I am amazed when I hear people think of plant-based food are the top foods for gut health but sadly you might be surprised that’s not the case. It is critical to know the difference between the two types of foods; animal-based foods vs. plant-based foods and how certain groups of food should be on your list of top foods for gut health so you can use them as a powerful tool to remediate gut disorders such as dysbiosis, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.
Many people think the top foods for gut health are plant foods, a[fter all, with all these beautiful colors, flavors, textures, and tastes, who can blame them. Many herbs have medicinal values too, so how is it possible that vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes are not the best choice to promote gut health and specifically improving the digestive system!
People with gastrointestinal conditions and just to list a few:
So these individuals are looking for natural solutions regarding foods that help the gut health and to heal their gastrointestinal disorders which is great and smart to do in particular for the long term.
So why plants are not the best foods to improve your gut health? Here are some reasons:
-Plant foods don’t feed or rebuild the gut wall to maintain it or repair it. The composition of plant proteins is not complete regarding essential amino acids. Thus not suitable for building your body and specifically healing the gut tissues.
-When it comes to vegetable or seed oils we only need a very small amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids. So you can have a small amount of salad, some raw nuts, beans, or grains and you are all set.
But most plants have a high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils. And that can lead to inflammation in the body and equally important these oils become excess in the cells leads to loss of structural integrity thus creating a floppy structure.
However, consuming animal fat provides your body the right proportions of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated fats. For example (1):
When you are consuming animal fat you get all three types of fatty acids and you are getting them in suitable composition for cell regeneration and rebuilding.
So far we have learned those plant proteins and fats are not suitable for rebuilding the human body tissues due to their imbalanced composition of amino acids and fatty acids too.
If you have any degree of inflammation in the gut wall, starches and fiber can irritate the sensitive inflamed gut wall and make your situation even worse.
Vegetables and plants, in general, have defense mechanisms that are built-in them which are all types of chemicals that can be irritant and cause severe indigestion depending on your health condition. These phytochemicals are such as phytic acid, lectin, oxalate, and many more.
Animal meat and fat should be the chosen foods for better gut health as maintenance and also realize these are the foods that help gut health to start healing because they are the building blocks to rebuild leaky gut and other digestive problems.
Animal fat such as dairy fat in cream and butter can be very soothing for the epithelial tissue in the irritated or inflamed gut wall. The gut wall goes through severe wear and tear and they get replaced faster than most cells in the body so bioavailable animal protein is very much needed to replace the old and sick cells in the gut wall. That’s the main reason why you need to rethink consuming plant foods and instead consuming an animal-based diet as top foods for gut health repair and preservation.
Animal meat and fat are not the only top foods for gut health and gut repair but also fermented foods are important to be included in your diet. Gut health would not exist without healthy gut flora and probiotics in fermented foods are an effective way to supply your body with beneficial bacteria and other microbes and also getting rid of pathogenic microbes which probiotics can help with.
Fermented veggies and dairy are probiotic foods for gut health continuation and healing by bringing the gut flora back to balance. Not to mention that fermented foods that help gut health in other ways than providing beneficial bacteria, but they also break down carbohydrates and protein which make digestion much easier for the digestive system to deal with in particular those individuals with a digestive system that is less than optimal.
The fermentation process also releases minerals and vitamins that are usually locked in the cellular wall of plants thus you get more out of chewed cabbage when it is fermented and eaten in the sauerkraut form.
If you have been eating too many vegetables especially raw veggies and you are not getting anywhere in terms of gut health improvement then maybe it is a good time now to consider the mentioned top foods for gut health and give them a try for at least 6 weeks to several months depending on your gut condition severity.
I am not against eating veggies, nuts, fruits, grains, and other plant foods. I include some of them in my meals almost daily. But when I had gastrointestinal symptoms I needed to cut down or even eliminate any plant foods and focused primarily on these top foods for gut health healing for several months until I felt much better.
And then, only then I gradually included easy-to-digest veggies and mostly were cooked and fermented condiments with no problems. I hope this will provide an insight into what to prioritize and whatnot in order to resolve your gut health condition.
Source (1): Mary G. Enig Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol. 2000. Bethesda Pr Publishing