4 Fs To Help Your Gut & Make You Go Every Day
I'm not sure who decided talking about gut-stuff like bowel movements was taboo... but here we are.
I am happy to see that things are changing thanks to the current wellness movement we're in, people are talking about it more than ever! But for me, growing up, I was so embarrassed of my gut issues.
Constipation is soooo common, more than 30% of people experience it, yet no one talks about. So, let's talk about it.
IBS-C, as doctors have called it, has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. IBS-C is Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Constipation. Like I've mentioned before "IBS" is truly "BS" - because it basically means they don't really know what to do about it, but at least it's not something more serious.
I was left to figure things out on my own. I tried everything I could to fix it. I went for SIBO tests and Colonoscopies, I took Laxatives, Miralax, I drank coffee, I ate less meat, I cut out dairy and gluten... nothing was helping.
Doctors said it was "fine" and "normal"... but the truth is, just because it's normal, doesn't mean it's fine! When we're not excreting, we're absorbing toxins back into our bodies which leads to a whole other list of other, more serious problems.
When I asked if there was something that I was eating that caused constipation one doctor told me, "what you eat does not effect your digestion". WHAT? HOW DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE? Our digestion is literally fueled by the food we eat - how could food not affect it?!
After a bunch of trial and error ways of eating - I figured out 4 things I needed to have every single day that have kept me mostly regular, and feeling good.
If you want to start giving an F about fixing your gut, use my 4 Fs of Gut Health:
Fluids - Being hydrated has lots of benefits, because ya know we're made up of mostly water. But it's especially important for gut health. Without enough water in our digestive track, our stool becomes dehydrated and hard, making it difficult to pass. Start every morning with 16-20oz of water right when you wake up. Sip on hot tea or warm lemon water throughout the day. Eat hydrating foods like fresh fruit, celery, cucumbers, and tomatoes (especially in the summer time!)
Fiber - Yeah yeah, we all know, we've all heard it. But did you know you need a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber? Soluble fiber - dissolves in water and creates a gel in our bodies that improves digestion. Insoluble fiber pulls water into your stool, which makes it easier to pass. We should be eating 50 grams of fiber every single day, so start making fiber your friend, by eating more fibrous foods - AKA plants. Instead of trying to figure out how much fiber you're eating, focus on eating as many plants as you can! More on the plant points method here!
Fat - By this point, we all know healthy fat is healthy -- right? Avocado, olive oil, nuts/nut butters, coconut oil... all good! Adding a little bit of these healthy fats to your day can actually improve your gut health because fat is easy for the body to digest, it helps nutrients absorb into your bloodstream so you get the most out of your meals!
Fermented Food - Eating fermented foods gifts your gut with two very important things: 1- the beneficial "good" bacteria for your gut microbiome and 2- the nutrients from the plants (oh hey, fiber)! You don't need to go chug 3 bottles of kombucha, a little goes a long way. Try adding a little bit of sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh or yogurt to your meals. Pickles are great too, just look for jars that say "raw and unpasteurized," or "lacto-fermented."
If you're ready to say goodbye to toxins reabsorbing into your bloodstream, and feeling light and free of constipation - try introducing these 4 Fs into your day. Because the truth is, we all really need to give more of an F about our gut health.