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5 Ways To Reduce Gut Inflammation and Take Control of Your Health

Once the gut becomes inflamed, it influences every aspect of our health. It’s one of the main reasons taking care of our gut and reducing gut inflammation is critical to our overall health. Chronic inflammation increases the risk for heart and cardiovascular diseases, neurological problems, and Thyroid disease to name a few(*). Gut inflammation is also an accepted trigger when it comes to autoimmune diseases. (*),(*),(*)

If you suspect some of the health conditions, you’re experiencing might be due to inflammation within your gut, there are several steps you can take to improve the health of your gut and so in today’s video/article, I want to give you 5 Ways to Reduce Gut Inflammation so you can take back your health.

Reduce Gut Inflammation

1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Reduce your intake of highly processed foods, refined carbs, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol. Instead, choose anti-inflammatory foods– If you want to get serious about your health, you need to reduce levels of inflammation, you will want to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. This might mean that you follow something that resembles a paleo diet or a Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils. In addition to lowering inflammation, a more natural, less processed diet can have noticeable effects on your physical and even emotional health.

Anti-inflammatory foods are loaded with colors aka polyphenols. Think about all the colors in fruits and vegetables.  Yellows, reds, Oranges, pinks, purples, green. Vegetables and fruits contain different pigments, or phytonutrients, which give them their color but more importantly, Phytonutrients also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help support your health in hundreds of ways. These phytonutrients protect your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals and oxidative stress.

Different-colored plants are linked to higher levels of specific nutrients and health benefits so eating more vegetables and fruit is a no brainer and if you focus on eating a variety of colors every day- this will in turn, increase your intake of different nutrients, different phytonutrients to benefit various areas of your health. That said, almost all studies show benefits from regularly eating colorful fruits and vegetables with virtually no downsides. (*)

Choose foods like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, peaches, nectarines,  and cherries, again Think color! Vegetables should include things like broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower, – these are our cruciferous vegetables that help clean out our liver, and kidneys. Cabbage juice, by the way, is incredibly helpful for people with inflammation caused by ulcers, and believe it or not- juicing cabbage tastes great as long as you drink it right away. I’ve got a ton of juicing videos on my website that include cabbage for inflammation. When it comes to spices, I love turmeric and Ginger. You can juice these as well!

2. Implement an Elimination diet

If you suspect that certain foods are triggering gut inflammation, it might be worth giving an elimination diet a try. An elimination diet is a short-term dietary approach designed to identify and eliminate foods that may be causing adverse reactions or symptoms in an individual. It involves temporarily removing certain foods from the diet and then systematically reintroducing them to determine if they trigger any unwanted reactions. Some of the foods you may want to try removing include:

  • Soy
  • Dairy and anything made from Dairy.
  • Nightshade vegetables
  • Gluten- a protein found in wheat, barley, Rye, and other grains
  • Corn
  • Shellfish
  • Foods High in Histamine
  • Nuts
  • Foods that are high in FODMAPS

While you’re not consuming these specific foods, keep a journal on how you feel, your energy levels, and your bloating, and note any changes that you see. Then after a few weeks slowly reintroduce these foods back into your diet over two to three days, while noting any specific symptoms that you experience. If you need help implementing an elimination diet or low FODMAP or Low Histamine, you can reach out to my clinic and work with one of my nutritionists.

Cortisol and Gut Inflammation

3. Get Your Cortisol Levels Under Control

The gut is often referred to as the second brain because it has a nervous system with more neurotransmitters than the brain’s central nervous system,” When we’re stressed, our brain activates the sympathetic nervous system and we get an overload of Cortisol surging through out body.(*)

The sympathetic nervous system and the release of Cortisol is our flight-or-fight response: it prepares the body to protect itself against imminent danger by conserving functions that aren’t immediately needed for survival. Unfortunately, when you are in a fight or flight state, that means that digestion comes to a grinding halt. High cortisol levels can disrupt the integrity of the intestinal barrier, leading to increased gut permeability, also known as leaky gut syndrome.

Cortisol can influence the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota, the community of beneficial bacteria living in the digestive tract. High cortisol levels have been associated with changes in the gut microbiome, including a decrease in beneficial bacteria and an increase in harmful bacteria.  Chronic stress and high cortisol levels can suppress digestive enzyme production and reduce gastric acid secretion. This can impair the breakdown of food and hinder the absorption of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Cortisol can alter the movement of the digestive tract, leading to changes in gut motility. Stress-induced cortisol release can slow down the contractions of the intestines, resulting in constipation or the sensation of slowed bowel movements. Elevated cortisol levels can contribute to systemic inflammation, including in the gut. Inflammation in the digestive tract can disrupt the normal functioning of the gut, impair nutrient absorption, and contribute to gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Support your adrenal glands with adrenal adaptogens. Things like licorice, Rhodioloa, Ginseng, PS, Ashwagandha. It’s shown that when we get out of fight-or-flight mode, we can better manage our gut health so much better.

4. Take Probiotics

Your gut is home to a complex ecosystem of 300–500 bacterial species. Probiotics are usually bacteria, but certain types of beneficial yeasts (Saccharomyces boulardii) can also function as probiotics. The gut microbiota includes bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea, and helminths — with bacteria making up the vast majority. Probiotics are an excellent way of improving the health of your gut and reducing inflammation. Certain probiotics have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and can help reduce inflammation in the body. Here are 5 probiotics that have been clinically researched and shown to help with inflammation.

Probiotics Reduce gut inflammation

  1. Spore based ProbioticsWhen it comes to probiotics, Soil based probiotics aka spore based probiotics and the impact they have on gut inflammation could be a game changer for you.
  2. Lactobacillus acidophilus: This probiotic strain has been shown to reduce inflammation in the gut and improve symptoms in inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
  3. Bifidobacterium bifidum: Studies have indicated that Bifidobacterium bifidum may help reduce markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), and improve immune function.
  4. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG: This strain of probiotic has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties and has been studied for its potential to reduce inflammation in conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and allergies.
  5. Saccharomyces boulardii: This yeast-based probiotic has been shown to modulate the immune response and reduce inflammation in the gut. It is often used to help alleviate symptoms of diarrhea and inflammation associated with antibiotic use or infections.
  6. Bifidobacterium longum: Studies have suggested that Bifidobacterium longum may help reduce gut inflammation, protect against harmful bacteria, and improve intestinal barrier function.

Having the right gut bacteria has been linked to numerous health benefits(*), including things

  • Weight loss
  • Improved digestion
  • Enhanced immune function
  • Healthier skin
  • Improved T3 Thyroid Hormone levels

Probiotic and fermented foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kimchi. Probiotics should not be confused with prebiotics, which are carbs — often dietary fibers — that help feed the friendly bacteria already in your gut (*).

5. Proper Nutrients

For many people with Gut issues (*), they stop eating because every time they eat, their stomach hurts or they get bloated, or they just feel better when they don’t eat. The problem with this is that it’s a recipe for causing vitamin and mineral deficiencies. I see this with patients every single day.

Often when the gut is inflamed, crucial vitamin stores are depleted. In cases where the gut is inflamed, you want to make sure that your body has vital nutrients that help fight inflammation.

When the gut is inflamed, it can be beneficial to consume certain vitamins to support gut healing and reduce inflammation. Here are some vitamins that can be helpful:

vitamins and nutrients to reduce gut inflammation

1. Vitamin A: It plays a crucial role in immune function and helps maintain the integrity of the digestive tract lining. Foods rich in vitamin A include leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, liver, and cod liver oil.

2. Vitamin D: It has anti-inflammatory properties and supports immune function. Vitamin D helps maintain the physical and functional integrity of the gut mucosal barrier by reducing the permeability of epithelial cells and modulating tight-junction proteins, (*) preventing invasion of pathogenic bacterial species.  While sun exposure is important for vitamin D, it’s not enough to expect exposure to the sun to provide all the levels of Vitamin D our body needs. Vitamin D can also be obtained from fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and supplements. I prefer liquid Vitamin D supplementation.

3. Vitamin C: It is a potent antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation.(*) vitamin C increased levels of a gut bacterium called Bifidobacterium which has positive health benefits, including fighting infection (*) Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, kiwi, and broccoli.

4. Vitamin E: It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties(*). Vitamin E can regulate the gut microbiota both directly or indirectly by modifying the immune system and the metabolism of bacteria, which in turn affect the microbial proliferation. (*) Good sources include vitamin E with mixed tocopherols, nuts, seeds, spinach, and avocados.

5. B vitamins: These vitamins, particularly B6, B9 (folate), and B12, play a role in maintaining a healthy gut lining and supporting digestive function. (*) legumes, leafy greens, eggs, and lean meats are good sources of B vitamins.

6. Omega-3 fatty acids: Although not a vitamin, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce gut inflammation. Omega-3 PUFAs affect the gut microbiome in three main ways: (*) modulating the type and abundance of gut microbes; (*) altering the levels of pro-inflammatory mediators, such as endotoxins (lipopolysaccharides) and IL17; and (*) regulating the levels of short-chain fatty acids or short-chain fatty acid salts.(*),(*) Good sources include fatty fish (like salmon and mackerel), and Omega 3 Fish oil supplements.

7. Zinc: It is involved in immune function, wound healing, and gut health.(*) Zinc-rich foods include oysters, beef, poultry, pumpkin seeds, and legumes.

8.Polyphenols: polyphenols can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, such as Bifidobacterium. Tannin in pomegranate, gingerol in ginger, grape polyphenols, and sorghum polyphenols can promote the growth of Bifidobacterium. Tannin can also promote the growth of Lactobacillus (*),(*) When it comes to gut health, one of the best polyphenols are the ones found in extracts of pomegranate. I like this supplement  PhytoPre because of the research done on the specific polyphenols and their impact on gut health.

Heres What You need to Remember About Today’s Article 

Inflammation within your gut can cause a host of unwanted health symptoms, from chronic constipation and bloating to Brain Fog, fatigue, and depression. Every aspect of your health is tied into gut health either directly or indirectly. A few changes to your diet and lifestyle, and taking a few supplements can make some powerful changes to your health.

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