diet and lifestyle, just might be the key to unlocking our gut health and controlling these symptoms that are brought on by inflammation caused by the foods we eat.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to reduce inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator. We need to be sure that we take into consideration foods that can help and hurt our gut health. By following an anti-inflammatory diet you can fight off inflammation for good and help the good bacteria in your gut flourish!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

According to the National Institutes of Health, the gut bacteria that causes inflammation is

R. gnavus. It can become the most common species of bacteria in the gut when the disease flares up. Plus, R. gnavus lives in the mucus layer of the intestine, where the immune system may be more likely to react to it.

If you are struggling with digestive or inflammatory conditions, here are five food additives to watch out for:

  1. Calcium carbonate

  2. Carrageenan

  3. Lecithin

  4. Polysorbate 80

  5. Xanthan gum

These ingredients are known as “emulsifiers” {additives that help keep foods from separating and increase their shelf life}. Unfortunately, they disrupt interactions between the gut bacteria and the mucus layer, so it’s best to avoid these when possible!

With our gut closely tied to nearly every other system and organ in the body, it’s crucial to learn how to nourish it with diet and lifestyle choices.

Foods that cause inflammation:

  • refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries

  • French fries and other fried foods

  • soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages

  • red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)

  • margarine, shortening, and lard

Try to avoid these foods as much as possible.

Anti-Inflammation Nutrition & GUT Health:

Fruits and Veggies have Polyphenols, which are good for us and good for our gut, they also fight inflammation.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ✔️Polyphenols are micronutrients that we get through certain plant-based foods. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ✔️They're packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's thought that polyphenols can improve or help treat:

  1. digestion issues⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  2. weight management difficulties⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  3. diabetes⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  4. neurodegenerative disease⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  5. cardiovascular diseases.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Foods that fight inflammation:

  • tomatoes

  • nuts

  • fruit {strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges}

  • olive oil

  • leafy greens {spinach, kale, and collards}

Try to incorporate these foods into your diet as much as possible.

Polyphenols act on the gut microbiota by increasing the growth of beneficial bacteria which produce compounds scientifically proven to promote our health and well-being.

Bonus: these phytochemicals {various biologically active compounds found in plants} have the potential to improve depression because of their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects {they also give fruits and veggies their color}.

Top Foods with Polyphenols

  • Cloves and other seasonings

  • Cocoa powder and dark chocolate

  • Berries

  • Non-berry fruits

  • Beans

  • Nuts

  • Vegetables

  • Soy

  • Black and Green Tea

  • Red Wine

Potential risks and complications of polyphenols

The risks and complications seem to be most heavily associated with taking polyphenol supplements. More research is needed to evaluate the actual risk of these complications, which include:

  • carcinogenic effects

  • genotoxicity {the property of chemical agents that damages the genetic information within a cell causing mutations, which may lead to cancer}

  • thyroid issues

  • estrogenic activity in isoflavones

  • interactions with other prescription medications⠀

It’s best to consume polyphenols through fruits and vegetables that naturally have them, instead of through artificially made supplements.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Fun fact: only 2% of Polyphenols get absorbed the other 98% control the bacteria in our gut!

If your goal is to reduce inflammation, transition to a more natural, less processed diet comprised of anti-inflammatory foods. The Mediterranean diet, which is predominately plant-based {high in fruits and vegetables}, nuts, whole grains, moderate amounts of fish, and healthy oils can have noticeable effects on your physical and emotional health.

"A healthy diet is beneficial not only for reducing the risk of chronic diseases, but also for improving mood and overall quality of life", says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Do you try to eat the rainbow? If so, I'd love to know how you meal plan!

Let's connect!

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The Gram





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