How I Beat the Bloat (Part 2): 8 Foods I Embraced While Healing My Gut
In last week's post, I shared 10 foods I temporarily reduced to significantly alleviate my bloat. But that wasn't all I did to heal my gut. Below are the 8 foods and drinks that nourished and satiated me, helped my digestion and kept the bloat at bay.
1. Animal protein
I know there's a lot of contradictory information about whether animal protein is "good" or "bad". I'd prefer to eat predominantly plant-based but after finding out I had SIBO last summer and temporarily cutting out different types of food, I felt ravenous all the time, sometimes within 15 mins of eating a meal! I felt as if I had just finished a really intense boxing or spin class and wanted to inhale everything in sight. Adding lean meat was a great way to keep me satiated for extended periods of time.
2. Healthy fats (salmon, avocado, olive oil)
I was terrified of eating fat (and being fat) for a very long time. After reading wellness websites (e.g. Well+Good, Mind Body Green, Be Well, Dr Mark Hyman), books (e.g. Kimberly Synder's Beauty Detox Foods, Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food), and listening to podcasts, I realized that everything I thought about food was wrong. There's really nothing to worry about if you're eating the right type of healthy fats because they're full of nutrients, are anti-inflammatory, reduce LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol that clogs your arteries) and your risk of cardiovascular diseases. I eat avocados multiple times a week for breakfast and love the fattiness of salmon fillets. I might not be the leanest I've ever been but I'm healthy and happy.
3. GG crackers
Not gonna like, GG crackers look and taste like cardboard but they're jam-packed with fiber, are low in carbs and don't make me bloat the way I did when I ate different types of wheat or whole grain breads, noodles and rice in the past. It's amazing how 4 of these thin crackers can keep me full for at least 5 hours! You can literally put anything on top of them- beet peso and eggs, almond cream cheese and smoked salmon, nut butter and banana slices (see here for more topping ideas). When I was really disciplined, I'd bring GG crackers with me everywhere so that when I dined out, I could swap bread for these crackers.
ps. Make sure you drink lots of water when you eat GG crackers to help move things along your digestive system!
The next few foods are all gut-friendly foods. Our gut is considered by many scientists and researchers to be our "second brain" because it controls our digestion, nutrient absorption, weight, mood and immune. When the good and bad bacteria in our gut isn't balanced, we may experience slow digestion, malabsorption, food sensitives, bloating, weight gain, depression and weakened immune. One way to ensure that the bad bacteria doesn't outnumber the good is by eating probiotic-rich foods such as the ones listed below.
This fermented cabbage is a great source of nutrients (such as vitamins C and K, calcium, potassium and phosphorous), a good source of antioxidants and fiber. It's easy to digest and can be added to many types of food: salads, grain bowls, sandwiches, burgers. Sauerkraut is high in sodium so watch your serving size to avoid accidentally consuming too much salt (which makes you bloat). My all time favorite is Farmhouse Culture's Smoked Jalapeño Kraut. IT'S SO GOOD!
Similar to sauerkraut, kimchi is packed with nutrients (vitamins A, C and K), antioxidants and fiber. The prebiotic fibers found in cabbage enhances our immune, as does the garlic, which also lowers inflammation in the body and reduces fatigue. The ginger nourishes our gut and helps fight bacteria, while the red pepper powder has anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant effects. I really like Mama O's Super Spicy Kimchi. It's tastier and higher quality than the less healthy versions I've had at some Korean restaurants.
ps. If you have a sensitive stomach, try not to eat too much spicy food.
VSL #3 was the first probiotic I ever tried. It was recommend to me by a nutritionist I was seeing at NYU. I didn't like that I had to keep it refrigerated, that I couldn't drink it with hot water (and accidentally kill the good bacteria) and that I had to eat it at the exact same time every day. I kept forgetting! I wanted something easy and fuss-free, which is why I bought The Nue Co's All Natural Prebiotic and Probiotic. I discovered them at an event I went to a few months ago. I love their packaging and that it doesn't have to be refrigerated. Their prebiotic inulin also aids digestion, stabilizes your blood sugar levels and feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
My love for kombucha is no secret. I've been drinking it almost every day for months and credit it for curbing my alcohol tendencies and satiating my sugar cravings. I absolutely love Health Ade's Original & Power Greens. The first is great for anytime of day- when you want something refreshing or a little afternoon pick-me-up. The second is perfect for detoxing, like after eating truffle fries or too much junk (it happens to the best of us)! They're both so flavorful yet so low in sugar. My husband, some of my friends and classmates, and even my personal trainer love it because of me! #sorrynotsorry
8. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) shots
I've always hated the smell of apple cider vinegar and couldn't bring myself to take shots of it like my husband sometimes does until I went to Expo West last month and tried Ethan's Ginger Pineapple and Vermont Village's Double Shot. Both are REALLY GOOD. So much natural flavor infused into a tiny bottle/packet that you can easily pop into your bag or pocket. If I'm feeling a bit too full or gross from accidentally eating something I shouldn't have, I'll sip on these and will notice a huge and immediate difference in how full and/or bloated I feel.
In case you missed my first post, check out:
How I Beat the Bloat (Part 1): 10 Foods I Significantly Reduced.
✨ 🙅🏻 ✨
BLOATING IS UNCOMFORTABLE AF.
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