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Gut Health: Building

Now that we’ve learned the purpose and benefits of cleansing, today’s blog covers building and maintenance. As mentioned last week, cleansing and building can take place simultaneously since a lot of what is used to clean out the gut also builds it. For example, chlorophyll is a cleanser, blood nourisher, and a healing superfood. It helps to build red blood cells, purges heavy metals from your bloodstream and tissue, and improves digestion. It is also a prebiotic, creating a foundation in your gut for good bacteria to flourish. Chlorophyll is found in all leafy greens, like kale, collards, romaine lettuce, arugula, parsley, cilantro, and spinach. Liquid chlorophyll can also be an option if you don’t have a juicer but would like to incorporate it more often in your diet, however, be aware that liquid chlorophyll supplements are usually chlorophyllin, a semi-synthetic, water-soluble form of chlorophyll. Chlorophyllin is derived from chlorophyll but bound to copper instead of magnesium.

 

When building gut health, a balanced diet is essential. There are a couple ways to approach this step that’s dependent on if you have a pre-existing ailment you are in the process of healing from (which would take a more aggressive approach), or if you are simply building for maintenance. The more aggressive approach (involving a raw, plant-based diet and juicing) lightens up once your desired goal is met where you would incorporate some of the things done at this stage weekly instead of daily. A balanced diet means eating a variety of foods rich in fiber and polyphenols, such as fruits and vegetables, and prebiotic and probiotic foods. Prebiotics are types of fiber that feed probiotics, which are living microorganisms that add to your gut microbiota. A couple weeks ago we discussed probiotic and prebiotic foods that help build and maintain healthy microorganisms for gut health. Be sure to review Gut Health: Enzymes, Probiotics & Prebiotics for a recap of foods that fit in these categories.

 

In order to maintain proper gut health, limit your ultra-processed food intake. Processed foods run effortlessly through your GI tract, and since the body perceives it as a “pre-digested” food, the gut willingly absorbs the sugar, salt, fat and additives these foods carry. Also, too much bread and other starch and grain products form a coagulation of blood fibrin that collects in the dead-ends of blood vessels in the lower part of the rectum. Over time hemorrhoids result because the waste matter in the blood stream is not properly purged. Be sure to drink water and stay hydrated, eat slowly, get adequate sleep (aim for 7–9 hours each night), manage stress, and exercise to maintain overall health and the well-being of your gut.

 

Below are a few recipes to give you an idea of what to eat to help you kick start your building process. It’s also advised to consult a functional nutrition counselor for gut wellness. Bon appetite!

 

B’fast Nourish Bowl

•1 cup plant-based yogurt

•½ cup full fat coconut milk

•2 tbsp acai

•2 tsp maca powder

•1 cup frozen raspberry/blackberry/blueberry mix

Blend and add to bowl, top with 1 tbsp each of chia seeds, flax seeds, sliced almonds, coconut flakes, and fresh blackberries, kiwi, and strawberries


Lunch Beloved Nourish Bowl

• 1 cup cooked quinoa

• ½ cup roasted sweet potato

• ½ cup kale

• ½ cup roasted broccoli

• ½ cup chickpeas

• ½ hass avocado

Top with garlic tahini dressing

 

Dinner Mediterranean Salad

• 3 cups kale

• 1 roma tomato

• ¼ cup onion

• 3 tbsp kalamata olives

• ½ cup cucumber

• ½ green pepper

Season with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, liquid amino, fresh minced garlic, sea salt and pepper to taste

 

Interested in a consultation with a functional nutrition counselor? Email Chef Del at livewell.chefdel@gmail.com.



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