The efficiency of your gut is the foundation of optimal health for the body and mind.
But how do you know if your internal microbiome is in good health?
“It’s a gut feeling,” says Dr. M. Andrea Azcárate-Peril, M.D., director of the University of North Carolina’s Microbiome Core Facility.
Truly it is.
With bacteria and other microbes surpassing the number of human cells in the bodies, we’re more bacteria than humans.
The gut system is composed of numerous bacteria that support our immune system.
Without them, the body can’t function properly.
It also stands for the reason that an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and overall gut imbalance will lead to lowered immunity, leaving us tired, sick, and vulnerable to many conditions such as obesity, heart diseases, cancer, and other chronic and autoimmune diseases.
Many states have been linked to microbiotic imbalance or also known as dysbiosis.
This simply means that you should trust your gut instinct when it tells you something is wrong with your health and reconsider your options.
Probiotics, a nutrient-dense and anti-oxidant-rich diet, eliminating trigger foods and toxins, healing the gut, and rebuilding the good bacteria are all part of maintaining a healthy immune system.
Clean Gut by Dr. Alejandro Junger, M.D. is a plan to repair microbiotic imbalance to improve general health.
The book emphasizes the importance of proper nutrition and colon cleansing as a key to good health.
The digestive system alone contains approximately 100 trillion bacteria.
It may appear difficult to change them, but the good news is that your microbiome can change quickly.
Recent studies have shown that your gut microbiome can change within two to four days of eating right.
The Clean Gut Diet is a program initiated by Dr. Alejandro Junger, M.D., a New York Times bestselling author of Clean, which provides a comprehensive toolkit for disease reversal and long-term health.
He is now known as “The Father of Detox,” and his Clean Program is followed by dignitaries, A-list celebrities, and media personalities worldwide.
This is based on the four Rs of functional medicine:
- Remove: This entails removal of anything that may cause gut inflammation, from allergenic foods, and inflammatory medicines, to even sources of high-stress levels.
- Replace: This entails replacing vital nutrients needed for the proper functioning of our digestive system and to avoid a leaky gut.
- Reinoculate: This entails the provision of probiotics to the body so that the gut may once again be filled with good bacteria that can help with the overall gut health.
- Repair: This entails helping the gut lining repair itself by supplying it with nutrients that are helpful for such purposes, such as glutamine, zinc, and quercetin.
These are essential steps that must be taken to clean the gut and start living a healthier, disease-free life.
The program is divided into two phases.
The first phase consists of a 21-day diet that cleanses the system and repairs the gut by only allowing easily digestible food to be consumed.
The second phase is a 7-day process that reintroduces normal food into your diet so that you can identify which foods cause the most harm to your gut, allowing you to avoid toxic triggers.
Simply put, the Clean Gut Diet Program eliminates the most common food allergens such as gluten, dairy, processed sugar, coffee, and alcohol, allowing the body to heal itself naturally.
Simply eating a healthy diet is insufficient to address these issues.
However, by following his specially designed gut repair program, they can all be reversed. Here’s a guide you can follow:
Follow the 80-20 ratio.
Fill 80% of your plate with greens and vegetables and 20% with proteins and good fats.
When you’re 80% percent full, stop eating.
This will help your gut to digest food easily.
Although beans and certain fruits are the mainstays of most healthy diets, they are excluded because they are difficult to digest or high in sugar.
They can be reintroduced into your regular diet after finishing the Clean Gut program.
Upon awakening, you can have a glass of water with squeezed lemon.
For breakfast, it is advised to have a liquid breakfast which can be a green shake plus supplements.
Ideally, the shakes should be varied.
If you are allergic to nuts, substitute sunflower seed butter or coconut manna or leave them out entirely.
Lunch and dinner are chosen from the recipes provided in the book and at www.cleangut.com.
Nutritional supplements should also be taken to heal the gut and support the function of the digestive system.
To improve digestion, combine with caution.
Pair vegetables and greens with plant protein (Tofu, beans & legumes).
Pair vegetables and greens with vegetable protein (lentils, quinoa).
Animal protein and vegetable protein should never be combined.
To view the full list of Clean Gut Diet foods to eat and avoid, visit this ChewFo.
A sample meal plan can be seen below:
The reintroduction process occurs in Days 21-28 of the Clean Gut Diet Program.
While adhering to the Clean Gut Diet, you will gradually reintroduce food such as gluten and dairy into your diet over one week.
This process aims to identify toxic triggers that don’t support your long-term gut health. These foods cause inflammation, acidity, irritation, or indigestion.
The most common toxic triggers are gluten and dairy.
Others include processed sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
This way, you create your dietary blueprint to suit your specific needs and lifestyle.
Keeping track of the foods you reintroduce is essential by having a journal to write on any reactions you might have.
Record everything that happens shortly after eating, such as energy levels, bowel movements, sleep, and emotions.
On the first two days (Day 22 and 23), eat gluten 2-3 times a day for two days, together with the available Clean Gut diet Foods to Eat.
Don’t include dairy or any other prohibited items just yet.
On the third and fourth days (Days 24 and 25), eat from the available Clean Gut diet Foods to Eat, without any gluten.
On the fifth and sixth days (Days 26 and 27), eat simple dairy foods such as milk and cheese 2-3 times a day for two days, together with the available Clean Gut Foods to Eat.
Don’t include gluten or any other prohibited items just yet.
On the last day (Day 28), reflect how you responded to the reintroduced foods.
If you did not react, you could continue to eat it.
If your response was mild, rotate your food choices so that you don’t eat the irritating ones more than once a week.
Remove the food from your diet if you strongly react to it.
After completing the program, you can experiment with foods other than gluten and dairy. Other common foods that are both healthy for some and toxic triggers for others include
- Red meat
- Nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant)
Those foods you try to avoid, such as corn and soy; you can try them at the end of the program.
As for nightshade vegetables, avoid them for 2-3 weeks and then reintroduce them one at a time for two days while eating only Clean Diet foods to see how you react.
Aside from diet, exercise is recommended because of its wide range of health benefits such as weight loss, reduced stress levels, decreased risk of chronic diseases, and production of endorphins, which improves mood.
Recent studies have shown that physical activity can also alter gut bacteria, thus, improving gut health.
Regular physical activity, even in low to moderate intensities, promotes the growth of health-promoting bacteria, including Bifidobacterium and Akkermansia, which plays a vital role in metabolic health and the prevention of obesity.
Inactive individuals do not experience these positive effects.
Whatever type of exercise you choose should be regarded as an essential component of living a clean life for the rest of your life.
Gut bacteria play a vital role in immune system support, and disruption of gut flora has been linked to various health issues.
Clean Gut is a comprehensive guide that provides useful nutritional information to keep your gut clean and healthy.
This motivates people to take significant steps toward better health and spreads the message that “we no longer have to be sick to get healthy.” Dr. Alejandro Junger, M.D. takes a whole new perspective on treating disease by taking it to its roots in the gut rather than treating it as symptoms arise.
Clean Gut will assist you in eliminating common ailments, reversing chronic disease, and achieving proper, long-term health.
This is an excellent opportunity to take a step toward a healthier lifestyle while receiving professional advice from one of the most sought-after doctors.
As always, this is not a substitute for professional medical diagnosis or treatment of a medical condition.
Before beginning a new diet, always consult your doctor.