Gut health is incredibly important in avoiding sickness, preventing illness from worsening, and avoiding just gastrointestinal pain and cramping. From a Medical Nutritional Therapy course I took from the University of Arizona, they provided us students many tips and tricks to love your gut a little more and avoid those distressing symptoms. Despite this class’s clinical focus, the foods to eat and those to avoid can be helpful to anyone, not just those with diseases of the stomach and intestines.
First and foremost, there are some foods that assist with gut health. These foods include mint or mint tea and probiotics. Probiotics are often found in yogurt. Now with anything, do not over do it as too much of any one thing can be bad. Mint is calming in some cases and can be harmful in others, whereas probiotics assist with the function of the microbiota within the intestines creating healthier gut flora.
Unfortunately, with every helpful food, there are also foods that can intensify pain, symptoms, and cramping. These foods and drinks include alcohol, caffeine , spicy food, greasy/fatty food, dairy, and an elevated intake of sweets. These all are harder on the gastrointestinal organs and would be better off in small amounts or avoided if feeling discomfort.
When looking at the realm of gut health we often associate it with being sick. This looks like what many refer to as the “stomach flu.” If this unfortunate disease strikes you, there are some tips and tricks to getting back on your feet. First and foremost, while your body is still in ejection mode, give it time. When it feels like that has begun to slow down, try small sips of water and then gatorade to retrieve some electrolytes that were lost. Once that appears to be staying down try one of the most bland diets in the book: the B.R.A.T diet.
B.R.A.T stands for Banana, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast (without butter if you can as that can be irritating to your stomach). These foods are all very bland and can be among the first foods in small doses to stay down.
Overall, gut health is important and many refer to this as your body’s second brain. Hope these tips helped take care of some common misconceptions and will remedy the next time you are feeling blue.