What is the Best Diet for Gut Health?

So there’s Paleo, Keto, Whole30, Mediterranean, Carnivore, Vegan, Vegetarian, Intermittent fasting,  Anti-inflammatory… 

They all have their own rules to play by.

They all have their own restrictions and recommendations.

They all have supposed experts touting their benefits. So, which one should you go for????

Which diet do you need to mentally prepare for and go through physical withdrawal when all of your favorite foods don’t make the “good-for-your-gut-health” list?

Which foods do you need to toss from your cupboards and how much money do you need to drop at the grocery store in preparation for Monday… because you know, all diets start on a Monday!

Are you ready for our answer?

D. None of the above [you know D. is always reserved for “none of the above”!]

You don’t need to cut out ALL __________ [fill in the blank] in order to be healthy, heal your gut, or feel your best.  

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You don’t need rules and restrictions.

You need balance and variety.

Our approach to gut health is highly individualized, but there are certain elements that are important for everyone to incorporate into their daily rhythm. Here are some of the fundamentals that are essential to a healthy gut and a balanced life:

1. Eat the rainbow! Choose a variety of unprocessed plant based foods each week.

Different colors of fruits and vegetables have different pigments which contain different phytochemicals, antioxidants, and nutrients.  Choosing fruits and vegetables that cover all the colors of the rainbow will provide your body with a good range of vitamins and minerals. Consuming diversity and variety of plant fibers is important- the good bacteria in your gut thrive on plant based fibers, and different fibers fuel different bacteria. plants helps to ensure that your microbiome remains happy and well fed.  


2. Balance your nutrition with smart carbs + clean protein + healthy fats

This equation will not only provide balanced nutrition, but it will also help balance your blood sugar.  Erratic blood sugar levels have a negative impact on the microbiome and can contribute to leaky gut and dysbiosis (aka imbalance in your gut bacteria)..   

3. Pay attention to HOW you eat, not just what you eat

Digestion occurs in a state of relaxation- in order to properly digest and get all of the important nutrients from the foods that you consume, meal hygiene should be considered.  This will look like prioritizing 15 minutes to sit down and eat meals, pausing for 30-60 seconds to practice deep breathing before your first bite, removing distractions during meal time (this includes screens), and chewing your food to applesauce consistency.  

4. Prioritize movement

Regular and consistent exercise has countless benefits including the fact that it stimulates the vagus nerve, increasing vagal tone, and promoting communication between your brain and your gut.  This connection regulates the stomach’s acidity and promotes the transportation of food through your digestive system.

5. Make time for rest and relaxation

Your body’s fight or flight response does it’s best to protect you from stressors; however, living in a constant state of stress is going to lead to changes in your microbiome.  Stress will slow down digestion, decrease nutrient absorption and increase the risk of  leaky gut.  While it’s near impossible to completely eliminate all of the stress in your life, implementing 15 minutes of daily stress relieving activities can significantly improve your digestion and relieve stress-related symptoms. 

6. Practice a mindset that celebrates all the beautiful things that make you, YOU!!!

Mindset is everything.  Framing your life and your circumstances in a way that celebrates all that you’re thankful for promotes physical and mental wellness.  So, turn off social media, decline the lunch invitation from the friend who doesn’t build you up, and tune your ears to positive affirmations and the truth about who you are.  

We know a lot about gut health and time and time again we have worked with clients and helped them achieve great success in overcoming dreaded GI symptoms- Our process is no cookie-cutter process; however, the recommendations outlined above are topics that we address with everyone that we work with.

If you only take away one truth from this post, we want you to hear that your body needs to be nourished in order to heal. Any plan that creates stress, eliminates entire food groups, or causes you to under-eat is not going to be healthy, healing, or good for your gut! 

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