How do we get started with keeping a healthy gut? Is there a basic roadmap to a healthy gut? Health practitioners will tell you it begins with what you eat.
“The foods you eat determine the type of bacteria that grow in your gut,” says Chris Damman, MD, MA, University of Washington gastroenterologist in a recent MSN article. Dr. Damian says three food types can be damaging to our gut: refined baked goods, processed meats, sugary drinks (1).
Integrative medicine practitioner Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, DC, the author of the upcoming book, Gut Feelings, calls for four food types to avoid. These are grains containing gluten, industrial seed oils (canola oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil), added sugar (check ingredients in everything!), and dairy. Dr. Cole cautions people to take gradual steps and not drastically change eating habits overnight (2).
Occasionally add to that “digestive bitters” for digestive support — botanicals such as herbs, spices, flowers, etc. (3). Wormwood can (with doctor approval) be one of those herbs that helps restore gut balance by encouraging good bacteria growth and decreasing growth of bad bacteria. Other gut-enhancing foods and herbs include black walnut hull, organic olive leaf, cloves, coconut (caprylic acid) and Ceylon cinnamon (4).