When your gut health is strong, you'll see and feel big mental and physical health wins. Overall gut health (microbiome) is hugely supported, or impacted, by nutrition. Here are our top food & beverage tips for supporting yours:
- Stick with whole foods and avoid processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, refined carbs, and processed foods.
- Stick to ‘nature’s carbs’ (high-fibre, plant-based foods): sprouted whole grains, fruit and vegetables, legumes, and seeds (chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin). Skip gluten when ‘fixing’ your gut health.
- Eat at least one serving of cruciferous veggies every day.
- Eat meals that are a combination of omega-rich & healthy fats, complex carbs (high fibre) and proteins together to stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Limit cow dairy (eliminate it when fixing gut health).
- Be beverage picky: skip the ones with refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, rich creams and alcohol. Drink caffeine moderately.
- Eat probiotic-rich foods: fermented foods such as kombucha, cultured vegetables, miso, cultured yogurt, and kefir. Do this slowly as your body gets used to new beneficial bacteria.
- Eat prebiotic-rich foods ( form of dietary fibre that feed the “friendly” bacteria in your gut): dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichokes, bananas, blueberries, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, barley, oats, flaxseed, Burdock root, cocoa.
- Drink lots of water (8 to 12 glasses per day (2 to 3 L).
- Probiotic supplements (for fixing gut health): a daily supplement can help balance your microbiome and improve digestive health. Talk to your health care provider for recommendations and dosing.
- Eat healthy fats: avocados, nuts, chia/flax/hemp seeds, olives, fatty fish are all great options.
Below is a sample one-day meal plan that focuses on foods that support gut health. Try if for a day, or two/three, when you're seeing signs of inflammation*, which often results from poor gut-health.
* Signs of inflammation: brain fog/reduced mental focus, irritability, bloating, constipation, sleeping troubles, swelling, skin breakouts
Breakfast: The Big Green Smoothie
1/2 avocado (med size or 1 small size), peeled, pit removed.
1/2 small banana, peeled, chopped
1/2 cup blueberries, frozen
1 cup organic spinach
1 TBSP flaxseeds
1 TSP dandelion extract (powder)
1 cup water
Blends all ingredients together.
Probiotic: if you take a probiotic, have with your breakfast.
Protein Powders: avoid whey or pea protein protein powders (both can cause bloating). If adding a powder, opt for a sprouted, brown rice or hemp protein booster.
Green Tea - skip coffee and opt for green or herbal tea.
Lunch: makes 2 servings
- 4 cups vegetable broth (use dashi for more traditional miso soup)
- 2 sheets nori (dried seaweed, cut into large rectangles (1 sheet yields 1/4 cup)
- 4 Tbsp white or yellow miso paste (fermented soy bean)
- 2 cups chopped leeks
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 1.5 cup firm organic tofu (cubed)
- Place vegetable broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a low simmer.
- In the meantime, place miso (starting with lesser end of the range) into a small bowl, add a little hot water and whisk until smooth. This will ensure it doesn’t clump when added to the soup later. Set aside.
- To the broth, add leeks, green onion, and tofu and cook for 5 minutes. Then add nori and stir. Remove from heat, add miso mixture, and stir to combine.
- 4. Taste & add more miso or pinch of sea salt if desired.
Serve in bowl with a side (if desired). A slice of Ezekiel bread or a simple salad (eg. organic greens, radish, onion, cucumber, celery + TSP of lemon & olive oil dressing).
Snack: Easy Chia Cups
Makes 3 to 4 servings
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk (or any dairy-free milk)
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp real maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Dinner: Oh She Glows Power Bowl
We love prepping this recipe ahead and having the cooked ingredients stocked in the fridge, ready for quick-assembly bowls.
(makes 3-ish servings)
FOR THE ROASTED VEGGIES:
- 3 small (680 g) sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (4 cups)
- 4 cups (500 g) brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved*
- 1 medium (800 g) cauliflower, chopped into small florets (4 heaping cups)
- 1 medium (230 g) onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 large (500 g) red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
FOR THE QUINOA:
- 2 cups (400 g) uncooked quinoa
FOR THE FRESH VEGGIES:
- 1 medium (370 g) English cucumber, chopped
- 1 medium (135 g) bunch green onions, chopped
- 2 cups (255 g) grape tomatoes (1 dry pint)
FOR THE POWER BOWL ASSEMBLY (PER BOWL):
- 1 cup Chopped lettuce/greens (Romaine, Iceberg, kale, etc)
- 1 TBSP Salad dressing
- 1/2 small ripe avocado, diced
- 1/2 cup firm tofu, diced
- 1 TBSP pumpkin seeds
- 1 TBSP hummus (made with olive oil, not canola oil)
Recipe Inspiration Source: Oh She Glows
Hydrate: throughout the day, sip lots of non-caffeinated teas and water with lemon (at least 10 to 12 glasses total).
Hard Nos: refined sugar, alcohol, processed foods, fried foods, dairy, meat, shellfish.