You’ve almost certainly heard by now that the trillions of microbes living on and in our bodies are altering both the way we think about health and illness.

Ever question what’s in your gut?

Saunter through the aisle of your local health food shop and you’re liable to hear somebody discussing their “juice cleanse” or “master cleanse”. A lot of us take for granted that these cleanses have some helpful effect on digestion and health — but what do they really do to your gut microbiome?

How a person’s gut responds to nutritional change might have just as much to do with the person and their preliminary gut microbiome as the nutritional intervention itself.

Each year millions of people worldwide take on nutritional cleanses or fasts, yet we know astonishingly little about their effect on the human gut.

Diets high in plants help promote microorganisms that degrade fiber and keep the gut strong. Except you have to keep up the diet in order to uphold that community of good bacteria. A cleanse might help jumpstart your gut to a new microbial state, however daily fiber intake is the fuel the keeps it going.

Want to work on your gut at home?

Eat the correct food. Your gut microbiome reflects your eating habits. If you make a habit of eating healthy, non-processed food, your microbiome reflects that. The more diverse your diet, the more flexible your microbiome becomes, allowing for that occasional sweet.

Take away the sugar and processed foods from your diet. Refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods get absorbed rapidly into your small intestine without any help from your microbes. That means your gut microbes stay hungry so they begin snacking on the cells that line your intestines, causing what we call Leaky Gut. Sugar also feeds organisms like Candida Albicans, which also attack your intestinal wall and can lead to a systemic Candida infection.

Get your carbohydrates from vegetables and low-sugar fruits. Eating a lot of leafy green vegetables will help plant your gut with healthy and diverse microorganisms. Be sure to get a balance of healthy fats and protein with each meal as well.

Include fermented foods in your diet. Fermented foods seed your gut with healthy bacteria. Eat sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, and kombucha. These foods are rich in prebiotics.

Try a food elimination diet to decide if you have any food allergies. Do you often have cramping, gas, or stomach ache after eating? You might have a food sensitivity or allergy. The most widespread food allergies or sensitivities are to cow’s milk, soy, peanuts, corn, eggs and wheat. Some people find they feel even better if they get rid of all grains, including oats, quinoa, and spelt. Nevertheless begin with wheat at the very least. Do this for a few weeks and see if your symptoms get better. What’s more stay away from artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and coffee!

Sustain Your Digestion.  A lot of people have low stomach acid but believe they have too much and take antacids. Supplement with a digestive enzyme. This can help you digest your food better and get rid of your symptoms, such as gas, bloat and indigestion. Glutamine, an amino acid, can also help to reconstruct and uphold your digestive tract and sustain proper digestion. You might also want to try HCL if you know you have low stomach acid. Otherwise, you might just try drinking lemon and water, or 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a little water before every serving of food to see if your symptoms get better.

Get In A Tranquil State. One of the most significant factors to healing your gut is your own awareness. Your gut is your second mind. If your microbiome is out of balance, you might feel nervous, miserable, or weary. You might also suffer from memory problems or brain fog. In addition to eating the right foods, try to get into a contemplative state prior to eating. Do this by removing all stressors, including demanding people and conversation. If you are eating with others, try not to talk excessively, or talk about off-putting subjects.


Shannan Kay, B.Ed., R.H.N., is a licensed educator and registered holistic nutritionist. She is a creative thinker and a top authority in the field of women’s nutritional fitness and wellness, which includes the harmony of mind, body, and spirit. Globally recognized for her empowering approach to women’s nutritional fitness and wellness, Shannan teaches women how to flourish at each phase of life.

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