Do you struggle with gut issues? Bloated? Constipated? Look pregnant but definitely not carrying a baby? You are not alone in this battle with the belly. Many women struggle with gut problems and it can be solved in most cases with a better understating of your own body and good nutrition.
The gut is known as the second brain as it is so important in helping the whole body to function optimally. When you feel amazing in your stomach, you feel energised, light and free to think without being distracted by the discomfort around your waistline. When you feel bloated, uncomfortable and want to just wear lounge pants all the time no matter the occasion then maybe it’s time to heal the gut.
What 3 Foods are Bad for Your Gut?
There are many foods that can disrupt the gut depending on lifestyle, past eating habits, and current health issues. For the sake of simplicity, there are a few common foods that can cause an imbalance in digestion leading to gut issues, here are 3 foods that can be bad for the gut:
Animal products – For some people, animal products can cause issues in the gut. Dairy can be a huge problem for many people with digestive issues. Meat can be hard to digest for some people and lead to issues such as diarrhea. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it is worth paying attention to whether there is a correlation between eating animal products and the gut issues you experience. Perhaps, reduce the amount of animal products and take note of any improvements in the gut.
- Diet high in unhealthy fats – Avoid fried foods, processed oils and adding a copious amount of butter or oils to meals. Focus on wholesome fats such as olive oil in sensible quantities, avocado, peanut butter and flaxseeds.
- Artificial sweeteners and sugars – Artificial sweeteners and sugars can affect the gut microbiome leading to issues in the gut. Read Beware of Artificial Sweeteners Side Effects and 7 Foods That Curb Sugar Cravings.
How Can I Heal My Gut Naturally?
If you are suffering from gut issues, the first step is to grab a notepad and pencil. You want to start taking note of when your stomach feels off – whether that’s bloated, constipated or diarrhea. Note the times of the day as well as the meals eaten that day and soon you will start to see a pattern in the meals, foods, and time of day you feel discomfort.
Secondly, be open-minded to the changes coming your way. It can be challenging having to give up certain foods, but it is totally worth it when you start feeling better in your stomach. You will find that your improved gut health outweighs that certain food or meal you thought you couldn’t live without.
The third step is to take it one day at a time and one change at a time. Do not rush in to taking all the foods out that you think are triggering issues in the gut because if you do this then you won’t know which foods are the culprit to that major bloat. Get an idea of which foods you think might be causing the issues and start with one food and eliminate it. Make notes on how you feel without that food, if you feel better keep it out for now and then eliminate another food that you think still might be a trigger food. The key is to take it slowly so you can pay attention to your gut and gain a better understanding of your own body.
The fourth step is to follow the 5 steps below to help heal your gut naturally.
5 Steps to Heal Your Gut Naturally
Simplify meals. Reduce complex recipes and meals whilst figuring out which foods trigger your discomfort. Have just two to four different foods in each meal. For example, at breakfast make porridge with oats, water and banana then top with more banana and apple.
- Eat salads and raw vegetables during the day (i.e. lunch) and avoid in the evening as it can be difficult for the stomach to digest raw vegetables later in the day. Instead, eat cooked vegetables in the evening at dinner which is soothing for the digestive tract. The stomach doesn’t want to be trying to digest raw vegetables when trying to sleep at night.
- Drink tea as it is soothing, nourishing and calming for the body, including the gut. Ditch coffee and caffeinated tea as caffeine can be disruptive to digestion. Enjoy teas such as rooibos, cinnamon, ginger and herbal blends.
- Eat a wholesome balanced diet to ensure the body is getting a good variety of nutrients. Sometimes a lack of nutrition can lead to digestive issues as the body needs nutrients to thrive.
- Eat mindfully. One of the simplest steps to helping the gut is eating mindfully as the more in tune with the body you are you won’t overeat or undereat but will eat the right amount of food that you need. Digestive issues can happen whether someone eats too much food or too little.
Check out How to Restore Healthy Gut Flora.
7 Foods to Heal The Gut
- Bananas – Packed with fibre and deliciously simple on digestion. Bananas are perfect for soothing digestive issues! Start the day with a few bananas if the stomach is upset as it will help to settle the stomach. Check out 6 Amazing Reasons to Eat Bananas.
Apples – Ssimilar to bananas, apple are gentle on the stomach and can be settling on the stomach for a snack or alongside breakfast especially when suffering with digestive issues.
- Rice – This grain is perfect for healing the gut. If you are struggling with gut problems, eat rice at main meals alongside a few cooked vegetables to help calm digestion.
- Gluten-free bread – When digestion is on a rollercoaster sometimes eating a simple piece of bread can be very helpful to soothe stomach upset, however, some people can’t tolerate wheat, so focus on gluten-free bread and enjoy a piece of toast or slices of bread with warming soup to help the gut.
- Potatoes – White and sweet potatoes can help to heal the gut as they are a nutritious starch which digests well in the stomach. Enjoy alongside rice!
- Avocado – Carbohydrates can be great for digestion, however, make sure to add healthy fats in some meals to aid better digestion. Add a delicious creamy ripe avocado to rice and vegetables for a simple meal that can support better digestion.
- Cooked vegetables – When digestion is poor focus on cooked vegetables rather than raw salads and vegetables. Steam, saute, add to stews, soups and stir fry for warming nutritious vegetable meals.
What is your favourite food to soothe the gut?