How to Heal the Gut
For several years, I really struggled with gut health. Almost everything I ate made my stomach hurt and I was bloated most of the time. In general, it’s just uncomfortable! I’d been taking a probiotic for years and it helped a little bit, but just wasn’t making a big enough difference.
Last spring, I decided I needed to take matters into my own hands and did a lot of research on holistically healing my gut. I also got some help from my functional medicine doctor who suggested specific supplements to help heal my gut lining.
A year later, I feel like a new woman!
I rarely get bloated, my stomach almost never hurts and another bonus side effect, my skin cleared up a lot too. If you didn’t know, your gut health is pretty much directly tied to your immune system and your skin. So, if your gut health is off, chances are your skin might not look it’s best and you might be getting sick more easily than normal.
So, I wanted to get into the details of how to heal the gut today, and share the things that helped me most.
First thing to remember, this doesn’t happen overnight, or even in a month. It took a long time for your gut health to get out of whack and it takes time, patience and good habits to heal completely, but the end result is absolutely worth it.
If you’re wondering how to heal your gut naturally, these tips and tricks will be super helpful! Yes, there are some supplements included here, but everything is designed to support gut health, and no medication is really needed if you can be diligent about sticking to your habits.
How to Heal the Gut
Daily Green Smoothies
A little over a year ago, I added a daily green smoothie to my morning wellness routine and now it’s something my body absolutely craves. If you haven’t yet, try my gut healing smoothie recipe to get you started.
You can join the green smoothie challenge for free! It’s a week of green smoothies, plus 7 recipes and a grocery list to make it easy.
It’s the easiest way to get in more fiber, fruits and veggies in your diet every single day. It also helps to hydrate your body and give you natural energy. I like to sneak in some of my gut-healing supplements in here too (more on that in a second!).
Do a Sugar Detox
Sugar is terrible for our gut health. Too much can mess up the balance of good bacteria in our gut. Once it’s unbalanced, problems start popping up. You don’t have to give up sugar forever, but it’s a very smart idea to cut back while healing your gut.
RELATED: How to Do a Sugar Detox
The easiest way to do this is to start with a sugar detox. I did this a while back and loved how it made me feel. For my sugar detox, I didn’t remove natural sugars, but just added, refined sugars and it worked so well.
Eat Plenty of Fiber
Most of us do not get enough fiber in our diets. Sadly, the typical American diet is just low in fiber and high in processed carbs. If you’re not used to eating a lot of fiber, ease into this because if you suddenly add a ton, you’ll experience some gas and bloating—not fun!
For the most part, I drink almost only water! Of course, wine here and there and matcha lattes and the occasional decaf coffee. But, throughout the day, water is my jam. I bought this huge 32oz. water bottle a while back and aim to drink at least 3 a day. Yes, it’s a little expensive for a water bottle, but I use it everyday so I like to think of it as a positive investment in my health.
Drinking lots of water can positively impact the lining of your gut and intestines and keeps things moving along. Especially important once you up your fiber intake. It can also help balance the good bacteria in your gut, so drink up!
Take Gut Healing Supplements
We’ve all heard about probiotics, but prebiotics were newer to me. I started adding a scoop of prebiotic fiber to my daily smoothie and that seemed to be the thing that really kicked my gut health into high gear.
Prebiotics are naturally found in foods like onion, garlic, leeks, bananas, apples and asparagus. They help to feed the good gut bacteria and I’ve found that they make my probiotic work better. You can of course add these foods, but if you need a little extra help, I highly recommend this Innerfuel prebiotic fiber—just add a scoop to your smoothie in the morning.
There are so many probiotics out there, but a lot of them, especially those that sit on the drugstore shelves, aren’t super effective. If you’re in dire need of a gut health boost, start with this UltraFlora IB. It’s a mega dose of probiotic (60 billion CFU vs 2 billion CFU in a drugstore one), but it works. Think of it like a reset for your gut!
After a month, I switched to this UltraFlora Balance (15 billion CFU) and take one daily. I store it in the fridge and it’s by far been one of the best probiotics I’ve ever used.
I’ve talked about my love for Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides many times before, and it’s another great supplement for your gut. Collagen helps to heal the lining of the gut, so adding a scoop or two of this powder is hugely beneficial for your gut health, as well as your skin, hair and nails.
My functional medicine doctor highly suggested this L-Glutamine supplement as well. It aids in healing the lining of the gut. I just mixed in one scoop to a little bit of water and would take it like a shot every morning. You could also mix it into your smoothie blend too because it has no real taste. Heads up, check with your doctor before taking while pregnant!
Lastly, check your stress! Stress is so dang hard on our bodies, especially our gut health. Finding ways to manage your stress naturally is so important to maintaining a healthy gut and healing leaky gut for good.
For me, this means self-care, time for myself and keeping my body active. I love going for walks or doing a yoga/barre flow whenever I’m feeling anxious and stressed. It instantly calms me. When I make it a regular part of my day, I’m just not as stressed. Meditation, journaling, running, etc. can all work too—just find what works for you!
I hope these tips helped give you some ideas and starting points for how to heal your gut.