Include these handy staples in your kitchen for gut health
Your gut has a direct impact on your entire body, including the brain. When you have an unhealthy gut, it affects everything from your mood to your circadian rhythms. An upset circadian rhythm can lead to hormonal issues and inflammation that can further create problems in your mind and body.
As a physician and fasting expert, I often see patients come in with gut issues, which affects everything. With that being said, to keep your gut healthy and happy, you don't need to break the bank or make things complicated. Most of you probably already have almost everything you need to tackle gut health with food.
Here are a few essentials you can find or must stock in your kitchen for good gut health.
Probiotics are a blessing for your gut and can be found in fermented foods and drinks such as pickles, kombucha, yogurt and cottage cheese. They help fight any gut disorders and prevent gut infections by increasing the production of good bacteria and keeping a check on the bad bacteria. Include probiotics in daily your meal plan for improved gut health.
It's advisable to consume cottage cheese in raw form. It contains L. acidophilus, B. Bifidum and four strains of lactic cultures that increase the production of good bacteria and keep bad bacteria in check. Pair it with your favorite fruits, or add it to your salads for optimal gut health. Read more about other beneficial probiotics, here.
Alliums are known to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties, making them a staple in several cuisines and traditional medicinal cultures. Alliums such as onions, garlic and shallots are enriched with flavonoids that boost immunity, prevent gut inflammation and blood clots and have anti-aging properties as well.
Onions are a great source of fiber and prebiotics. The good bacteria in your digestive system feeds on prebiotics. In addition to improving bowel movement, these indigestible fibers produce healthy fatty acids, including propionate, acetate, and butyrate, that boost immunity and benefit the digestive system.
From kale and spinach to broccoli and lettuce, leafy greens are a great source of vitamin A, C, E and K. They are enriched with nutrients like magnesium and chlorophyll that keep cortisol ( the stress hormone) in check and reduce oxidative stress. Such greens also assist in the production of innate lymphoid cells by your intestinal lining that prevents gut infections and disorders.
Fiber plays an important role in keeping your gut healthy and happy. While the soluble fibers like oats, peas and citrus fruits enrich your body with nutrients and feed the good gut bacteria, non-soluble fibers like nuts and potatoes ensure proper bowel movement. Maintaining a balance of these two types of fibers will ensure optimal gut health.
Nuts and seeds
They are a great source of fiber, vitamins and healthy fats that keep you energetic and fuller for longer. Almonds encourage the growth of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species that prevent gut inflammation, reduce cholesterol and keep your gut in good shape. You can snack on them or add them to your favorite salads and smoothies for better taste and several health benefits.
One of the easiest ways for me to get spices into my diet is to drink a cup of Chai Latte every day. It keeps me full and satiated, while providing several antioxidants. It consists of several spices that actively promote gut health, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger root, ground cardamom and ground cloves. It is anti-inflammatory, metabolism-boosting, and improves mood. You can also make your own by adding in fresh spices to your water or tea.
Beside helping to regulate body temperature and providing benefits for all organs. Studies have also shown that water has a beneficial effect on the mucosal lining of the intestines and balances the good bacteria in the gut.
Pro tip: Cook your meals
Instead of ordering in, try to cook as many meals as you can at home. Cooking meals yourself will help you get acquainted with the several benefits of all ingredients in your kitchen, and it will be much healthier.
Remember, there are several factors which affect gut health, not just food. Read more about them here.