“I’m trying to heal my gut, what do I eat?” a common question I hear in my private practice from those who want to rebuild a healthier gut.
This will depend on the environment (the imbalance/issue)- we can determine this through testing and assessments. For example, the nutritional healing process for bacterial vs. fungal overgrowth vs. killing a parasite all look different. However, the items listed on this plate always stay constant.
Here’s what I recommend for STEP 1 gut healing:
- 🍗Protein. Our gut requires amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to repair. Ensure that you are eating enough and maximizing absorption when you do.
- 🫖Bone broth. Bone broth is rich in two amino acids, glutamine and glycine in particular. These AA’s can assist with lowering inflammation, healing the gut lining and supporting hydration.
- 🥕Low fermentable carbohydrates. One of the most important components with bacterial overgrowth issues like SIBO is removing the bacteria’s food source. Both good and bad bacteria love fermentable carbohydrates. Please keep in mind though, these should not be removed forever for the diet. Only long enough to change the environment!!
- 🍋Acid source. It’s almost always that with gut imbalances, there is hypochloridia, or low stomach acid issues. Adding an acid source before starting a meal can help support digestion, amongst several other things.
- 🌱Demulcents/succulents. Demulcents are hydrophilic plants- they help absorb water. Succulents like aloe vera help reduce inflammation and mild constipation. You can add these as teas/tinctures/gels to a beverage or seasoning.
As discussed on my Podcast, the rebuild process is so incredibly important to long-term health. If you do not complete this process after step 1, there will be very low levels of commensal (good) bacteria.
Here’s what you’ll need for STEP 2:
- 🍇Polyphenols. These are compounds found mainly in berries that feed keystone species like akkermansia bacteria. It is VERY common to have low levels of this very beneficial bacteria that helps degrade mucin. We can rebuild it with lots of polyphenols!
- 🥑 Prebiotics. Load up on lots of plants and plant types. Foods like asparagus, artichoke, avocado, black beans and mushrooms are some of my favorites for rebuilding the gut.
- 🧅 Sulfur sources. Foods like onions and garlic that are rich in sulfur help support antioxidant production. Sulfur is also incredibly important for our liver’s detoxification processes.
- 🌶 Fermented foods. Now that you have finished step 1, you can start to add in probiotics from food and supplemental forms. Keep in mind that this should be specific to your needs and that’s why you should work with a practitioner and not self prescribe probiotics.
- 🍗 Protein. Critical to the repair of our gut and also to support healthy stomach acid production. Ensure that you are eating it at each meal to help rebuild stomach acid levels.
You are on your way to rebuilding a healthier and more robust gut microbiome!