Feed that Gut!
In a previous article we covered a protocol to heal that leaky grumpy gut. Now let’s devote a little time to giving the gut what it wants! In turn, overall health benefits will abound!
A balanced, varied diet
First and foremost, at Cell Restore we are off the opinion that – in this current day and age – focusing on a healthy diet (in terms of food consumption) alone you can’t satisfy your body’s nutrient requirements. WHILEST we advocate personal tailormade supplementation as a first line of defence, we know you have to eat as well, so a whole-foods based diet will be pleasing to the gut. This general term, “whole-foods based,” simply refers to a dietary regimen composed of more natural food items including fruits, veggies, nuts, and whole grains in their original form.
A good rule of thumb is to eat foods as close to coming right out of the ground as possible, the least amount of processing involved the better. Unfortunately, there are no Cheeto farms or ice cream ponds… so no, sorry, these are not included in the plan. When visiting the grocery store, stick to the outside perimeter—A.K.A. the grocery store racetrack. The outer perimeter is where the fruits, veggies, fresh meats, nuts, and grains are typically located. If you do tend to venture more towards the inside-isles, that’s okay though, no need to beat yourself up about it, now’s the time to make some changes!
Moving on to the liquids department…hydration is of key importance and is essential to the body’s organs and cells! Dehydration can affect us in a number of ways including causing headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances, fatigue, and an inability to clear toxins from the body to name a few. Unfortunately, we often fall short of consuming our body’s daily requirements.
We wake up, have a nice, steamy cup of coffee or tea, have a soda or two throughout the day and end with more coffee or perhaps an after-dinner cocktail. All of these substances affect the body’s internal water balance. In addition, if you wait until you are actually thirsty to take a sip of water, you are likely mildly dehydrated at that point.
Think about it this way… have you ever chugged a big gulp of soda and immediately regretted it because your tummy gets all bubbly, prickly, and gassy? Now imagine our poor little cells, including those lining the gut lumen, the first ones to encounter substances like soda… all of a sudden, the cellular milieu is inundated with carbonated bubbles, phosphoric acid, caramel food colouring, benzoate, and fructose or sucrose molecules. And all cells really want is plain old water! Imagine trying to function with all of this surrounding you—it’s got to be distracting for our unlucky little cells! Nutrients and wastes need to flow freely in and out of our cells. Water, not soda, facilitates this process. So, give those cells some water.
Obtaining adequate fiber is another point of contention as most people do not consume enough on a daily basis. The National Institute of Health recommends 35 grams of fiber per day. Fiber prevents waste materials from becoming stagnant in the gut and therefore helps to keep things moving along. In addition to keeping the gut happy, it’s also essential for cholesterol management, weight loss, proper liver function, prevention of cardiovascular disease, prevention of cancer, and more. Fiber, specifically soluble fiber, also acts as a prebiotic for gut bacteria. They eat the fiber and give off SCFAs, the fuel for those gut cells. A future article will talk all about pre- and probiotics, so stay tuned.
Good sources of fiber include beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Refined foods tend to have less fiber due to manufacturing processes. As a frame of reference, a medium-sized pear has roughly 6 grams of fiber, while an avocado has about 12 to 14 grams. Beans are also a great source!
Now that a friendly reminder of the gut’s wants and needs has been offered, go out there and conquer! Afterwards, be sure to evaluate how well your gut is responding to these newly implemented changes by completing a Dried Blood Spot Profile. This test will allow you to monitor predominant amino acid levels which provides insight into flora, fiber intake, and inflammation in the gut. Any areas of weakness found in your individual results will focus your efforts in order to bring about a greater level of health.
Thanks for reading! Until next time, remember to keep your gut happy, healthy, and free of dysfunction!