Did you know that gut inflammation could be the cause of your digestion issues? And not just digestive issues, but medical conditions such as fatigue, irregular blood sugar, chronic constipation, acne, and joint aches – plus many more. It can even ruin your social life!
Inflammation is a natural process that your body uses to fight pathogens and heal damaged cells. However, if inflammation continues over a long period of time, it can become harmful.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and even autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. If untreated, it can continue for months or years.
Reducing inflammation is key to a healthy lifestyle. The great news is that there are plenty of ways to do this simply by eating the right foods.
Bone broth is a fantastic anti-inflammatory food you can make right at home! It’s rich in an important amino called glutamine, which plays a major role in ‘sticking’ those loose intestinal cells back together again. This makes it extremely beneficial for healing damaged intestinal tissues.
A major component of bone broth is gelatin. Gelatin is an amino acid which is highly beneficial for restoring the integrity of the gut lining. This in turn helps to reduce inflammation because your gut is better able to keep those food particles out of your bloodstream, so you’ll be less likely to develop food sensitivities or allergies.
Traditional bone broth recipes included the entire animal carcass, from the bones and marrow to the skin, feet, ligaments and tendons. These were boiled and then simmered over several days. This simmering allowed the bones and connective tissues to release compounds contained within, such as collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine. And because we humans are made of the same ‘stuff’ as animals, these compounds are exactly what our bodies need to heal. Bone broth is also an excellent source of vitamin A, calcium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, selenium, magnesium, and much more.
Sauerkraut may be just fermented cabbage – but it has a huge range of health benefits. It contains an important species of bacteria called Lactobacillus plantarum, which has been shown to benefit digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This and other strains help to counter pathogens and toxins that enter the gastrointestinal tract, which can also counter gut inflammation.
These valuable probiotic bacteria help in digesting the food you’ve eaten and play an important role in moving waste through to your colon. This improves bowel transit time, reducing the amount of time waste spends sitting in your gut and therefore reducing the associated digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, cramps and constipation. Better bowel transit time means less irritation and inflammation.
Eating sauerkraut as part of your daily diet is a great way to keep gut inflammation at bay. You’ll be supplying your gut with the nutrients it needs to keep the rest of your body in good health, while preventing potential inflammatory reactions caused by invading pathogens. This regular supply of nutrients will also help to regulate the hormones that can lead to inflammation.
Far from just a savoury addition to meals, onions are a powerful medicine for the gut! It’s been found that eating onions regularly helps to maintain good digestive health, along with reducing levels of inflammation. This is because onions contain the flavonoid quercetin that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body.
Quercetin also inhibits the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein is the blood. This kind of oxidation is a major factor in the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
Quercetin also protects and regenerates vitamin E, an important antioxidant. Animal studies have shown quercetin can reduce inflammation related to metabolic syndrome and osteoporosis.
Onions also contain good amounts of vitamin C, which is vital for regulating immune health, collagen production, tissue repair and the absorption of iron. Additionally, vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells from damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals, which is a major factor in gut inflammation.
ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar)
ACV is one of the most popular natural remedies for promoting gut healing and reducing inflammation.
Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apples. This produces healthy organisms known as prebiotics. Prebiotics are a type of food for the good bacteria in your gut, which are necessary for the breakdown of food and your overall well-being. Prebiotics and probiotics help to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal environment in which your gut microbiome is able to reduce inflammation in the digestive system, joints, and other areas of the body.
ACV also has an alkaline pH, which can help to keep your body from becoming too acidic. It’s also believed to help the body produce enough hydrochloric acid (HCL) needed for optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients, which can also counter inflammation. ACV contains a good amount of potassium which plays a part in reducing gut inflammation and pain, as well as healthy detoxification and healthy blood pressure levels. On top of all this, ACV is a source of vitamin C, the powerful antioxidant that helps to keep inflammation at bay while also reducing the effects of stress and supporting the immune system.
Ginger is one of the best-known anti-inflammatory aids in natural medicine. It’s a powerful carminative, which means it helps to soothe the gut and reduce cramping. It also helps to promote the elimination of excessive gas from the digestive system. Ginger is particularly helpful for treating conditions such as nausea, dyspepsia and colic.
Studies have shown that the phenolic compounds in ginger are shown to relieve gastrointestinal (GI) irritation and stimulate bile production. It also has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-oxidative properties which can help in treating inflammatory disorders of the gut such as gastritis, Candida albicans or other ailments caused by viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
In addition, several clinical trials have found that many of the active compounds in ginger such as gingerol and shogaol work by inhibiting the hormones that lead to inflammatory responses in the body. They can also inhibit synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which contribute to inflammation of the gut.