When it comes to the best foods for gut health, there are many to choose from. However, before we get into gut-healing foods, let’s learn a little about what an amazing organ the stomach is.
A few drops of hydrochloric acid can destroy any tissue in the human body, causing intense pain and killing the cells it contacts. However, the lining of the stomach, called the gastric mucosa, is capable of resisting the effects of this acid without ill effect throughout one’s life.
Hydrochloric acid is one of the components of the juice produced by the stomach. Its corrosive effect becomes obvious when one vomits on a marble floor: gastric juice is capable of dissolving marble, leaving an indelible mark on the stone.
Hydrochloric acid together with pepsin is necessary for initiating the process of digesting foods, particularly proteins. How does the stomach protect itself from the corrosive action of the acid it produces?
Until recently, the stomach’s defense mechanism has been a scientific enigma. There is a true protective barrier, formed primarily of mucus, which protects the internal lining of the stomach. Largely, the health of this important organ depends on keeping this barrier in proper condition.
Gastritis and gastroduodenal ulcers are two of the most common consequences of damage to the gut’s mucus barrier. The foods in this article will give you an idea of how to improve gut health naturally, and will also promote the health of the stomach’s protective mucus barrier.
Best Foods for Gut Health
A few spoonfuls of CABBAGE juice taken on an empty stomach five or ten minutes before meals are sufficient to relieve stomach inflammation after a few days of treatment. The typical symptoms of functional dyspepsia, heaviness, belching, and stomach pain disappear.
When OKRA is used for its medicinal properties, it is best to include the juice released when it is cooked. It is particularly recommended in the following cases:
- Stomach ulcer, gastritis, and stomach disorders in general
- All types of colitis, including ulcerative colitis.
PEPPERS are beneficial for those suffering from dyspepsia due to scanty digestive juices or digestive atonia because they work as an aperitif, stimulating the flow of gastric juice and reducing inflammation.
The PINEAPPLE is a succulent, delicious fruit rich in certain vitamins and minerals. Many consider it one of the best foods for gut health because it helps with the digestion of other foods. It is also beneficial to eat pineapple before a meal particularly when the stomach is somehow weakened. Its consumption is specifically indicated for the following conditions:
- Hypochlorhydria (scanty gastric juice), which is manifested by slow digestion and a sense of heaviness in the stomach.
- Gastric ptosis (prolapsed stomach) caused by the gut’s inability to empty itself (gastric atonia).
It is said that one of the best foods for gut health is the POTATO (not fried) because of the sense of well-being that one experiences after eating them. This beneficial effect is due to at least three factors:
- Antacid effect: Potatoes are a relatively alkaline food and are capable of neutralizing excess acid. This alkalizing action is produced locally in the gut as well as in the blood and urine.
- Physical consistency: The potato’s soft texture reduces the need for digestive effort in the stomach and provides relative rest.
- Content of sedating substances: Various investigations carried out have found that potatoes contain small amounts of various benzodiazepines, sedative substances widely used in pharmaceuticals. One of the substances found in potatoes is diazepam, the same active element used in the well-known medication Valium. The natural sedatives may also act locally in the stomach, relaxing this organ.
All of these reasons make potatoes, mainly prepared as puree, particularly beneficial in cases of gastric hyperacidity, gastritis, stomach ulcer, gastric ptosis, gastric neurosis, and any case of problems with digestion or stomach conditions in general.
SQUASH pulp is capable of neutralizing excess stomach acid because of its rich content of alkalizing mineral salts. It also has an emollient and protective effect on the stomach mucosa. Its consumption, mostly pureed with milk or soy beverage is particularly indicated in case of excess stomach acid, dyspepsia, pyrosis, and, of course, cases of gastroduodenal ulcers. In this case, a healthy gut diet plan consisting of a puree of squash and potatoes with milk is very effective during the acute phase of the ulcer. This of course makes squash one of the best foods for gut health.
PAPAYA is recommended as one of the best foods for gut health in cases of difficult digestion, gastric ptosis, gastritis, and anytime digestion is affected by inflammation of the gastric mucosa. Papaya helps neutralize excess gastric acid. Consequently, it is beneficial in cases of gastroduodenal ulcers, hiatal hernia, and heartburn.
POMEGRANATE reduces inflammation in an irritated stomach, because of its astringent action, it reduces the production of juices.
CHERIMOYA’S creamy, smooth pulp, together with its antacid effect, is beneficial to the stomach. It is highly recommended in cases of gastritis and gastroduodenal ulcer.
OATS come highly recommended among the best foods for gut health. Thanks to their mucilage content and their ease of digestion, oatmeal has an emollient effect. Cooked with milk or vegetable broth they are highly recommended for gastritis, gastroduodenal ulcer or intestinal disorders such as diverticulosis, or colitis caused by microorganisms, toxins, medications, or certain food intolerances. In any of these cases, oats may be the main or even the only dish for three to five days, while the acute phase passes and the cells of the digestive mucosa are restored.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 182, 199, 200, 190, 204, 205, 100, 158, 237, 43.