Mid last year my husband was diagnosed with cancer and as a result had to undergo three months of intense chemotherapy treatment. Whilst the research we had to do with regards to his specific cancer was intense, I actually think the research surrounding knowing how to successfully re-build his body and in particular, his gut health post treatment was even more so. As a Health Coach, I was and still am incredibly grateful to have the know-how to be able to do this and so exactly one month after his treatment had stopped, we were able to implement this gut health protocol to get him back to good health.

Of course, none of this relates solely to those who have undergone chemotherapy. In fact, knowing how to restore your gut health after any instance whether it be a jolly good Christmas, a parasite or even some cases of overseas travel is really important for all of us to know which is why I want to share some of the research that I found and a few of the things we did nutrition wise for a good 3 months.

First things first – good health starts in the gut and if you’re gut is imbalanced (which rings true for so many of us), you are at a very high risk of obtaining a stack of unwanted health issues such as weight gain or problems losing weight, sleep disturbances, constant fatigue, skin issues, low immunity, food intolerances, upset stomach and many diseases associated with inflammation in the body – all very ugly and scary, I assure you!

A Gut Restoring Diet should be mostly –

  • Gluten-Free
  • Refined Sugar-Free
  • Dairy-Free
  • Moderately Low Carb
  • Two-Thirds Of Your Plate Should Include Plant Foods

When you change your diet, a significant change in your microorganism population takes place within a couple of weeks.

To understand the basics of gut health, imagine that your gut is a garden. You seed your garden with probiotics and feed it with prebiotics.

PROBIOTIC FOODS contain live bacteria. Generally if you are having to restore your gut health, your good gut bacteria may have been completely wiped out or reduced to really low levels from things such as chemotherapy, excessive toxins, too much alcohol, a parasite etc. Eating probiotic rich foods is one way to reseed your gut with good bacteria. To get the most out of probiotics, eat at least one small serving of probiotic foods each day –

  • Plain Organic Yoghurt (with live or active cultures)
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Fermented Vegetables (sauerkraut or kimchi)
  • Fermented Soybeans (miso)
  • Organic Tempeh

Further down this post, I’ll also go into detail about choosing a potent probiotic powder to ensure you are really ticking the boxes with this one.

PREBIOTIC FOODS feed the bacteria in your gut, so they can grow and repopulate. That means serving up plenty of fibre-rich foods especially those that are high in soluble fibre (eg. chia seeds, flax seeds, beans, legumes, apples and oats). Prebiotic foods include –

  • Fruits and Vegetables (specifically bananas and onions)
  • Wholegrain Rolled Oats
  • Soy Beans
  • Garlic
  • Raw Fruits & Vegetables. When you eat these foods raw, you’re more likely to get some of the beneficial microbes that live in the soil where they are grown.

FOODS TO AVOID WHILST RESTORING GUT HEALTH

None of this may come as a surprise as these are all foods which should be consumed in small quantities anyway however when restoring your gut health, you will want to avoid these for a few weeks at least to give the good guys a big head start first.

REFINED SUGAR

It’s best to avoid added sugars altogether because the bacteria that thrive on refined sugars are not the ones you want to be encouraging to grow.

RED MEAT

Consuming a lot of red meat (one or more servings a day), can lead to an undesirable shift in gut bacteria. This isn’t likely to be a concern for people who eat small amounts of red meat (no more than once or twice a week). All the same, it’s best to hold off on the red meat whilst restoring gut health.

PROCESSED FOODS

Processed foods are often low in nutrients and high in added sugar and salt. These include fast food, packaged and instant foods. Eating too many of these foods can wreak havoc on your gut bacteria.

ALCOHOL

Unfortunately for my husband, avoiding alcohol during the restoring phase was also really important to ensure that no added toxins interfere with the restoration process.

WHICH PROBIOTIC POWDER TO CHOOSE?

I have spent years researching probiotic powders and what I discovered along the way really shocked me to be honest. To put things very bluntly, if your probiotic powder doesn’t need refrigerating or is able to be left out of a refrigerator for more than a couple of hours, it’s not a good probiotic powder. Oh and no judgments here, I spent years wasting a tonne of money on brands that claimed they were the “best” but spent 3-4 days in transit, then another few hours in the hot sun thanks to Australia Post, just to get to me.

In my opinion, the best brand of probiotic powder is BioCeuticals.

If you’ve got a lot of work to do in terms of your gut health, then I would suggest either 2 or 4 weeks on UltraBiotic 500 to really kick-start your gut bacteria. Take this before you go to bed with a small amount of almond milk or coconut yoghurt.
If you’re just looking at maintaining good gut health, then I would suggest a daily UltraBiotic 45 before going to sleep. For babies/ kids, BabyBiotic 0+yrs is brilliant. My kids take this with cereal, a smoothie or with yoghurt.

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