First Things First – Improve your Gut Health

Improving gut health is often not the first thing you think of when are looking to drop some body fat. Possibly the most over looked aspect of health when it comes to getting lean, a healthy gut is essential to achieving long term results. Having a healthy gut means more than being annoyed by a little bloating or heartburn. It becomes central to your entire health and is connected to everything that happens in your body, that’s why I almost always start new clients with a protocol aimed at fixing their guts first.

So, why is it so important to have a healthy gut? Gut bacteria alters the way we store fat, how we balance levels of glucose in the blood, and how we respond to hormones that make us feel hungry or full. The wrong mix of too many bad and not enough good can set the stage for weight gain and diabetes from the moment of birth. Your gut is a huge chemical factory that helps to digest food, produce vitamins, regulate hormones, excrete toxins and produce healing compounds. If you have been eating really well and haven’t seen the results you expected it could be poor gut health is causing malabsorption of all those healthy nutrients.

Optimal gut balance begins with your diet. Here’s what you need to improve your gut health:

  • Smart supplements: Probiotics first thing in the morning and last thing at night, a tablespoon of glutamine first thing in the morning, before & after workouts. Also some additional Omega 3’s.
  • Bone broth: The gelatin found in bone broth is beneficial for restoring strength of the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities (such as wheat or dairy), helping with the growth of probiotics (good bacteria) in the gut, and supporting healthy inflammation levels in the digestive tract.
  • Eat Whole Foods: One of the best ways to maintain gut health involves cutting out refined carbs, processed meats and sugars.
  • Add more vegetables: Good gut bacteria thrives on nutrient dense, plant based foods.
  • Fermented foods: Sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and miso contain good amounts of probiotics so your healthy gut bugs can thrive & multiply.
  • Eat good fats: Good fats such as extra-virgin olive oil, avocados or almonds improve healthy gut flora, while inflammatory fats, like omega 6 vegetable oils, sunflower oils & soybean oils promote growth of bad bugs that cause fat gain and potentially chronic disease.
  • Coconut oil: the mother of all oils, coconut oils anti-inflammatory benefits are essential for gut health.

The above recommendations are not miracle cures but they are the actions that lead to improved gut function and flora. Health begins in the gut and without a healthy gut you’ll find losing body fat significantly more difficult.