From a holistic perspective, you are asking a great question. Wanting to achieve a healthy gut through food is so much better for you than trying to do it through a prescription.
And before we dive into the best foods for a healthy gut, we want to talk about how easy it is to become deficient in essential nutrients, vitamins and “good bacteria” required for a healthy gut because of what you put into your body. These include prescriptions, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and food/lifestyle choices.
Prescriptions commonly used to help treat digestive problems cause more problems than they solve.
For example, bile acid sequestrants like Colestid, Prevalite, Questran deplete vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and folic acid.
However, prescriptions are not the only preparations commonly used to treat gut issues. And, unfortunately, OTC solutions are also problematic. Antacids (think Zantac and the like) deplete calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, zinc and magnesium. Laxatives deplete potassium, vitamin A and vitamin K.
And other commonly prescribed drugs also disrupt gut health by depleting essential minerals, vitamins and “good bacteria.” The table below lists common medications and the vitamins, minerals and bacteria they deplete.
AND we can disrupt our gut health by lifestyle choices.
- Smoking cigarettes and tobacco use depletes Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.
- Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste depletes Vitamin C and clobbers your pineal gland.
- Drinking coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks depletes Biotin, Inositol, Potassium, Vitamin B1, Zinc, and Vitamin B12.
- Drinking carbonated soda depletes calcium. It actually robs calcium from the bonesbecause of the excess amount of phosphates that are in carbonated sodas!
- Drinking alcohol depletes B Complex Vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Zinc, Magnesium, and Calcium.
- Stress depletes Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Zinc, and Potassium.
So with all of these common things that can negatively impact your gut, knowing the best foods to eat to keep your gut healthy is vitally important.
One of the most important organs when it comes to gut health is your small intestine. The small intestine is the fussiest organ in the human body, with more bacteria than all the cells of your body. And nothing interrupts those bacteria more than antibiotics which always kill some of the healthy bacteria.
Luckily, you can reverse the ravages of antibiotics by eating the right foods. However, finding the right foods can be difficult because 80% of the food available is junk. This junk food is produced at fast-food restaurants and by the humongous food manufacturers. The goal of these organizations is usually keeping their shareholders happy and not their customer’s holistic health.
Since 80% of the food sold is junk, it is critically important to eat only real food.
Real food means it is non-GMO and it is not Roundup®-poisoned wheat, Irish potatoes, sugar or artificially hydrogenated or altered substitutes. (And to be even semantically correct, there is NO organic food today. With 75% of rain and air and 90% of groundwater contaminated with Roundup®, it is deceptive and semantically WRONG to call anything organic!)
Equally important is B-complex deficiency which causes complex brain deficiency which causes an inability to sleep well, fatigue and apathy, mental “fog,” confusion, and forgetfulness, mood swings and irritability, gastrointestinal symptoms, joint or muscle discomfort, muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass, numbness or tingling in fingers and toes, frequent bruising, headaches, irritability, and dry, cracking skin.
The top-of-the-line foods rich in B complex are nutritional and Brewer’s yeast, salmon, leafy greens, liver, beef, oysters, clams, mussels, chicken, turkey, pork, trout, eggs, milk and plain yogurt.
Foods containing fiber and probiotics are among the best for gut health.
Plain unflavored Greek yogurt, Kefir and Kombucha are great sources of probiotics. Fermented foods like sauerkraut (not that sold in cans) are also excellent sources of probiotics.
Apples, papaya, fennel, chia seeds, papaya and mango and most nuts are excellent sources of fiber.
Even the best foods for gut health are not really enough.
In today’s polluted world, we need much more basic essential vitamins than 40 years ago. So almost everyone will benefit from taking vitamin D3, 50,000 units once a week if you weigh 140 pounds or more; the first, tenth and 20th of each month if you weigh under 140 pounds. To make sure you have enough B-complex vitamins, take Shealy-Sorin Eco green Essentials, and Shealy-Sorin Youth Formula for vitamin C enhanced with MSM.
Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. Dr. Sergey Sorin is a holistic physician as well as the CEO and medical director of the Shealy-Sorin Wellness Institute. Both doctors recommend the Biogenics® System as part of your overall commitment to self-health and enhancing your positivity.