Who needs a gut cleanse?
There are many health complaints that may benefit from a gut cleanse including:
- Constipation and diarrhoea
- Skin issues
- Mood swings
- Joint pain
A gut cleanse is essentially eating a clean diet of unprocessed, unrefined gut-friendly foods as well as some gut-friendly supplements. For more serious health complaints, commit to a four-to six-week cleanse, for general wellness opt for two weeks.
After holidays is also a good time to cleanse as alcohol and treat foods wreak havoc on gut bacteria and gut lining.
The best foods for your gut
- Apple cider vinegar (this stimulates digestion)
- Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, coconut kefir yogurt, kombucha, kimchi (these foods promote a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut)
- Turmeric powder (this has great anti-inflammatory properties)
- Fresh ginger (to aid in digestion and nausea)
- Psyllium husk (a great source of fibre for bowel function)
- Cabbage, kale, broccoli and other brassica vegetables (these enhance detoxification and are a good source of fibre)
- Probiotic powder or capsule - this promotes healthy gut bacteria. Look for one that contains at least 15 million CFU and includes Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus rhamnosus strains.
- Aloe vera and spirulina green powder - these both promote gut cleansing and repairing.
- Glutamine powder or capsule - this strengthens and supports gut lining.
- Digestive enzymes capsules - these promote optimal food digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Fish oil capsules - these have great anti-inflammatory benefits. Look for 1000mg per capsule.
Gut cleanse cheat sheet
Foods to include:
- All fresh seasonal vegetables, especially brassica vegetables
- All fresh seasonal fruit
- All fresh sprouts
- All fresh herbs and spices, especially ginger and tumeric
- Unsweetened almond milk, rice milk or coconut milk
- Fermented foods
- Apple cider vinegar
- Gluten free grains (rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet..)
- Chicken, eggs, fish, turkey (all organic where possible)
- Avocado, e.v. olive oil, raw nuts and seeds (including psyllium husk), nut butters, coconut oil
- Herbal tea and green tea
Foods to avoid:
- Dairy (natural unflavoured yogurt is ok)
- Gluten (wheat bread, cous cous, pasta, rye, spelt)
- Deli meats, red meat, bacon, sausages
- Processed/ refined foods (breakfast cereal, canned foods, chips, biscuits, pastries, muffins…)
- Sugar, sweets, milk chocolate, jams, fruit spreads
- Hot chips, burgers, fried foods
- Alcohol, coffee, soft drinks
- Margarine, commercial dressings, sauces, artificial colours, flavours, additives, flavour enhancers & hydrogenated fats
Gut cleanse sample meal plan
Water - At least 2 litres of spring water and herbal teas throughout the day.
Morning supplements - 1 serve aloe vera + spirulina green powder + 1 serve glutamine powder in 200ml pure water + 2 fish oil capsules + 1 serve digestive enzymes
Breakfast - Quinoa and grated pear porridge cooked with almond milk and 1 tbs flaxseed meal + 100g unsweetened natural yogurt
Snack - Handful raw nuts + green tea
Lunch - Mixed seasonal vegetable salad with a palm serve size of grilled organic / free range chicken seasoned with garlic, tamari soy and turmeric powder. Dressing 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar + 1 tbsp. extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
Snack - Raw vegetables + guacamole (mashed avocado, chopped tomato, lemon juice, garlic, coriander and seasoning)
Dinner - Palm serve size of baked salmon with seasonal baked vegetables with coconut oil + side serve of kimchi
Evening supplements - 1 serve aloe vera + spirulina green powder + 1 serve glutamine powder in 200ml pure water + 2 fish oil capsules + 1 serve probiotics
* all information above is excerpted from this article