Gut continues to be a buzz-word in the world of nutrition and holistic health. More and more research continues to come out on how our gut health has a bigger impact than we once thought when it comes to our immune system, metabolism and overall health.
And here’s the thing: There are a lot of gut health promotion programs out there (and more surely to hit the market soon) that offer up eating plans and supplemental treatment. But ironically, many of the recommendations within them could actually negatively impact your gut health.
Life Time has its own gut-healing program, and one of our most frequently asked questions we get is this:
“Can I take the GUT.FIXSM supplements without following the 30-day meal plan?”
The GUT.FIX kit is designed to help our internal gut with nourishment to help digest and absorb the food we are eating. And on its own, it’s surely to help boost overall digestive health and function while supporting our immune system.
But, if your digestive health is already compromised or having any sort of issues digesting and absorbing nutrients, you might need more support than the supplements in our kit.
So what are the key components of gut healing eating? Below I’ve outlined the key components in our GUT.FIX eating plan that includes why each recommendation works for most people trying to heal and nourish their gut. If you’ve dabbled in any sort of gut promotion eating plan, (without getting the results you were looking for) consider these gut-healing recommendations:
Eliminate the Biggest Offenders
Gluten, corn, dairy, soy, eggs and peanuts. There’s a reason these foods cause the most common food allergies within our population. We not only are overly exposed to these foods within the processed standard American diet, but they’re also the top offenders when it comes to foods that disrupt our digestive function and immunity. Also on the elimination list, processed vegetable oils (hello pro-inflammatory omega-6’s), beans, legumes and lentils (their high fiber can cause distress), foods high in added sugars, and specific nuts (cashews, hazelnuts and pistachios) that are harder to digest.
More Eating, Less Drinking
Although we recommend getting ample water throughout the day, (optimal is half your weight in ounces) focus on drinking that fluid before or after your meals, but never during. This not only will help you focus on our other mealtime recommendations, (focus on the food, eat slowly) but will also make it easier for your body to break down and digest the meal. Alcohol, coffee and tea should be eliminated as they can disrupt digestion and absorption of nutrients needed to heal your gut.
Rotate Your Proteins
When talking food intolerances and allergies, it is the protein within the food that the body is reacting to. As Americans, we tend to eat the same foods over and over so that when we compromise our gut health, we might start reacting to things that are common in our diet. Because we don’t have a huge variety of different proteins in our diet, (beef and chicken are most common) this food category specifically can be the most at-risk for a food sensitivity. The GUT.FIX meal plan rotates different proteins (or foods that are biologically similar) to not only provide variety but also help prevent a food sensitivity or allergy from emerging. To practice a rotation protocol with proteins, you can eat a specific category of protein (let’s say chicken) on a day and throughout the day, but then can’t again until at least four days later. This allows your body to full digest and eliminate it along with any potential antibodies.
Cook Your Vegetables
Vegetables provide ample amounts of vitamins and minerals along with some of the best sources of dietary fiber (needed to support optimal digestive function). But if your gut is feeling compromised, veggies in their raw form can cause additional distention and related symptoms, (excess gas, etc) making them not so desirable to consume. Eating cooked vegetables is a great way to make sure your body is getting the desirable nutrients and also making it easier for your body to digest and break them down. After a couple weeks of eating cooked vegetables, (and taking the gut supporting supplements) start incorporating a serving of raw vegetables each day so you can ease into them while having the opportunity to test your tolerance.
Reduction Of Other Top Offenders
So here’s the thing. If you eliminate the biggest offenders listed above, you’ll be in great shape to support your gut health. But, there are a few other food groups that are often deemed healthy (and ironically promoted as gut-healing foods in other gut health programs) that can actually prevent your gut from fully healing if you are reacting to them. These groups of foods include FODMAPS, (short chained fermented carbohydrates like garlic and onion) all nuts and seeds, all grains, (even the gluten-free ones like wild rice) fermented foods (like sauerkraut) and nightshade vegetables (bell peppers, white potatoes, etc.). We include the lists of each of these food categories with our online program to make sure users have all the information they need. Plus, we provide the recommendation of the “best tolerated” meal menu, being free of each of these top offenders for the best results and relief.
Include Gut-Nourishing Foods
Although eliminating problematic foods is helpful for any gut-healing program, the best ones also include foods that help nourish and heal the gut. The idea is to fill your plate up with foods that will support your gut and overall health, such as quality meats, cooked veggies and certain fruits, and beneficial oils that will all provide needed nutrients that are easy and readily absorbable to your body. When you take away all of the offenders that are hard on your digestive track, your body has an easier time soaking up the nourishing components of a quality diet.
Because we believe in the meal recommendations so heavily, we included a 30-day meal plan with the GUT.FIX kit’s online program to help overcome as many barriers as possible. The meal plan is designed to not only provide variety, but also nourishment and time to help support gut function and healing so that your body can work it’s best.
Is your gut due for a GUT.FIX? You can do anything for 30 days and your body will thank you for it.
What’s more, the GUT.FIX Kit is Life Time’s featured product of the month for July, so there’s no better time to do the program and get a great deal on the kit.
As always, if you have any questions about the program or anything related to gut health, feel free to email my team at [email protected].
– Anika Christ, Registered Dietitian and Life Time Weight Loss Director of Digital Programming & Events
This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader