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Functional Nutrition: What is your Gut saying to your Body Mind and Spirit?

Updated: Apr 25


Throughout life, a range of healthy lifestyle factors, including a diversified diet, limited use of processed foods, avoidance of prolonged restricted diets, and consumption of adequate dietary fiber, all promote a healthy microbiome" 1

HOW DO WE BALANCE?


We are all individual's and our well-being is deeply intertwined with our digestive health. A compromised gastrointestinal system can manifest beyond mere stomach discomforts. It's not just about gas or bloating; imbalances in our gut might be at the root of broader health concerns. The way we digest, absorb and assimilate our food equals vitality. Skin conditions, such as eczema to more severe issues like autoimmune diseases or depression,, even cardiovascular challenges.

Recognizing and addressing our digestive health is paramount to our holistic well-bein


While there's no one-size-fits-all approach, here are some common ideas that many find beneficial A "gut reset" typically refers to a period where specific dietary and lifestyle changes are made with the intent of improving gut health.




5 R Framework to Reset your Gut


REMOVE TRIGGERS

Or anything that upsets your belly or cause's bloating or a negative environment. Use a journal to write down foods that you find to do this and Avoid them! This may require an elimination diet, where you sytematically avoid for example gluten or dairy.

REPLACE

with healthy easily digestable food for you! This may include digestive enzymes, bitters, Bone broth is rich in gelatin and collagen, bone broth can be soothing for the gut lining.

Eliminate Processed food! Focus on whole foods and minimize intake of artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and additives.

REINOCULATE Help beneficial bacteria flourish by eating probiotic-rich foods that contain “good” bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria andLactobacillus species, and by eating high-fiber foods that supply prebiotics to nourish good microbes. • Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms found in the gut and are also called “friendly bacteria.” The use of antibiotics kills both good and bad bacteria. Probiotics from supplements or food are often needed to help reestablish a balanced gut flora. Fermented foods, such as yogurt, miso, and tempeh, can provide probiotics. • Prebiotics are food components that selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms already in the large intestine. In other words, prebiotics feed probiotics. Prebiotics are available in many foods that contain a fiber called inulin, including artichokes, garlic, leeks, onions, chicory, tofu, and other soy products. Grains and seeds such as barley, oats, wheat, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are also good sources of prebiotics. REPAIR Help the lining of the GI tract repair itself by supplying key nutrients that are often in short supply in a compromised gut, such as zinc, antioxidants (such as vitamins A, C, and E), omega-3 fish oils, and the amino acid glutamine. REBALANCE It is important to pay attention to lifestyle choices. Sleep, exercise, and stress can all affect the GI tract. Managing and balancing those factors helps promote optimal digestive tract health


Embrace Consistency: It's the Fuel that Energizes Our Body, Mind, and Spirit

Circadian Rhythm Function:

Sleep Foods and dietary patterns to regulate internal clocks:

  • Aim for regular meal times daily.

  • Aim for regular sleep times

  • Eat a balanced breakfast; avoid large meals before bedtime.

  • Limit caffeine in the afternoon/evening.

  • Consider foods rich in melatonin for dinner: tart cherries, tomatoes, grapes, and walnuts.

  • Include sources of tryptophan, which converts to serotonin and then melatonin: turkey, chicken, dairy, nuts, and seeds.



Increased Gastric Permeability (Leaky Gut): Gut-friendly foods:

  • Fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut)

  • Bone broth

  • High-fiber foods (whole grains, vegetables, fruits)

  • Healthy fats (avocado, olive oil)

  • Steer clear of excessive sugar, refined carbs, and artificial additiv


Oxidative Stress: Antioxidant-rich foods:

These neutralize free radicals, which are at the core of oxidative stress.

  • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)

  • Dark chocolate (with high cocoa content)

  • Nuts (especially walnuts and pecans)

  • Spinach and kale

  • Artichokes

  • Beans (red beans, kidney beans)

  • Green tea


Inflammation: Anti-inflammatory foods:

  • Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)

  • Turmeric (curcumin is the active compound)

  • Ginger

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Dark leafy greens

  • Nuts (like almonds and walnuts)

  • Berries


Nutrient Deficiencies: Diverse whole foods:

A well-rounded diet ensures a variety of essential nutrients.

  • Colorful vegetables and fruits

  • Whole grains (like quinoa, brown rice)

  • Lean proteins (poultry, fish)

  • Dairy or fortified alternatives (like almond milk)

  • Iron-rich foods (spinach, beef, lentils)

  • Nuts and seeds (for minerals like magnesium and selenium)



Mitochondrial Dysfunction: Nutrients that support mitochondrial health:

  • Coenzyme Q10 (found in fatty fish, beef, poultry)

  • Magnesium-rich foods (spinach, nuts, whole grains)

  • Iron-rich foods (spinach, lentils, beef)

  • B vitamins (whole grains, eggs, legumes)

In addition to the foods listed, HYDRATION plays a crucial role in almost every physiological process. Drinking adequate water daily is vital for optimal function. As with any dietary changes, it's essential to consult with a healthcare or nutrition professional to ensure the best approach tailored to individual needs.


Stress can directly impact gut health. Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and regular exercise can be helpful. Focus on YOUR Goals! Dance through the distractions:)

Make an appointment today to discuss other ways to improve your gut, heart and mind connection!





References


1 Appleton J. (2018). The Gut-Brain Axis: Influence of Microbiota on Mood and Mental Health. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 17(4), 28–32.


Shanahan F, van Sinderen D, O’Toole PW, et al Feeding the microbiota: transducer of nutrient signals for the host Gut 2017;66:1709-1717.

The Institute for Functional Medicine REFERENCES 1. Fasano A. Leaky gut and autoimmune diseases. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2012;42(1):71-78. doi:10.1007/s12016-011-8291-x. 2. Lopetuso LR, Petito V, Zambrano D, et al. Gut microbiota: a key modulator of intestinal healing in inflammatory bowel disease. Dig Dis. 2016;34(3):202-209. doi:10.1159/000444460. 3. Shu XL, Yu TT, Kang K, Zhao J. Effects of glutamine on markers of intestinal inflammatory response and mucosal permeability in abdominal surgery patients: a meta-analysis. Exp Ther Med. 2016;12(6):3499-3506. doi:10.3892/etm.2016.3799.





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