This article is a continuation of articles I wrote on the health of the microbiome, i.e. our gut bacteria. It summarizes dietary strategies that you can incorporate into your life in order to improve your gut's health based on recommendations by the gut's health specialist dr. Chutkan.
To read part 1 - "Why do I need bacteria in my gut?" click here.
To read part 2 "Is my gut out of whack?" click here.
EAT CLEAN, LIVE DIRTY DIET TIPS:
Choose your carbs carefully - fruits, vegetables, some whole grains, beans, and brown rice. Worth mentioning are resistant starches such as: green bananas, green banana flour, green peas, lentils, uncooked rolled oats and white beans. Foods high in inulin have prebiotic qualities (feeding your microbes) - artichokes, asparagus, bananas, chicory root, dandelion root, garlic, leeks, onions.
Ferment your food - sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles are micro biome rock stars, they contain both live bacteria (probiotics) and prebiotic fiber to nourish gut bacteria.
Manage your meat intake - think of veggies as the main course and meat as the condiment; make sure you’re eating the best-quality meats available, with no antibiotics, and grass-fed.
Eat more, and a variety of, plants - indigestible dietary fiber from plants provides the raw material for bacterial fermentation, which feeds your microbes and produces health-promoting SCFA’s. The diversity and number of plants you eat will be reflected in the diversity and number of bacteria you grow in your gut garden.
Choose foods with dirt on in - buy locally and organically, or best, grow your own.
Say no to sugar - sugar feeds the worst kinds of bacteria; sugar interferes with the ability of our white blood cells to destroy toxins - an effect that states within minutes of eating it and can last for several hours. Artificial sweeteners are just as bad, if not worse. They cause changes in gut bacteria that promote glucose intolerance, making them a major risk factor for developing diabetes.
Focus on addition instead of subtraction - focus on healthy additions to your plate rather than on the no-s-healthy foods you need to get rid of. It’s the absence of nourishing food rather than the presence of the not-so- good stuff that usually leads to a depleted microbiome. Emphasize dietary fiber - the preferred food for essential bacteria - above all else.
Retrain the taste buds - substitute zucchini noodles for wheat pasta, mashed cauliflower for white rice, roasted squash or sweet potato for french fries; add spinach and kale to smoothies, leeks and celery to soups and stews, roasted pumpkin or squash to thicken sauces, onions, garlic, peppers and spinach to scrambled eggs.
Eliminate franken foods and friends - foods like gluten, dairy, refined carbohydrates, processed foods in general, GMO foods, and artificial sweeteners.
Follow 1-2-3 rule - eat at least one vegetable at breakfast, two at lunch and three at dinner.
If you have any questions on how you can make some of those changes happen, don't hesitate to contact me here.
Robynne Chutkan, MD, FASGE - The Microbiome Solution. A radical new way to heal your body from the inside out.