Over 62 million people in the U.S. each year are affected with a digestive illness. Considering that's almost 20% of our population we think we have a problem. And besides the common cold, digestive issues including; celiac, eczema, ulcerative colitis, SIBO, IBS, reflux, constipation, acute diarrhea etc. are the most common reasons people seek medical advice (Elizabeth Lipski, Digestive Wellness 1994).
Let's keep you and your littles out of the doctor's office if we can! Here are my top four healing + preventative tips for gut health as a mom (and yes we've done some deep gut healing with this little girl):
1. Feed your littles a Nutrient Dense Diet (and yourself too!). Foods have the power to heal and to hurt your gut, Dani and I are both walking testaments to that. Our top tip is to consume real food; food that is grown from the ground without the use of chemicals and food that comes from animals who are treated the way they should be on green grass and under open sky. Stay away from processed foods that are made in labs and were not consumed in traditional diets, these foods often very hard for us to digest and are key culprits to what is making us sick. We believe in eating a diet that consist of all macronutrient groups, unless you have specific intolerances and are going through a very specific protocol for a time of healing.
2. Since you likely read our blog on The Microbiome, you now know that our gut health is all about getting the good bacteria up and bad bacteria down. To increase your littles good bacteria we recommend supplementing with a high quality probiotic daily. For Mommas, if you are outside your perinatal years and have no digestive issues this can mean in food form with kraut, kefir, homemade yogurt, or kombucha. However for women in their perinatal years we recommend investing in a probiotic supplement that will provide all the strains you might be lacking. Supplementing with probiotics when pregnant is one of the best ways you can give your little inside the start they deserve with making sure they will be getting inoculated in plenty of good bacteria when making their grand debut through the vaginal canal. Our fav's are all listed on this blog.
3. Increase foods specific to healing the intestinal lining. Bone broth is high in proline which converts to collagen which can tighten not only your skin but also your small intestine lining. This means if you suffer from leaky gut (small holes in your intestine which can create food intolerances and a host of other issues) consuming bone broth daily is a wonderful way to heal. Other healing foods we recommend are well cooked onions, squash, and ghee. And of course collagen peptides that can be added to almost anything!
4. Ditch the refined carbohydrates and sugar. We like to focus more on the foods you should be eating but there are some foods that must be avoided + limited for long term gut health. Sugar (especially in the form of refined carbohydrates) feeds bad bacteria. If you are suffering from any form of candida or yeast overgrowth, getting the sugar out of your diet will be one of the best ways to starve the bad guys. Now moms this doesn't mean you can't feed your littles pasta and pizza; just get creative! My littles love Banza chickpea pasta that you can buy on Thrive Market along with crackers from Simple Mills and chips from Siete (use this link for 25% off your first order).
You've got this momma, lets focus on the four tips listed above and start healing our guts today!
Xo Dani and Whitney