Natural hormone balance

How to improve gut health with simple dietary changes

One of the easiest ways to balance your hormones naturally is to improve gut health. Your gut contains both good and bad bacteria. An overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut can lead to many health issues. 60-80 % of the immune system is located in your gut. Today I will be discussing how to improve gut health with simple dietary changes.

 

What are signs of gut health issues?

  • Bloating, gas, diarrhea and other digestive issues
  • Sugar cravings
  • Anxiety, depression, mood swings, irritability
  • Skin issues such as acne, allergies, eczema, roscea
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia, night sweats
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty losing weight

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? Here are some dietary changes that will make a difference.

Remove Inflammatory foods

  • Remove processed and refined foods

Processed foods contain large amounts of hidden sodium, unhealthy fats and sugar. When food is processed, many essential nutrients and fibers are lost. Avoid food from boxes and packages. Lean to cook and eat whole foods as much as possible.

  • Eliminate sugar

Sugar causes many problems in your body. It has no nutritional value and adds empty calories to your diet. Large amounts of sugar can also cause insulin resistance. Bad bacteria in your mouth and gut increase and flourish from high sugar consumption. Be aware of hidden sources of sugar. Read labels. Sugar is often found in condiments such as BBQ sauce, salad dressings and ketchup. Frozen dinners are another unexpected source. Corn syrup,.anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, cane sugar, corn sweetener, fructose and cane juice are all names for sugar that you will commonly find on food and drink labels.

  • Avoid artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners decrease good bacteria levels in the gut. Studies show that they can cause glucose intolerance and actually contribute to weight gain.

  • Limit caffeine consumption

High amounts of caffeine reduces the amount of stomach acid available for digestion. It can cause acid reflux and aggravate IBS and other bowel disorders.

 

Keep hydrated

Drinking adequate amounts of water is one of the easiest and best things you can do for your body. Dehydration slows down your digestive system and can result in constipation. Drink a glass a water first thing when you get up in the morning and at each meal. Carry water with you to sip throughout the day. You can check your hydration status by the color of your urine. You will have clear, yellow urine if you are well hydrated. Dark, concentrated urine is a sign that you need to drink more water.

 

 

 

 

Eat Fermented Foods

Probiotics are live beneficial gut bacteria that help promote a healthy digestive system . Taking probiotic supplements is an option, but can also be expensive. There are several natural probiotic foods that can be consumed daily.

 

  • Yogurt

Look for full fat, plain yogurt that contains live cultures. Avoid yogurt made with high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. Non dairy yogurt made with rice, soy or almond milk can also be beneficial and easier to digest.

 

  • Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that tastes similar to yogurt. In comparison, it usually contains at least 10 types of live bacteria and also contains yeast. Yogurt typically contains 3 types of live bacteria.

 

  • Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage. It naturally contains Lactobacillus bacteria.

 

  • Coconut oil

Coconut oil has antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti fungal properties. It destroys harmful bacteria and yeast while restoring stomach acidity level.

 

 

 

 

  • Bone broth

Bone broth is stock made from animal bones. It contains minerals that support the immune system. Collagen in the broth heals your stomach lining and decreases intestinal inflammation. Buy this commercially or make your own.

 

Easy Homemade Bone Broth Recipe

 

 

Kimchi

Kimchi is a Korean side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables. It is sometimes referred to as Asian sauerkraut.

How to make kimchi

 

Final thoughts

Simple dietary changes can make a major difference in improving gut health and immunity. Eat as clean as possible. Avoid unnatural, processed foods. Be aware of hidden sources of sugar. Drink lots of water. Eat probiotic/fermented foods daily. Limit caffeine intake.

Learning to cook your own food will go along way in making the recommended changes.

 

Try making these changes and let me know how it worked out for you in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. Love, love, love your article! I am a huge leaky gut sufferer and it was through your suggestions that 15 years ago I began to conquer my terrible symptoms. Today I am strictly meat and veg with the addition of kefir and bone broth. These are amazing tools to keep the gut in balance.

    1. Hi Stacy, I am happy that these suggestions worked for you. I will try some of your suggestions as well.

  2. Marques Pizarro says:

    I can tell you put a lot of effort into this article because there are so much content and detail about improving our health using diets. As a teenage bodybuilder, your tips are super helpful, such as eliminating sugars, sweets, and junk food. Then, you give important tips like staying hydrated. I love the recipes you share, I will definitely give them a try! Thank you so much, I will come back for more content just like this one!

    1. Hi Marques, i am glad you found this article helpful. Thank you so much for the encouraging words!

  3. Jacquie says:

    Gut health is so important and I found your article to be very helpful. I want to share this with a few people in my family.

    The only thing we knew was you need probiotics and I just wonder if it is good to just take a supplement? Instead of eating foods with probiotics? I just never know which brand is reliable.

    My daughter and I love kimchi and she wants me to make it at home. I’ve never done it. I printed out your recipe and I will definitely try it. Thank you.

    1. Hi Jacquie,

      I’m glad you found the article to be helpful to you and your family.

      The main  advantages of eating foods with probiotics  1. are you are definitely getting live active bacteria  2. food is more acid resistant  3.Food will also contain other beneficial nutrients. Supplements only contain bacteria.

      Probiotic supplements can definitely be helpful. Some people simply don’t like fermented food , travel and don’t eat at home a lot.  I should write an article on what to look for when choosing probiotic supplement. It is more in depth than what I can write in a few sentences. I would pick one that has at least 10 strains and 5 billion colony forming units. It is  also a good idea to switch and rotate probiotic supplements every few months. 

  4. This article caught my eye because I recently decided that I want to improve my gut health. Based on your discussion, I am going to cook my own food.That is the only way I will be able to control the quality of food that goes into my body. Interesting to know that sauces have sugar, Out with those for me. Thank you !

    1. Hi JJ,

      Cooking your own food as much as possible is definitely a good decision.Glad that I was able to help.

  5. Dr. Doug says:

    Great article Lisa. I am trying to add more fermented foods to my diet and hope to start making kimchi this summer. Now, during the winter, I am making bone broth but I roast the bone for 1 – 2 hours at around 300 degrees before making the soup. I had heard that this is a trick to help release the nutrients. I also add an organic beet root to it. Would you recommend addign beets to this diet?

    1. Hi Doug ,

      Beets would be a great addition to this diet. they would definitely help with  digestion as they contain lots of fiber,

  6. Karen says:

    This is a fantastic article on gut health. I appreciate the recipes you included. Very helpful. I make my own bone broth whenever I prepare a chicken or turkey.
    Is there any health benefits to adding apple cider vinegar to the broth?
    You mention adding yogurt to our diet, does Greek yogurt contain more probiotics? Thank you

    1. admin says:

      Hi Karen,

      Adding apple cider vinegar to bone broth is beneficial. It will help pull calcium and other minerals from the bones.

      Greek yogurt does tend to have more probiotics because it is more concentrated than regular yogurt.It also has more protein.

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