7 Power Foods to Heal the Gut, Brain & Overall Health
Do you know anyone who’s dealing with anxiety, depression, mood swings, hormonal problems, or gut issues? Then you’re in the right place.
Today we’re talking about 7 power foods that heal the brain and heal the gut.
Yes! We’re covering some major territory here.
Today’s all about healing the gut which therefore heals the brain with healthy food.
I’m on a mission to keep you on a mission. To help you boost your moods with good foods, to help your digestive system work at its best. And it starts the food we eat!
Power Foods for the Gut and Brain
Are we making food choices that are powerful for bringing healing in our gut and brain?
You may not have spent a lot of time thinking about your gut health, but it’s an essential part of being fit and keeping your body functioning optimally. It’s even called the second brain!
A good gut offers protection for the rest of the body.
All wellness and disease begin in the gut.
My book Treasures of Healthy Living Bible Study talks about these foods and many more that God has gifted us to help our bodies function as they should.
In the Bible study, I share 3 principles.
What are those principles?
- Eat the foods God called food
- Eat foods as close to the way God designed them as possible
- Don’t let food be an addition or your god
All 7 power foods we’re talking about are covered in these 3 principles of eating for health. Check out this podcast episode where I discuss this topic further. Please give it a listen, download, and share it with your family and friends who can benefit from these teachings.
We’re looking at power foods that will boost our mood and help us have a much more positive outlook about who we are. Did you know that what we eat affects our moods and emotions? What we ingest doesn’t just impact our physical health, it also impacts our emotional and mental health.
There is a fascinating gut-brain connection that’s been recognized and expounded on through science in the last several years. Our overall health is 100% linked to gut bacteria – microbiome, specifically the number of healthy gut bacteria present.
While we tend to think of bacteria as things that make us sick, there are a plethora of good bacteria that actually help improve health.
The gut microbiome is the collection of organisms that naturally live in our digestive system. As we eat foods full of nutrients, our gut microbiome flourishes in all the right ways and the state of our gut improves. And because of the gut-brain connection, this also boosts our mental and emotional states.
7 Gut and Brain Health Power Foods
I am excited to share these 7 power foods with you today because they will help you have excellent health from the inside out – from a healthy gut, to a robust brain, and beyond.
1 – Leafy Greens
These include spinach, kale, collards, cabbage, and lettuce. They also include, however, herbs such as basil, mint, and echinacea.
Leafy greens are really good for helping your mind and gut to heal. When the gut is healed, it connects to the brain through the axis (vagus nerve) and you eliminate brain fog and think more clearly.
When we think better, our gut is better.
It’s cyclical in the best way!
Why are leafy greens so beneficial to your mind and gut? First, they are chock full of vitamins which help us feel great. Additionally, they have protein and fiber, which are essential to a healthy diet.
Leafy greens can be added to a meal, be the base of a meal, or juiced. Kale, in particular, is a super-food. Check out this video where I share 5 health benefits of kale and talk about how much we should eat.
2 – Nuts
One great way to store nuts is in a glass jar in the refrigerator or freezer. This makes it easy to keep on hand and last longer without being adulterated (go rancid). Rancid nuts smell bad.
That brings me to the way I prefer nuts – raw. In their raw state, they retain all the nutrients God created them to have. The common practices of roasting nuts strip them of many nutrients, and we live best when all benefits are kept in the foods.
What are the nutrients found in nuts that are so beneficial? Nuts contain essential rich oils necessary for healthy eyes, hormones, and skin. They also have protein and fiber.
Maybe you’re seeing a trend already.
Also, nuts are great healthful snacks, additions to salads, and even desserts. This video shows you how to make easy dried fruit and nut bites – great snacks and meal supplements without all the unhealthy additions.
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3 – Apples
Apples are one of the foods that are best if organic. Since we eat the skin (that’s where much of the good fiber is), we want a fruit that’s pure and free of pesticides.
I know they’re more expensive, but growing fruits and vegetables are challenging, especially without pesticides. We don’t want to eat pesticides and hopefully can understand why they take more effort to produce and harvest without them.
Apples have been recently studied to reveal they contain over 100 million bacteria. Organic apples had the highest health-promoting bacteria including Lactobacilli, a probiotic blessing whereas the conventionally grown included pathogens such as Escherichia-Shigella.
An organic apple a day definitely builds the microbiome and a strong immunity defense.
4 – Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are amazing for your digestive tract and for your mind. One of my primary reasons to add this food is the high magnesium content.
Magnesium is involved in over 600 reactions in the body. Since we are talking about gut health is it imperative to understand magnesium is necessary to regulate neurotransmitters which send messages throughout our brain and nervous system.
Eating the foods God designed will help our gut to make its own neurotransmitters and therefore our mental and muscular health will both be optimal!
This means you can run with endurance and strategize with clarity!
I’ve done other articles about pumpkin seeds being beneficial for the prostate. So men, you need your pumpkin seeds because it is absolutely good for you.
5 – Fish Oils
If memory loss and depression are a concern for you, then fish oil needs to be added to your supplements or food menu.
Fish oils are rich in fatty acids – specifically Omega 3: EPA and DHA. Low levels of omega 3 are associated with inflammation. Low levels are also connected to depression and bipolar, suicidal behavior, ADD, dementia, obesity, and heart disease.
After reading that list, I say we have wild salmon patties every day!
If you are moody – consider adding high-fat fish into your diet. Yet, my husband doesn’t like fish and high-quality fish is hard to find in the grocery store, so a supplement is safer, more economical, and easier to add to a wellness program.
I take this Omega supplement daily, and I find it really helpful for improving my general well-being. The ratios of EPA and DHA is important for brain health.
Low fish intake, processed foods, and a leaky gut can increase inflammation and cause brain health issues. To be happy – eat more fish or supplements.
Whitefish, sardines, and anchovies are also good sources of fish oils. You can also buy fish oils if you’re not going to eat fish often enough.
Check out this video about the supplement I use.
6 – Berries
This category actually includes both berries and grapes. We need the antioxidants and the flavonoids in these rich, nutrition-packed fruits. We need everything good that’s in a berry. The fiber helps our brain and the digestive system to heal.
Berries heal the lining of our gut which helps reduce inflammation. Berries also deliver antioxidants for physical and mental health. All-around goodness that tastes delicious!
7 – Lentils
Lentils are essential in your diet. Everyone should enjoy lentils. I love lentils, so for me, it’s not a big deal. However, if you’re not a fan of them, if you could at least have them once a month, and still benefit. If you love them, aim for once a week.
Here’s a lentil salad recipe to try that’s super tasty. Check out this video to know how it’s done:
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Lentils are one of the best resistant starch foods, which means our body’s not going to break it all down. This starch is fermentable and delivers short-chain fatty acids that build butyrate. Butyrate is a science word you will hear more of in the near future since it is totally related to gut-mind health. It helps bring satiety for losing weight, increases your immunity, helps prevent numerous cancers plus supports mental wellness.
Hormones love lentils.
Power Foods for Gut and Brain Health
So, there you have it. Just seven powerful foods for a healthier brain and a healthier gut!
And keep coming back! There’s so much more to living the best, most abundant health life you can live.
It’s a blessing that I can share with you and help you have a healthy gut and a vibrant life.