The Importance of Gut Health
If you are interested in current health trends, odds are you’ve heard the words “gut health” “microbiome” and “leaky gut” being talked about with increasing intensity, and for good reason.
Your gut microbiome plays an integral role in your body’s healthy inflammatory response and immune system function. In fact, balanced gut microbiome is imperative for healthy elimination, ideal digestion, and the absorption of nutrients.
Considering the immense importance of what a balanced gut does for our bodies, it’s important to feed it well, so to speak.
If we treat it poorly by continually feeding it the wrong kinds of foods, then problems can arise, often resulting in a “leaky gut”, or what the medical professionals call “intestinal permeability”.
The Problem With Leaky Gut
Ryan Raman, MS, RD explains in an article medically reviewed by Atli Arnarson BSc, PhD, that leaky gut is a condition where gaps in your intestinal walls start to loosen. The loosening of the intestinal walls makes it easier for bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles, to pass through the intestinal walls into your bloodstream.
Surprisingly, humans have an intestinal lining that covers more than 4,000 square feet of surface area. When this tight, protective barrier starts to crack or have holes, leaking all kinds of toxins and bacteria into the bloodstream, it doesn’t sound good, does it?
The issues that arise as a result of leaky gut are vast. The widespread inflammation caused by leaky gut syndrome can lead to autoimmune diseases, migraines, autism, food sensitivities, skin conditions, brain fog, and chronic fatigue.
If you are a person who is experiencing leaky gut issues, let’s explore several important foods that have been shown to promote a healthy gut.
Foods that Heal Your Gut
We need to start by eating a diet rich in foods that aid in the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. These kinds of foods repair and strengthen your gut lining.
It’s also recommended to take quality pre- and probiotics to accumulate plenty of good bacteria. If you get these two confused (prebiotics and probiotics), think of it this way: probiotics are the healthy gut bacteria and prebiotics (indigestible fiber) is the food for the probiotics. Consider the analogy that prebiotics is the fuel that makes the probiotics-car go!
- Sauerkraut – this fermented cabbage contains a wealth of good bacteria for your gut, while the high fiber content combats bloating and indigestion.
- Collagen – preferably in the form of bone broth, collagen is rich in amino acids that promote healthy digestion and support a healthy gut barrier.
- Pineapple – this delicious fruit offers more of a sweet healing remedy. Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that works as a digestive aid. It helps to break down large food molecules in your gut into smaller ones.
- Onion – preferably eaten raw, onions are a great source of prebiotics (remember the car fuel?). They also contain quercetin (an antioxidant) that has been shown to fight harmful free radicals in the body.
Doing what we can to keep our guts balanced and healthy will not only prevent a leaky gut, but will improve digestion, elimination, and keep our immune systems functioning as they should. Consider adding these four foods into your diet and see how they may be able to help your gut.