Health issues can occur anywhere along the GI tract from heartburn and stomach pain to absorption problems in the small intestine and disturbances in the flora of the large intestine. No fear! Healthy, whole foods can heal the gut anywhere you encounter problems.
Here are the FoodTrients top 10 foods that heal the gut:
Soothing aloe can be used for more than just a sunburn. Aloe can be used as a laxative to relieve constipation and improve stool consistency. It sooths the skin in the mouth and gums, providing healing effects to the inside of the body. Aloe has also been used to treat irritable bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis.
One of the most important components in apples and applesauce is a fiber called pectin which works as a thickening agent to help form solid stool and prevent recurring diarrhea. With 17 percent of your daily fiber needs in one apple, blending it up to create applesauce can be very calming to the intestines in times of distress. When purchasing applesauce, make sure to read the label and avoid added sugars.
This portable fruit contains mild laxative properties and can help to relieve constipation. Used in ancient medicine to cure constipation in children and heal lesions in the intestines, bananas can be good for the gut. The fiber in bananas restore the health of good bacteria in the large intestine and may reduce inflammation due to their high levels of potassium and magnesium.
4. Tempeh and Miso
These fermented soy foods contain probiotics in addition to many other healthful properties. Studies show they directly introduce healthy live bacteria to the gut that crowd out unhealthy varieties. Foods containing probiotics can improve bacterial balance in the large intestine and even restore regularity in people with constipation. Probiotics in fermented foods may help boost immune function and may even shorten diarrhea related to antibiotic use, contaminated food, infection, or virus.
This soothing root can calm many GI illnesses from motion and morning sickness to colic, diarrhea, stomach upset, flatulence, irritable bowel syndrome, chemotherapy-induced nausea, loss of appetite, and even post-surgical nausea and vomiting. Whether you drink it in a tea, use it as a chew, or grate it into food, ginger has long been used to treat these conditions and research shows it is generally safe and effective.
Beautiful green artichokes have many properties that support the gut. From stomach upset to nausea, alcohol-induced hangovers, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) including healthy artichokes in your diet can be a delicious and tummy-soothing choice. Prepare them as a side dish and use lemon as a flavoring instead of heavy butter or cream for an even more potent boost to the digestive system.
7. Marshmallow Root
A potent healer of inflammation, marshmallow root can be found in teas and other herbal formulas that sooth the gut including peptic ulcers, constipation, diarrhea and general inflammation in sensitive digestive tissue. It was used in ancient Greek medicine to treat these conditions.
This soft, sweet fruit contains several unique protein-digesting enzymes including papain and chymopapain. By promoting a healthy environment in the gut, the fiber in papaya also helps relieve constipation. This fruit cools inflammation with its potent combination of antioxidant vitamins C and beta-carotene.
Full of fiber and antioxidant like vitamin C, pineapple also contains a special compound called bromelain that is used as a digestive enzyme. It also has been shown to fight inflammation and researchers believe these benefits support digestion in the intestinal tract when pineapple is consumed.
A lack of water can cause dehydration and worsen constipation while increasing consumption can help cure it. At the first signs of constipation, be sure to hydrate your by increasing water intake to help ease elimination. If you’re attempting to increase dietary fiber through fruits, veggies, whole grains and beans, it’s important to increase water as well so that your bowel health is optimized.
Let us know in the comments if you have any suggestions for foods that help heal the gut!
Worlds Healthiest Foods. Apples. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=15 Accessed 4/16/18.
Worlds Healthiest Foods. Pineapple. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=34 Accessed 4/16/18.
Worlds Healthiest Foods. Papaya. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=47 Accessed 4/16/18.
Consumer Reports. https://www.consumerreports.org/healthy-eating/foods-that-are-good-for-gut-health/ Published 9/27/17. Accessed 4/16/18.
Natural Medicines Database. Aloe. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=607 Updated 12/21/2017. Accessed 4/16/18.
Natural Medicines Database. Ginger. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=961 Updated 3/13/2018. Accessed 4/16/18.
Natural Medicines Database. Marshmallow Root. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=774 Updated 12/8/2017. Accessed 4/23/18.