Last post we talked about some general things to remember in aiding optimal digestion. Some of these things included chewing well, eating smaller portions, choosing local & organic, and exercising to reduce stress. This week I’d like to touch on how to optimize your gut flora or gut microbiome:
1. Cut back on refined foods and especially sugar. Fruits are ok in small quantities.
2. Eat fermented foods, e.g. kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles (salt-cured only), coconut yogurt, miso, kimchi. The process of fermentation
creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.
3. Reduce inflammation by avoiding excess Omega-6 and getting plenty of Omega-3s.
4. Take acid resistant probiotics – at least 10 billion per day if you have a healthy digestive system. And it is recommended that one switches brands regularly – or alternates between brands to get a good variety.
5. Get plenty of rest. Studies have shown that sleep disturbances such as sleep deprivation have been shown to increase inflammatory cytokines (proteins secreted by certain cells of the immune system & affect the behavior of other cells).
6. Adjust your fiber intake to a level that works for you. Some people do better with more, some people do better with less.
7. Eating plenty of gut-healing bone broth. Bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen (heals gut lining), glutamine, glycine and proline.
8. Are you gluten sensitive? Try excluding gluten from your diet for 30 days and then slowly reintroduce it to see if you have a reaction.
Next week, we’ll we’ll go into more detail about probiotics and fermented foods…Keep tuned in!
Here are some good sources of additional information: