Heal Your Gut to Heal Your Life

Have you ever heard a pregnant woman make the classic pregnant-woman-joke that she’s “eating for two”?

Oh, Carol, you’re a hoot! Twelve tacos isn’t too many tacos!

But what if I told you that Carol is actually eating for trillions? And you are too?

It’s true. Inside your gut microbiome there’s a whole alien world of trillions of bacteria swimming around your midsection that live in you and on you. The foods you eat directly affect the diversity and health of this microbiome and in many ways determine whether this microscopic society will blossom or bust.

And some people are even going as far as eating freeze dried poop pills to heal it. (No joke.)

But why?

Because so much of your general health, wellbeing, and ability to lose weight is directly dependent on the health of your gut. It affects your immune system, inflammation, and your propensity for obesity or slenderness.

What’s more, it even affects your emotions, mood, and, subsequently, your choices.

Yep, the brain isn’t the only organ do the heavy lifting in this department.

Your gut, and the trillions of bacteria that live inside it, are indeed some of the most key players in your general wellbeing and emotional health.

Gut feelings, it turns out, are a very real thing. This is why you might find yourself running to the bathroom in times of high anxiety, getting stopped up in times of depression, or experiencing that dramatic Shakespearean pang to in your stomach when you confront a powerfully heightened emotion.

Who would’ve thought that your intestines had so much to do with your personality! 

In my opinion, gut health is the most underestimated and unknown element of health out there.

So what should you eat to support the health of your gut?

While clean eating will take care of most your concerns in this department, you’re still going to want to consume PRObiotic foods, which contain the good bacteria, and PREbiotic foods, which provide nourishment for the probiotics.

Fermented and cultured foods all contain different types of gut-supporting PRObiotic bacteria. These foods include:

  • kefir

  • yogurt

  • sauerkraut

  • kimchi

  • pickled veggies

  • miso

  • kombucha

  • tempeh

  • (real) sourdough bread (my favorite brand is "Bread Alone")

PREbiotics are a type of indigestible plant fiber that ensure the PRObiotic foods do their job. These include:

  • beans

  • legumes

  • apples

  • cocoa

  • flax seeds

  • oats

  • jerusalem artichokes

  • garlic

  • leeks

  • bananas

PROBIOTIC PRO TIP: When shopping for your probiotic foods, make sure they’re housed in the refrigerated section of the market, do not contain vinegar, and are “cultured” and “unpasturized” if possible.

While it’s true that we as a scientific society still have a long way to go with gut research, for many people, the proof’s in the pudding, and eating to support your gut has such immediate and visceral effects that, like all food, you don’t need a scientist to explain exactly why it makes you feel better to know that it’s good for your body.

Now tell me: what're YOUR favorite gut-healthy foods?