Just finishing up my antibiotic treatment and I thought, what a wonderful opportunity to repopulate my gut with healthy bacteria and stuff. It's amazing the sort of influence, our gut flora has on our overall health, moods, appetites and even behaviour. BBC article
By now, just about everyone knows that Yoghurt can help heal a gut, but modern yoghurt is actually a small collection of very specific bacteria. For full gut healing, it helps to have a variety of live and cultured foods.
Not only that, but it also helps to avoid certain foods that can increase unwanted invisible beasties from living in one's gut - like yeast infections.
Sure, we can buy prepackaged probiotics; however, my personal preference is to heal with food whenever possible. Food is something everyone must consume if they want to keep on living, and I believe that what we eat is the most powerful choice we make.
There are a lot of different philosophies and theories about how to achieve gut health, most of them a variation on the theme that unprocessed foods, lots of live and fermented foods, and avoiding certain processed foods is the answer. There are almost too much, so much so that two minutes with google can be enough to overwhelm and scare people off. I have my own theories - based on reading and experience - on a way to create happy gut health, but I love reading about different styles of healing the gut.
So keeping in mind that there is no one right way, let's brainstorm some foods, herbs and other ideas to eat our way to a healthy gut.
Ok, so. If you can deal with the gritty stuff, and you've got access, take a big ol bite of well-aged, good-smelling compost. Seriously. It works.
Otherwise, raw goat's or raw cow's milk, have lots of good stomach fauna. Augment with plenty of oatmeal, fresh fish, coconut water, greens, raw honey; avoid red meats, refined starch, sugar, excessive salt, or acidic foods (unfortunately, this does include coffee.) Kombucha, lacto-fermented kraut, other such things are also excellent for gut health. Oh, and yogurt is only really good for you if its homemade. Like you say, the storebought stuff is cultured, and has mainly only one type of bacteria. If you get hardcore about it, look into chitinase- it's a compound found mainly in shellfish shells, and it's one of the finest things on the planet for rebuilding the walls of the intestinal tract.
I'll second the "spoonful of compost" idea. To avoid the grit just mix it into a glass of liquid(your choice). Mix it well and pour off the liquid and leave the grit in the bottom of the mixing container. You could also strain it with cheese cloth or something similar. No worries... the bacteria and nutrients will make it through.
I've tasted finished compost a few times and it always seems to be just fine as long as it's well done (complete breakdown).
My dog gets a monthly antibiotic for worms and ticks. It usually wipes him out for the day as his gut is depleted of good bugs. Now we give him yogurt (I let it sit open on the counter overnight to warm up), a whole raw duck egg, raw organ meats and bone to help settle his stomach the day after the pill. He also takes it upon himself to chow a bit of grass, compost and anything half-rotted he can find. During this time he also becomes very fond of any animal manure (other than other canine's). He eats duck, chicken, rabbit and pig shit on that one day then...takes a nap. He wakes up normal the next day.
Not that I'm suggesting that you go eating a bunch of shit... that's just what my dog does.
Disclaimer: I'm not a medical professional and this is not medical advice. It's just my observations and experience. Your results will vary. Also keep in mind that a weakened gut can be a playground for bad bacteria (few as they may be) that may also be in your compost. It's not all good guys in there.
Good post and something that is severely important for my 7yo daughter. For years she has had white poo. Anything I read about this symptom that is not milk-related results in a liver problem. Visits to the doctor did not help. They either act afraid to touch the matter or are clueless or make the assumption she'll grow out of it. Being a mom, I know better. This kid rarely belches, passing gas didn't happen much, either, and her chronic acid reflux resembles the status of an old man readying for an esophageal implant!!
NO. Mom took over.
With probiotics or 'gut bacteria', it's important to eat it regularly. Like, weekly, or a few times a month. Think of it like you would soil. You could go to the trouble of building a compost pile via the Berkley method, turning it every two days for weeks on end to come up with some highly nutritious and readily available soil microbes. If, after all that time, you just toss that compost onto an open lawn that hasn't been prepared to receive it, you're just feeding the grass. However, if you continue building those compost piles and tossing the resultant compost onto the grass in the same area and, then, giving it a little bit of mulch, you would end up with a fine garden bed. Even then, you wouldn't be able to stop unless you planted perennials or added some other permaculture steps for it to become self-sustaining. It takes time, tho. A lot of time.
For my daughter, it took a while to come up with gut microbe infusion. She was 5-1/2 when i started. Asking her to eat a spoonful of compost (which I hadn't heard of until today) isn't a solution. Maybe I can sneak it into some food. I digress.. Lebnah has become a favorite of hers and mine. Infused with fresh chives and onions, it makes a tasty cracker snack, sandwich spread or dip. It never lasts and she seems ready to eat it regularly. Before that I began by infusing buttermilk into pancakes and biscuits. I even made my own home made buttermilk using store-bought items. I bought books on fermentation and learned that one can capture the whey from making labneh (or any cheese) into gut-friendly drinks or just turn right around and use it in replacement of buttermilk when cooking. It's all good. The sustainable way.
the first thing I did was eliminate any and all food-products with dyes. HUGE difference with just that. Got a little color back into her poo, but not consistently. Then, I began adding the buttermilk in pancakes. Not much difference. Next, I eliminated store-bought breads. I learned to make home made bread. This took months because I had to learn and because she was perfectly happy with the feathery texture of store-bought breads. Today, she insists upon home made bread from her mom who cooks gourmet-style cheese sandwiches on a cast iron skillet using real butter. Even through all this, I was learning to care a cast-iron skillet and keeping that seasoning well done. This happens daily, at least once a day. I got this, now.
As for the debate about good cultures and bad, remember that all store-bought goods are derived from a culture of bacteria (including yeast) that tasted so good, everyone wanted to have that family's culture to infuse on their own. They narrowed it down to such an exacting science that no one can replicate it, even if they have some of the original culture.
Again, think of this in terms of compost. If you're using compost that isn't that great, you know to just work with what you have and build upon it. Over time, you'll develop your own rich compost with the basic ingredients you are able to come up with.
Eat your store-bought yogurt, just do it regularly. Home made fermented foods are always better -because you're using that which is in your local environment. If you went to a different environment, the microbes would be different and it would take a while for your body to adjust and use those microbes. Same stuff. Doesn't necessarily mean culture is bad, it's not adapted or you're not adapted, yet.
With that being said, I guess it would be a bad idea to become dependent upon store-bought cultures.
Hope this is helpful in some way. I'm not a chemist, but a mom who has sweated this stuff out. My daughter's poo is still, sometimes, very light but we never see white poo. She belches occasionally and even passes gas profusely, sometimes and our entire family celebrates when she does.
i've had some serious issues with my gut health, and digestive issues, so i have researched a lot in this space. you are right it can become quite overwhelming! plus the various diet factions, named diets, etc...
something i think is helpful is this rule (with some notable exceptions!) ---> no food from a box, can or package.
food in jars (commercially purchased stuff) is hit or miss... tends to be better than most everything else you can buy prepackaged. but the main point is to make all your food from scratch.
that really simplifies things, though it is hard in practice.
some exceptions for me are coconut milk and annie's goddess salad dressing ( soooo good, it almost seems it should be illegal, lol =)) ...theres some other things i cheat with now that i am not actively cleanse dieting all the time. though really , i pretty much have to be on a serious cleanse diet for good, though i have loosened up as my digestion has improved...
and of course, live foods, fermented foods, kim chi, yogurt, real whole food. when you prepare something from whole ingredients, its hard to go too wrong. even if you make sweets and treats, when you measure out the ingredients yourself, you are painfully aware of how much sugar/whatever else you put into it...
and the worst culprit, for making a bad situation worse as far as gut health, is sugar. cause the sugar is like fast food for bad guys in the gut.
OH OH I KNOW THIS ONE!!!
My gut flora was wiped out after chemo and subsequent h pylori treatment, which called for almost a year of heavy duty antibiotics.
My digestion was in very bad shape, I was bloated so badly I could barely walk some days. The constant nausea, belching and heartburn was so severe I mostly couldn't leave my home for months at a time. I had diarrhea for hours and hours every morning, every day of the week.
This went on for almost a year with every darn doctor suggesting more antibiotics and steroids on top of those. I refused and went looking for nutritional solutions.
One day at a Nourishing Foods Conference I was offered an ounce of raw cow's milk. Within four hours I had the first normal bm in two years, and within 4 days my constantly stuffed and swollen sinuses drained totally--I was on to something for sure!
I now drink a quart a week of raw milk and my bloating is gone, my stamina is returning and I am no longer belchy and heartburny all day every day.
My gut is better, my health is returning, and my constant low level ear ache is almost entirely resolved.
Thank you everyone for sharing your ideas and experiences. This is turning into a great thread.
My own background involves a long illness, several years of antibiotic therapy, and the medical doctors despairing that I would live more than a week or two. If I did survive, I would be a cripple for the rest of my life... which is partly true, I do have damage from the infection that makes many daily tasks impossible. However, I can walk, I can write, I can cook, I can garden, I can care for my livestock, I can breath. I can do many things that they said I would never do again. It's been a decade since they gave up on me and I heal a little bit more each year.
What made the difference for me was diet. I had always eaten healthy by modern standards. I didn't eat at fast food restaurants. If I was making spaghetti, I would open a jar of sauce and add lots of vegetables to it. That sort of thing.
But after I'd been sick a while and they started talking about life expectancy in weeks, I changed all that. I realized I didn't want to die just yet, but there was very little I could do. No medicine was working, there were no treatments available. The only thing I could do was change what I ate, so I did. I started making everything from scratch. But even then, some foods were better than others. Then I discovered that many ingredients have long ingredients list (my unbleached, no additive flour in the cupboard has 7 ingredients plus wheat). It was many of these additives that were causing symptoms. So I had to learn where the ingredients were processed and how to source ones without certain additives. For example, many packets of cinnamon sold in Canada contain soy - but ones packed in the EU, don't. It's been a long learning process and I would like to share some of the things that have worked for me.
Cleanse your gut - What antibiotics do is they help your body to kill bacteria. As these bacteria die, they become toxic in your body and your waste system (gut, kidneys, liver, &c) has to work hard to cleanse them from your body before it starts to damage you (which can trigger a Herx reaction). This is why you often feel worse on antibiotics before you feel better. In some cases, in some treatments and for some illnesses that have left the patient weak, the herx reaction can cause more damage than the initial infection.
It's good to have foods that help your waste management system. Lots of water. Medical charcoal or chlorophyll can help. IF (that's a huge if) your system can take it, soluble fibre in the diet can be a real bonus for cleaning the gut - however, for many people with illness and/or stressed out waste management systems, large amounts of fibre can be harmful or deadly - if you go the fibre rout, make certain it's soluble fibre (like in favas and chickpeas) and increase the amount slowly each day.
Know your food sensitivities - Everyone (in my opinion) has foods that they digest better than others. When your body is stressed from something like an illness or antibiotics it dosen't want the trouble of digesting difficult foods. These wrong foods (I don't like to call them bad foods like most people) can increase inflammation and reduce healing time. If you know your food sensitivities, avoid foods that bother you. If you don't know them, maybe you do know them in a way - what foods did you avoid as a child? I've noticed that often these are the same foods we develop sensitivities to later in life. Failing that, fall back on a neutral diet of rice, steamed veg, and a protein that doesn't come from soy (unless it's fermented in the traditional way - ie, not processed in North America).
Another possible way to discover your food sensitivities is to look at your ancestry. My theory is, like plants which adapt to their environment over a few generations, people too have genes that influence their physical make up. A person of European decent have ancestors who lived primarily on grains such as wheat and barley, as their main source of calories. Those who couldn't digest gluten seldom survived to reproduce - like a plant with no drought tolerance won't live long enough here to produce seeds or pollen. We have been selected over several hundred generations to survive on a specific diet. That diet is different depending on what part of the world your people come from. But I've noticed in the small sample size I've observed that quite often food sensitivities follow genetic history. So if you are from Japan, maybe avoiding tomatoes, beef, milk and wheat might be useful, instead have a traditional diet of rice, fish, barley and fresh veg. From England? Avoid tomatoes, potatoes, corn, instead eat (fermented) grains like wheat, chickpeas, fava beans, veggies, &c.
Avoid foods that kill good bacteria or encourage wrong bacteria - I call them dead foods. Foods that have been processed to store for long amounts of time. Pasteurized foods. Canned foods (including home canning - sorry). All the shelf stable foods.
Food, traditionally, before the recent inventions of canning and pasteurization, is a living thing. It contained bacteria, good and bad, and all sorts of other invisible beasties (my term for microorganism). Even dried beans in a jar in my pantry breath and slowly consume the sugars - because they are alive. The moment I put them in the ground, they will grow. Very few foods are naturally shelf stable. Flour when ground from whole grain will begin to taste rancid in only a few days because the oils in the germ of the wheat are now exposed to air. Yet, the flour we buy in the store can be ground a year a go. By removing the living part from the wheat - the germ - the flour will keep for many months before going rancid. To ship things long distances, to make them store well, all this requires eliminating invisible beasties both good and bad.
I've often wondered if these invisible beasties (good, bad and neutral) help our body to better digest the specific food. Maybe the good bacteria help break it down, maybe the bad bacteria tells our gut to create such and such a response - like homeopathy.
Then there are the foods like processed sugars that can encourage too much of one invisible beastie to take over. Like processed bread and sugar can encourage yeast infections.
For the most part, these dead foods have been commercially processed. A general theme of avoiding anything in a box, jar, tin, or package can be a big step towards keeping dead foods from your diet. Have a look at In defence of food by Michael Pollan. Pollan calls these dead foods, 'food like substances'. This book is a marvelous introduction to those interested in improving their diet.
Live culture foods/Fermented foods/living foods - whatever you like to call them can make a world of difference to gut health. These are foods like yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, miso, kosher dill pickles, and so many other things I can't possible list them all. Even traditionally made cheese and cured sausage like peperoni or salami contain beneficial bacteria.
Raw milk is an excellent source of beneficial invisible beasties; however, it is paramount that the milk come from a trusted source with healthy animals. Animals raised on a small scale where the farmer can pay strict attention to the health of each critter create some of the most nourishing substance available to humankind. But there is a reason why pasteurization took over so quickly, and it wasn't to increase shelf life. There are many pathogens that can be transmitted to humans through raw milk so it's vital that you take the time to know where your milk comes from. If you have been ill or are simply not use to raw milk, start small, maybe one teaspoon the first day, two teaspoons the next, doubling it each day until you are up to the amount you wish.
Live foods that have been pasteurized or heat processed - like sauerkraut in a tin - no longer have the beneficial invisible beasties that make them so good for the gut. Because they have been fermented, they still have nourishing qualities, but none of the live bacteria that we seek when rebuilding a gut after antibiotics or illness.
Likewise, cooking foods at home reduce or wipe out these beneficial bacteria. But there are ways to get arround this. When making miso soup, add the miso paste in at the end of the cooking time. Or add it at the regular cooking time, then add a little bit more miso paste at serving. Sally Fallon (Nourishing Traditions linked above) tells us that even a small bit of yoghurt whey or life sauerkraut juice added to a meal at serving time can help increase digestibility and give our gut a few extra beneficial bacteria.
Like I said in my opening post, there is no one right way to heal a gut. There are many ways that work. Some work for one person but not another. The ways I write here are what works for me.
I am very fond of the idea of eating a pre-industrial diet. Unfortunately I have to work with the damage that has been done to my system by my illness and it's treatment and the ingredients available to me. So, although I try to eat a diet very like England before the New World, my system can't tolerate high fibre foods. That means that pottages and soups must be made with semi-refined ingredients to avoid having too much fibre. I still add some new world foods to my diet, after all they are more-or-less part of a pre-industrial English diet. But I don't make a regular thing of corn, potatoes, tomatoes, or the like. Maybe once or twice a week if I'm feeling strong.
One other thing that has helped me is to have small amounts of many types of ingredients. A friend, long ago, spent a month on a fad diet where she was to eat 100 different ingredients each day. It seemed to agree with her while she was on it, but it was too much work for her daily life. I think it's a great idea, maybe not a full hundred different foods, but a vast selection of ingredients each day can be very beneficial. There are some new theories in diet which say it's not the quantity of the foods you eat, it's the information from the foods that effect your body. Since I can't eat much fibre, I can't eat many whole grains. But when I cook rice, I add one Tbs of brown rice for every cup of white rice, or a handful of whole grain flour for every cup of white flour. That way my body still gets the information even if it can't benefit from the volume. A little is better than none at all. A little bit of many foods seems to work better than lot of a few foods.
Another excellent book is An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler <---link goes here to book review if I get a chance later. But right now I have to go make a loom because a friend just called and said she's bringing her kid over to learn how to weave. I wouldn't be offended if a mod wanted to do make the book review page, link to it and remove this little bit of excess text).
Although not strictly about gut health, Adler's style of cooking demonstrates how we can get the most nutrition from our food, to cook with ingredients instead of pre-packaged food like substances, and how to do all this economically and deliciously. The health benefits are a welcome side effect.
It's all well and good to say make everything from scratch, to buy only healthy ingredients. The problem is that most of us aren't taught how to cook anymore. We read Michael Pollan and learn that we should make things from scratch... but how? How to do so affordably? How to do so efficiently? How to do so deliciously? An Everlasting meal is an excellent starting point. 10 out of 10 acorns.
susan vita wrote:OH OH I KNOW THIS ONE!!!
My gut flora was wiped out after chemo and subsequent h pylori treatment, which called for almost a year of heavy duty antibiotics. ....Raw milk was/is a lifesaver imho.
I'm so very glad you made it through this. Blessings to you. I am reminded that I grew up on non-pasteurized whole milk from the local dairy. My health went down hill when I moved to the city.
I've found gelatin and other substances in a good meat broth to be very healing to the gut, especially when taken in conjunction with the other fermented foods many have talked about here. It helps the gut lining to heal and seal and provides amino acids that are often lacking in other kinds of protein.
When I don't have the spoons for making real meat broth (as currently), I add a heaped teaspoon of Great Lakes grass-fed beef gelatin to things I eat.
Gelatin is best from grass-fed animals, hence why I buy Great Lakes.
I echo the above advice to avoid sugar and sugar-like substances when trying to heal the gut. Also many starches I find a problem. Grains, potatoes, even some bean varieties have the kind of starch that feeds the unwelcome gut bacteria. Starving them out by not eating sugar/starch has helped me tolerate more foods, though I still can't go long stretches eating much starch.
All the above are wonderful resources for gut healing. Nourishing Traditions can be overwhelming at first - it's a big book - but has tons of info in it.
I also like the GAPS protocol as covered in "Gut and Psychology Syndrome" by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride - very thorough, but unfortunately not something I have the time, money nor spoons to implement in a "full-on" way just now. Our family makes do with a hacked-together version.
The stuff that's helped my family the most (much of it found in Nourishing Traditions and GAPS), are something like this:
* Eat lots of meat stock, bone broth, animal fat, coconut oil, olive oil, fermented foods, eggs (especially the yolks, pref. runny), organ meats, vegetables. White beans and lentils are good, but most other beans have the wrong sort of starch and might feed the unwelcome bacteria too much. (Honestly adding liver to our meals regularly - I aim for a quarter pound a week each - is one of the best things I ever did. I have to hide it in mince/ground meat dishes but we all feel better if we eat it regularly. I think it's the Vitamin A & D, and probably other stuff.)
* Stay away from almost everything out of a box, or that has additives, colours, flavours etc. The additives mess with the gut microbiome and promote the growth of unwelcome bacteria. (This is the one we struggle with the most, because my executive function tanks on a semi-regular basis and from-scratch cooking becomes nigh impossible. We're slowly weeding out the "totally not worth it" boxed etc items and trying to stick with the "won't kill us but still not ideal" brands/items.)
* Stay away from grains and refined starches as much as possible. (We can can eat a small amount of brown rice every day and homemade, gluten free bread made with soaked grains maybe twice a week, without it affecting us too much.)
* Lots of raw, fermented dairy, if you tolerate it. Introduce it slowly and in small amounts. Fermented dairy is also good if you're prone to diarrhoea, because it helps firm up the stool. So if you're prone to constipation, definitely be careful with it. (We don't have access to raw dairy so I buy biodynamic, low-temp pasteurised milk for husband's coffee, and pot-set yoghurt.)
* If you find dairy gives you issues, even fermented, try water kefir or kombucha instead. Or try them even if you can do dairy. They have different bacteria to each other. You can even make a coconut milk kefir with water grains, though they need to go back into sugar water every 2-4 ferments to get enough food to stay healthy.
* RIPE fruit is OK, but don't go overboard. Same with nuts and seeds. Again, feeds the unwelcome bacteria too much. (I always start belching if I have too much fruit, or have unripe fruit - a sure sign my gut is unhappy with what I fed it.)
* If you're very sick, a therapeutic strength probiotic capsule might be needed to boost the gut. You might not get enough/the right strains just from fermented foods. Plus most fermented foods are made with various Lactobacillus strains, and there's more bacteria than that needed in a healthy gut. (I've found Saccharomyces boulardii to be the big game changer for us. It's a type of soil-borne bacteria that people would have been eating tons of back in the day, but not so much now that we cleans and sterilise and package things to death. I suspect it's the "magic ingredient" in the compost cure talked about up-thread.)
The following aren't wholly food-based, but I've found them very very helpful to our continued gut healing.
* Cod liver oil is excellent to have on a regular basis if your diet is wobbly/you're coming down with something/you have a lot of healing to do. Fermented is best but I can't afford that. I'm the only one who takes it on a regular basis anyway - toddler and husband are both completely averse to the texture/smell. Fermented butter oil is also meant to be wondrous. But again I can't afford it so I've not tried it. Very high in Vitamin K2, which we need for all sorts of things in the body. (I take K2 capsules, 5mg twice a day, because my teeth get *very* unhappy with me when I don't. My gut is shot enough that it's hard for me to get enough just through diet.)
* Since your body is working hard to upgrade its gut bacteria, and getting rid of the unwelcome ones in the process, have a bath with epsom salts or magnesium chloride or bicarb soda in it. Every night if you have the water. Just a foot soak, done regularly, does wonders though. These substances do two things:
1) let your body absorb magnesium through the skin (a mineral that's *very* important and also usually *very* deficient in most people), which is easier than taking it orally - you hit bowel tolerance pretty fast with oral Mg supplements, and it can be hard to get enough through food. Especially if you have gut issues you're trying to heal.
2) Help your body process the toxic gick that it's been storing for the last who-knows-how-long, and release some of it into the water through the pores. Your skin is a big organ and more important to detox than most people realise.
You can throw the water on the plants afterwards but you'll need to dilute it down a bunch and rotate areas regulary - these are all forms of mineral salts so you don't want to kill your plants.
* If you're up for a *really* thorough cleanout, then you can't go past a heaped teaspoon of ascorbic acid (Vit C), 200mg of selenium, and 6 chlorella tablets. Vit C is an antioxidant that chases the toxic gick out of where it's stored, selenium makes it even more effective at its job, and chlorella binds to the heavy metals and other, similar gick and takes it safely out of your system. Do this on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, and then again 3-4 hours later, drink lots of water, and stay near the toilet. You will be pooping. A LOT. I wouldn't do it more than two days in a row, else you might take out too much of the good stuff along with the bad. You feel pretty miserable while it's going on, but a day or two later the improvement can be remarkable.
We don't do all of these, though we should. We do what we can, when we can, with the spoons we have. It keeps us chugging along at a reasonable level of gut health, and whenever we have the funds/time/spoons to make another positive change, we do it.
I don't know if anyone's mentioned it yet specifically, but kefir (both milk and water) is supposed to be really good for the intestinal tract. The bacteria and yeasts in the kefir(and kefir grains) are beneficial and said to persist in the GI tract. Many of the other cultures will not do this. I did a post on my website all about kefir here: http://traditionalcatholichomestead.com/2015/04/24/preserving-the-harvest-kefir/ Also a good homemade bone broth with lots of knuckles and joints in the mix is fantastic for healing the gut lining. Lots of gelatin in there along with minerals and other nutrients, all in an easily digestible package!
raw milk kefir has something like 50+ different strains, a great gut health improver, bone broth (stock) is amazing, homemade is best of course because you can make sure you are using good critters and lots of gelatin rich parts. two foods to keep regularly in the diet for sure.
apple vinegar is supposed to help to "loosen" the bad candida fungi in the colon.
concerning starch: long chain starch (as opposed to short chain ones like sugar) are better when dealing with bad gut flora (if you can eat them).
you could add brine of fermented veggies to salad-dressings, to veggie-juices, smoothies or even to dishes which need some acid (some chinese sauces or curries). even some "normal, western" sauces, soups, stews do profit from a very small amount of acid (try in small doses). But add the brine after cooking, don t cook the bacteria to death.
what s your opinion on wheat grass? it contains chlorophyll (which was mentioned above) and lots of fibre if you eat it.
for some people fasting might help special kinds of colon cleansing (but take care, do the research for yourself and ask your doctor or so)
but gut health is a wider topic than foods/diet ...
what is important: learn how to deal with stress, anxiety, fears etc. ... one of the very first things stress will do is to slow down digestation. stress will activate body in a situation of danger for survival via running away or fighting. in that situations the body would not take care of digestion. and the body will react to modern world stress in a very similar way than to life-threatening situations.
exercise would help. body movements can massage the lower belly. deep belly breathing can massage the lower belly, increase blood circulation, free gasses, relieve stress etc. ... so can laughing, singing etc.
in traditional indian medicine they say that (i think all kinds of good) veggie-oils and ghee (purified fat from butter) will help digestation. Also spices will help. Ginger should be best, then chili, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon etc. ... these can be in the dishes or as tea.
After having food they often take sugar coated fennel seeds to help digestation. And yoghurt, but this is primarily to deal with the extremely hot and spicy stuff.
don t drink cold water with your food, that would be like pouring a bucket with ice-water over your bbq.
the topic of "gut health and recovery" is far wider than the food we eat.
it s also about HOW we eat. are we centered? Are we present in the present (here and now) with the food that is present on our plate? or are we distracted with tv or something?
do we enjoy and taste our food? when i watch, i come to the conclusion that my wife tastes and enjoys food. i eat the food. the beagle inhales the food (i m not sure if the food will in any form even touch her gums or tongues, i think it goes straight into the esophagus. the time of contact of the food in her mouth couldnt be more than a few milliseconds).
how much food do we take? and how much do we take at a given time? do we still sense when our body says "enough"? (or even sense it before, cause the signal of "no more hunger" is normally delayed by 15 minutes)? do we overeat (out of stress or because it s so tasty)? ... the beagle is a good example again. this race seems to have no ability to sense when they ve had enough...
do we sense when (times of the day) to eat what and how much?
how often do we chew our food? western medicine says 20 times at least. indian medicine says 50 times, until the food becomes liquid in your mouth. this should help digesting stuff a lot better. and it helps to avoid these things:
- too fast
- too much
- too hot
- too cold
what can be helpfull is to bless the food, or to pray over it or to be thankfull. this can help to center in the present moment and to slow things down.
this stuff requires our awareness and some discipline... i m not saying that i m doing that perfectly all the time ...
Thanks, Raven and everyone for this thread and suggestions.
On April 26 I started antibiotics and on May 8th came down with diarrhea which I am still having issues with. I wish I had read this yesterday. After the research I did yesterday, I thought maybe it was Celiac disease. I started taking probiotic yesterday. I took antibiotics last year with no ill effects but I may have been getting more fresh veggies and bone broth at the time.
I will make bone broth and re-read this thread to get more ideas.
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines. Stephen Herrod Buhner
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work. Stephen Herrod Buhner
Looky! I'm being abducted by space aliens! Me and this tiny ad!