This gut reset diet plan will help you manage digestive issues and heal the gut after feasting over the holidays.
In this article:
- Kill the Bloat with Lemon and Warm Water
- Try Intermittent Fasting (IF)
- Take Probiotics and Prebiotics
- Consume Complex Carbs and Healthy Fats for Breakfast
- Consume Bone Broth More During a Gut Reset Diet
- Skip the Artificial Sweeteners and Processed Foods
- Reduce Your Stress While on a Gut Reset Diet Plan
Gut Reset Diet Guide to Improve Digestion and Gut Health
1. Kill the Bloat with Lemon and Warm Water
One of the best foods to include in your gut reset diet plan is lemon. This wonder fruit packed with lots of vitamin C is also excellent for digestive health.
It can act as a diuretic. It can help flush out not only toxins but also excess water and salt that both contribute to bloating.
You can eat lemon (if you can take its sourness) and enjoy its added benefit of fiber or squeeze it in warm water.
Warm water is healthy for the gut as it stimulates movement of the large intestine or the colon. This way, eliminating your waste is easier and faster.
2. Try Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Sometimes the road to gut healing is to eat fewer calories and less often. In other words, intermittent fasting or IF may be helpful.
In an animal study, doing IF even for a short period can already improve the gut microbiome in the following ways:
- IF could strengthen the gut barrier function
- IF could decrease pathogens
- IF could decrease the number of bad bacteria and fungi
All these may be beneficial for individuals dealing with a leaky gut syndrome, a term to describe a variety of digestive symptoms:
- Weight gain
- Brain fog
- Food sensitivities
- Low immunity
- Skin issues
- Hormone imbalances
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory conditions of the gut like Crohn’s disease
What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? It is a chronic condition affecting the large intestine.
These symptoms usually occur because the gut barrier in the small intestine that separates the gut from the bloodstream weakens and leaves gaps. It allows food and toxins to enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc to the immune system.
In fact, a 2019 research in Cell Metabolism revealed that IF can help prevent autoimmune conditions affecting the central nervous system. It achieves this by altering the gut microbiota.
As a bonus, new evidence suggests that following IF can help promote weight loss. It can trigger the body to convert fat into energy.
How do you do IF? There are many methods:
- Eat for only eight hours every day and fast for the rest of the time
- Reduce your calorie intake to 500 every other day
- Fast (don’t eat anything) at least once a day per week
The Harvard University study showed it can be as short as a 10-hour fast while others say a fast from 12-16 hours will be best, depending on your gender.
Either way, because of the significant changes that can happen to your body while fasting, consult your doctor before doing it.
3. Take Probiotics and Prebiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics are essential in any gut reset diet plan for the following reasons:
- Prebiotics can help feed the beneficial bacteria living in the colon.
- Probiotic bacteria and fungi are vital in maintaining the balance and diversity of the gut microbiota.
There are many examples of prebiotic and probiotic foods you can consume the whole day:
- Yogurt and kefir, which you can add to your green smoothies
- Bananas, which you can pair with gluten-free bread for carbs and peanut butter for protein
- Sauerkraut, which you can add as toppings to your salads
- Kombucha, which you can drink instead of regular tea or coffee
If you’re looking for awesome recipes, get a copy of Total Gut Balance. With this book, you can learn more about the microbiome diet and gut microbes.
Note: During your gut reset diet plan, you may also encourage a healthy gut microbiome with a prebiotic and probiotic supplement. We highly recommend the Reset Regimen, which also contains fungi and digestive enzymes for complete gut healing.
4. Consume Complex Carbs and Healthy Fats for Breakfast
If you’re one of those who cannot function without eating breakfast first, then here are some foods to add to your gut reset diet: healthy fats and complex carbs.
Complex carbs are beneficial to gut health and weight loss for the following reasons:
- They are more filling, so you’re less likely to eat a lot throughout the day. You may even skip snacking.
- Complex carbs are slow to digest, so they don’t spike your blood sugar or glucose levels. These foods make them ideal for people with metabolic syndromes such as diabetes and heart disease.
- They are rich in fiber.
Fiber plays a vital role in gut health. A study in Cell Host and Microbe revealed that it can support good gut bugs and influence their composition and even function.
You may also want to diversify your fiber:
- The soluble fiber in beans and oatmeal can absorb water and expand the stomach, helping you feel fuller.
- The insoluble fiber in corn or peas can speed up the movement of waste in the colon.
Besides fiber, you can improve your breakfast with healthy fats in avocados.
A 2013 research even revealed that avocados are rich in phytochemicals and fats that can lower cholesterol and promote cardiovascular health.
If you’re dealing with the leaky gut syndrome, it may help to use coconut oil when making your scrambled eggs or whole-wheat toast. It adds flavor, and old research suggests it could kill pathogens.
5. Consume Bone Broth More During a Gut Reset Diet
Bone broth is one of the staples for a leaky gut reset diet plan because it contains a lot of collagen. It is a structural protein that can turn into gelatin and then break down into amino acids.
Amino acids such as glutamine are essential in gut healing. They can restore the gut barrier by tightening the junction, according to a 2017 research.
It may aid individuals with irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease as well as they may have lower levels of amino acids.
What if you’re following a plant-based diet? You can use the following instead:
- Vegetables, especially celery, leeks, onions, and garlic for prebiotics
- Mushroom, which provides prebiotics
- Spinach or kale for omega-3 fatty acids
- Olive oil or coconut oil for healthy fats
6. Skip the Artificial Sweeteners and Processed Foods
Don’t toss your efforts to improve gut health aside. Pair your consumption of gut-healing foods with non-consumption of artificial sweeteners and processed foods.
These changes can include:
- Decreased number of good bacteria and fungi
- Less diversity of the gut microbiome
- Alterations in their interactions and functions
- Formation of digestive plaque
One good way to test the benefits of not eating these foods is to do an elimination diet. Remove them from your meal plan for at least 30 days and watch how your body changes.
7. Reduce Your Stress While on a Gut Reset Diet Plan
Stress can affect your gut health in a lot of ways. A 2017 research revealed that:
- Sleep deprivation can result in cellular death and damage in the intestines.
- Environmental stress like limited oxygen when in high altitudes could alter the gut microbiota composition.
- Antibiotics, which promote a stress response, can increase the number of pathogens or bad bacteria and fungi.
While on this diet, consider doing the following to promote better health and well-being:
- Follow sleep hygiene. Find the best sleep schedule for you and stick to it.
- Meditate or practice deep breathing to relax and slow down your heart rate.
- Listen to relaxing, soothing music.
- Walk outdoors.
- Limit your exposure to electronic devices, especially in the evening.
- Avoid drinking coffee or black tea if you’re sensitive to caffeine.
How long should you do a gut reset diet? It can take 12 weeks or more — there’s no timeline.
It depends on the severity of your condition and how your body reacts. One thing is for sure: persistence will reward you in the end!
Besides eating fermented foods, what are your tips on how to reset your gut? Share them in the comments section below!