The Importance of Gut Health
It never fails: you decide now is the time to lose some weight or change your eating habits and you suddenly start craving sugary, high-calorie food. These cravings are both physiological and psychological, and a lot may have to do with your gut microbe. Neuroscientists have evidence that specific types of gut flora are responsible for helping detect which nutrients are missing in the body and what food is required in order to fulfill the need.
However, sudden cravings for foods like sugar and chocolate may be the result of microbes tricking your mind. Try out some of these tips to keep your gut health, satisfied, and away from “false alarms” for unhealthy foods.
Eat protein: Protein-rich foods may help fend off food cravings. Try including sources of lean protein in your diet, such as skinless chicken or turkey, fish, eggs, or low-fat cheese.
Find a distraction: Many cravings are psychological, caused by boredom, anxiety or other emotions. Find something to keep yourself busy. Try a new activity, go for a walk, or call a friend.
Chew gum: Studies suggest that chewing sugarless gum may reduce cravings for snacks and sweets.
Brush your teeth: Got a craving? Try brushing your teeth. The clean, stimulating feel
ing from a minty toothpaste has been shown to help abate cravings for sweet foods.
Refine your palate: Try to avoid refined and fried foods as much as possible. Start adding more whole grain and fiber to your diet by eating more nuts, beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole-wheat foods.
Foods for Better Gut Health
Your overall health is heavily dependent upon the health of your gut, and the health of your gut needs a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria. Poor gut health has been linked to problems like bloating, inflammation, acne, diabetes, and obesity. Your gut needs healthy food to help it absorb necessary nutrients, eliminate toxins, and promote good bacteria. Here are some foods that are beneficial to your gut:
Mangoes: Mangoes help to improve the gut health by supporting good bacteria, reducing body fat and controlling blood sugar.
Yogurt: Full of beneficial probiotics that can kill harmful bacteria and fungus, yogurt is a great gut-boosting food that can help repair any damage to your digestive tract.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a good source of antiviral, antimicrobial, and antibacterial fatty acids that are helpful in keeping your gut healthy by restoring the stomach’s acidity level.
Wild Salmon: Wild salmon’s anti-inflammatory properties and omega-3 fatty acids help promote gut health.
Garlic: Garlic is an excellent natural source for the prebiotics that feed and fuel good bacteria in the gut.
Chocolate: All-natural dark chocolate is a delicious way to provide prebiotic and probiotic fiber, which nourish the existing microbes in the gut to promote good gut health.
High-fiber foods: High fiber foods like artichokes, green peas, lentils, black and lima beans, almonds, raspberries, and apples help to move food through the body more efficiently, preventing constipation, hemorrhoids, and digestive diseases.
Your gut is the gateway to your health. Feed it properly and it will take care of you!
I specialize in helping adults and children with their gut health. Contact me to schedule an appointent.