Gut Health

The 9 best gut healing foods to invest in (+ 5 to avoid at all cost!)

Written by Steve Collins on May 30, 2024

1. Collagen, L-glutamine & bone broth

We call these "pro-gut proteins" and the quality of and the frequency we use these proteins to promote gut rejuvenation and maintenance of excellent health and function is one of the success secrets of our clients.

2. Kefir

We're not fans of randomly telling people to eat fermented foods. As many people get worse on them as see slight improvements. The exceptions are raw dairy or coconut kefir. You may experience a few rough days on them at the start however, so it's best to spend time using the pro-gut proteins first. 

3. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal because it contains lauric acid. This oil is incredibly immune  and gut health supportive and a first class oil to cook with.

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4. Grass-fed butter

Well sourced butter is a good source of vitamin A, K2 and butyrate. It's also another excellent fat to use at high heat, and is typically easy to digest.

5. Squash

Squash may help to soothe an inflamed large intestine (colon). It's also packed with vitamin C, A, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

6. Liver

Liver is one of our favourite foods at My Way Up. Admittedly, not to eat on its own. In fact, we just like it in capsule form. 

However, it's pro-gut benefits are undeniable, and it's about the most important pro-metabolic foods on the planet also. This is down to its very high vitamin A, D, E, K and B availability, plus a load of other minerals like iron, copper and magnesium. It's a must have.

7. Extra virgin olive oil

"Extra virgin" simply means it's a cold pressed version of olive oil that is never heated. And that's a good thing, because olive oil is destroyed when exposed to light, or high heat temperatures (<190 C - 374 F).

Extra-virgin olive oil affects the gut microbiota by reducing the abundance of pathogenic bacteria, stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria, and increasing the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which help to lower inflammation.

8. Shellfish

Shellfish are nature's multi-mineral supplements, that a lot of people also find delicious (I'm one of them).

Oysters in particular are absolutely packed with pro-thyroid, metabolism supporting minerals that make a huge impact on your overall health. Remember, if your metabolism is unsupported and sluggish, you'll be unlikely to ever fully heal your gut.

9. Root vegetables

Well cooked root vegetables are easy to digest and support growth of good gut bacteria. Root vegetables like carrots are "prebiotic" foods, that also provide a great benefit to the metabolism and in our experience, help people gain a measure of control of their wider nutrition.

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BONUS: 5 "Foods" To Avoid At All Cost

Eat more of these YES foods mentioned above, and less of these NO foods to further improve your gut healing potential.

  1. Emulsifiers like maltodextrin and carrageenan 
  2. Artificial colours, flavours, gums and preservatives
  3. Vegetable and seed oils
  4. Most raw vegetables (cook them)
  5. Alcohol (we know, we know. So start healing ASAP!)

References

1. Vollmer, D., West, V., Lephart, E., 2018, Enhancing Skin Health: By Oral Administration of Natural Compounds and Minerals with Implications to the Dermal Microbiome

2. Shilling, M., Matt, L., Rubin E., Visitacion M., Haller, N., Grey, S., 2013, Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile

3. Hebeisen D., Hoeflin, F., Reusch, H., Lauterburg, B., 1993, Increased concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in milk and platelet rich plasma of grass-fed cows

4. Millman, J., Okamoto, S., Teruya, T., Uema, T., Ikematsu, S., Shimabukuro, M., 2021, Extra-virgin olive oil and the gut-brain axis: influence on gut microbiota, mucosal immunity, and cardiometabolic and cognitive health

5. Venugopal, V., Gopakumar, K., 2017, Shellfish: Nutritive Value, Health Benefits, and Consumer Safety

6. Que, F., Hou, X., Wang, G., Xu, Z., Tan, G., Li, T., Wang, Y., 2019, Advances in research on the carrot, an important root vegetable in the Apiaceae family