Gut health is connected to 93% of the leading causes of death, and 72% of the United States is dealing with regular gut issues. 

This leaves those in the US with a high predictability of developing a gut issue that leads to a major health issue.

Before you panic – take a big breath and know there are a lot of things you can do and I’m going to outline my top 5 today!

#1 Swap out the junk food and snacks loaded with seed oils for upgraded options

Start with swapping out junk food snacks and meals with fresh or closest to nature food rich in fiber whenever possible. 

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Instead of cookies for a sweet snack I recommend switching to an apple or berries.

Swap bagged popcorn for air popped popcorn at home.

If salty or savory is preferred then I recommend raw sprouted and salted pumpkin seeds, almonds or nut butters with veggies.

Sprouted versions of nuts improve their digestibility. 

Say a mix of sweet and savory is what you desire, raw nut butter with a little maple syrup or honey on a piece of celery or a slice of apple can be delectable. 

#2 Upgrade the beverages you’re drinking and pay attention to temperature of the drink

If a client drinks coffee I ensure they are drinking a clean coffee without chemicals and toxins that can impact gut health (example of a clean coffee: Dave Asprey’s coffee – Mentalist).

For those who drink multiple cups of coffee a day, I recommend swapping out the 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee for herbal teas that are healing for the gut lining, such as licorice root, marshmallow root or turmeric based tea.

If drinking water is a struggle, I recommend making a commitment to increase water intake and spiking it with fruit if flavor is needed.

Seltzer and other bubbly sparkling waters are not recommended as they can cause gas and bloating while one is working on their gut health. 

Non bubbly or flat mineral water however, is completely acceptable.

When it comes to meals, sipping on water during a meal is ideal to allow your digestive enzymes to do their job.

Raw foods, salads and smoothies with frozen berries may require sipping on warm tea or coffee with consumption to ensure a cold gut bomb is not delivered to the stomach impeding proper digestion.

Warming herbs such as cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger and cardamom can be used to help support digestion of a cold smoothie or raw food based meal.

Eliminating all drinks with artificial sweeteners is crucial to end gas and bloating as these chemicals can damage the gut lining over time.

I also have clients swap out alcohol for “mock-tails” or use herbal elixir products like SeedLip to sip on.

If cutting out alcohol is proving to be a challenge I have clients opt for organic small batch versions of their favorite drinks to reduce toxin load.

#3 Meal plan to not overload the gut

Planning out when and what you’re going to eat helps to reduce gut stress at meal time.

Ensuring you’re eating every 4-5 hours is as important as leaving at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. 

The less all day grazing, late eating and midnight snacking one does the better the digestion will be.

Balancing food portions is key for gut health.

Placing veggies on 1/2 your plate, 1/3rd for protein and the remaining 1/3rd for carbohydrate items and a thumb sized portion for fat is ideal for a start.

Making sure you’re not skipping meals will decrease your tendency to overeat and stress the gut when you’ve gone too long between meals.

Sitting down to eat, not multitasking and chewing 20 times per bite at the very least is a game changer for gut health. 

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While not everyone loves to cook, foods in their form closest to nature and home made are the best however, there are great meal delivery services that could be used for those busy nights. 

Even using an Insta-pot to make meals can save valuable time when you have a busy day or evening.

Pressure cooking foods comes with an added bonus for lowering lectins in the food that can irritate the gut. 

Sprouting grains, nuts, seeds and legumes decreases lectins and makes these foods easier to digest.

#4 Opt for non-toxic, chemical free foods and proteins

Conventional foods are loaded with pesticides like glyphosate as well as other toxins. 

Finding local farmers and supporting them to grow organic or non-toxic by using the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs or visiting Farmer’s Markets is one option. 

Committing to purchasing non-toxic, chemical free foods will go a long way to protect your gut from the harmful impacts of toxic food.  

#5 Eat something fermented daily

Probiotic supplementation can be tricky for the gut.

When there are many companies offering fermented options from kombucha to small batch organic yogurt to veggies it’s easy to add in a little fermented foods daily.

Starting with 1-2 tablespoons of pickles, relish, sauerkraut, KimChi or even organic yogurt can be helpful. 

These five categories of actionable items are to be worked on daily.

As with anything start with one thing at a time!

If you’re wondering about your gut health and if it may be headed into a more severe autoimmune condition like celiac, Crohn’s or colitis know that there are a lot of options out there for help!

My podcast with Josh Dech came out today and we talked all about autoimmune related gut health conditions as well as solutions – listen HERE.

I personally recommend Josh’s guided program as well as the following DIY gut repair programs

  • Steven Wright – Healthy Gut Company – HERE
  • Silver Fern – HERE

Since the root of many health issues starts in the gut – it’s wise to maintain your gut health. 

Don’t be fooled by the hype that hormone issues are isolated – hormone issues also have ties to the gut!

I’ll be talking about hormones and gut health on Friday!

Got specific gut health questions?  Hit reply, I can help!

Here’s to your health,

Dr. J

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