Should I declutter my Gut?

“How to get a healthy gut?” You”ve probably heard this before. The gut has become a buzz word within nutrition in the past couple of years and cookbooks on how to keep it healthy are taking more and more space on the bookstore shelves. But is it really that important to keep your gut clean and if so, why? Nutritionists Alexandra Fancher and Karin G. Reiter explain.


What is the gut?

Your gut is the centre of your immune system.  The rest of your body is protected from the toxic environment in your gut by a lining that is only one cell thick. The gut is a hollow tube that passes from the mouth to the anus, so anything that goes into your mouth and isn’t digested will pass right out the other end. This is, in fact, one of the most important functions of a healthy gut; to prevent foreign substances from entering the body.

An unhealthy gut is when the intestinal barrier becomes permeable (i.e.“leaky gut syndrome”), and large protein molecules escape into the bloodstream. Since these proteins don’t belong outside of the gut, the body mounts an immune response and attacks them. Studies show that these attacks play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases.

10 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut, reasons and natural treatment:

  1. You have digestive issues like bloating, gas, stomach pain, diarrhoea or constipation, nausea and reflux

  2. You are chronically tired, poor memory and concentration (feeling foggy)

  3. You have food allergies or sensitivities

  4. You suffer from anxiety or depression

  5. You experience mood swings, irritability

  6. You have skin problems like eczema, rosacea, acne

  7. You have blood sugar imbalances and diabetes

  8. Autoimmune disease, malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies

  9. Frequent infections – low immune system function

  10. Unintentional weight changes

Your gut contains trillions of good and bad bacteria.  Good bacteria help to process your food, produce nutrients and fight disease and therefore balance is the key word when it comes to gut health.  When your gut bacteria is in a balanced state, about 80-85% of bacteria are good and 15-20% are bad. You feel great, your body is strong and nimble, you rarely get sick, your energy level is consistent, your bowel is working perfectly and you feel vitality.

How does the modern lifestyle contribute to unhealthy gut flora:

  • Low-fiber, high-sugar, processed, nutrient-poor, high-calorie diets cause all the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow in our gut.

  • Studies have shown that drinking alcoholic beverages excessively can reduce the number of healthy bacteria in your digestive tract.

  • Overuse of medications that damage the gut or block normal digestive functions – like acid blockers, anti-inflammatory medication (Aspirin, Advil), and overuse of antibiotics, steroids, and hormones.

  • Undetected gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or low grade food allergies to foods such as dairy, eggs or corn cause “leaky gut” immune response to certain foods.

  • Chronic low-grade infections or gut imbalances with overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, yeast overgrowth, parasites, or even more serious gut infections.

  • Toxins like mercury and mould toxins damage the gut.

  • Lack of adequate digestive enzyme function, which can come from acid-blocking medication use, or zinc deficiency.

  • Stress, which can alter the gut nervous system, causes a leaky gut and changes the normal bacteria in the gut.

What should I do?

Researchers have found links between imbalances in the gut microbe and the most wanted list of health problems from obesity and diabetes to autoimmune diseases, autism and depression. They have also found evidence that first world eaters may have brought this upon themselves through overuse of antibiotics, processed foods and anti-bacterial sanitisers.

In functional medicine, we believe that every system in the body is connected. Your digestive and hormonal systems, for example, aren’t independent of one another, and at the centre of it all is a properly functioning digestive system, the gut. The gut is the gateway to health.  The first step we take with all of our patients at Nutritious & Delicious, regardless of their diagnosis, is to heal their gut. The protocol is a system called The Restore Program, which is a simple 4-step approach to repairing the gut and restoring the body’s balance.

Step 1 – Remove: Eliminate anything that is inflaming the digestive system

Step 2 – Replace: Heal the digestive system with the right types of foods

Step 3- Reinoculate: Introduction of probiotic rich foods-restoring beneficial bacteria

Step 4 – Repair: Providing the nutrients necessary to help the gut repair itself is essential. Stress reduction.

No matter what your health issue is, the 4R program is sure to help you and your gut heal! We have witnessed dramatic reversal of chronic and inflammatory illnesses in a very short period of time by utilising this simple approach.

Top 3 foods to eat for the gut:

1. Sauerkraut: Together with other fermented food it is by far the best food to have. You can add them to your salads, dressing, or drink in form of Kombucha, Water and Kefir.

2. ​Bone Broth:

Bones are an incredibly rich source of amino acids, protein, and minerals that are known to improve nutritional deficiencies. They also contain collagen, which can reduce intestinal inflammation and nourish the lining.

3. Fibre Foods:

Ideally, you want a balance of soluble fibre (found in foods like oats, barley, certain fruits like apples and pears, veggies, nuts, and beans, among others), which attracts liquid to form a gel-like substance and crest stool bulk, and insoluble (the hard-to-chew parts of fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc.), which moves things through the GI tract

An example of a meal with good fibre intake:

Pumpkin, cherry tomato and rocket quinoa salad


Serves 4

1 cup of cooked white quinoa

1/2 small size butternut squash or 1/4 pumpkin- cubed and roasted (massage little extra virgin olive oil on the cubes and dust with pink Himalayan salt)

1 cup of cherry tomatoes halved

1/4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds

Large handful of washed fresh rocket leaves

1tsp of lemon zest (preferably from an organic lemon)

Optional- 3 tbsp of goats cheese crumbled

To make:

Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix and dress with extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, cracker pepper and Himalayan pink salt.

Good luck on your journey and if you want to find more gut happy recipes,  check outNutritious & Delicsious’s website

All content on the including text, images, audio, or other formats is created for informational and inspirational purposes only. The responsibility for the information and views set out in the content on lies entirely with the authors and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


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