24 Foods To Balance Your Gut
Clearly, in order to be your best, you need to treat your gut right — and a big part of that involves prebiotics and probiotics. New York Times best-selling author Dr. Kellyann Petrucci addresses how having a healthy guy may be what’s holding you back from losing weight in her book, The Bone Broth Diet.
Trillions and trillions of good microbes live in your GI tract, and they need prebiotics to flourish. Prebiotics are foods or supplements high in soluble fiber that your gut microbes love to eat. Here are some of the best prebiotic foods:
- chicory root
- Jerusalem artichokes
If you don’t get enough of these foods in your diet, I recommend taking prebiotic supplements. This is particularly important if you need to take antibiotics, which kill off millions of good microbes along with the bad ones.
Your gut also needs beneficial bacteria and other good flora. One of the best ways to get this is to include probiotic foods in your diet. These foods contain live, beneficial microbes that will settle happily into your ecosystem, helping to build a diverse and well-balanced microbiome. Probiotic foods include:
- sauerkraut (the unpasteurized kind in the refrigerated section at the store)
- kimchi (available in Asian markets if you can’t find it at grocery stores)
- pickles (the unpasteurized kind in the refrigerated section at the store)
- coconut kefir
If you aren’t used to sauerkraut and kimchi, give them a chance, and I think you’ll grow to love them. Sauerkraut is great with eggs or sausage, and kimchi makes a fabulous spicy side dish for any Asian meal.
When you feed your gut prebiotics and probiotics, you’ll lay the foundation for a super-healthy gut microbiome. To make it even healthier, eat anti-inflammatory foods that soothe and heal your gut, making it a better environment for your hardworking microbes. Here are some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods:
- bone broth
- curry powder
- fatty fish
- green and leafy vegetables
- cruciferous vegetables
- green tea
Abs and an Upset Stomach
Don’t you love when you notice the results from working out and eating healthier? You catch a glimpse of new definition in your arms and your legs and all the effort is worth it. But if you’re still noticing some tummy jiggle, you’re not alone. And one potential solution might surprise you.
There’s more to killer abs than just exercise and abdominal crunches. Turns out that there’s a direct relationship between a healthy digestive system and your overall look, too. Not only does what you eat affect whether or not you pack on pounds, but what you eat can also impact how your digestive system works, how it processes and eliminates waste effectively, as well as how it helps support the surrounding muscles and tissue.
Gas, cramps, bloating, general aches and pains, and even a distended abdomen are common complaints. What’s happening inside your body is gut inflammation from food allergies and food intolerance. And, the greater the level of inflammation in your digestive system, the greater the likelihood that your abdominal muscles will not respond to exercise.
Well, when you’ve got a stomach that’s inflamed, giving you pain, that inflammation can affect the abdominal muscles that are supposed to be stabilizing your core. In other words, those pain impulses that come from your digestive system can result in weakness and more pain in those regions of the abdominal wall. And when those muscles become weak or disabled due to your (sick) digestive system, they aren’t much help to you and they won’t respond very well to your attempts to work them.
Just about any problem you might have in your digestive tract is called a “digestive disorder” – indigestion, heartburn, or simply an upset stomach. Highly processed, poor-quality foods and fast food don’t make the situation any better.
A Diet That Agrees With Your Core
You know you have to make good choices when it comes to food, beverage, and getting proper exercise. It can be a challenge to eat well and exercise for purposes of losing or maintaining your ideal weight. But I bet you’ve never thought about how your digestive system can change the way your core responds to exercise.
The goal is to get the internal workings of your core to be in harmony with the rest of your body so when you perform a core workout, and work those abs, you see the rewards in a tighter, flatter belly. And you can accomplish that with some slight changes to your diet.