by Jennifer Sun September 30, 2020 3 min read

Many of the modern gut-health issues that we hear of today (IBS, leaky gut) are misdiagnosed in western medicine as only due to diet, stress, lack of physical exercise, or adrenal fatigue.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we are always looking at the holistic pattern of the patient. You give us the puzzle pieces and we can help you put them together. As a rule of thumb, any amount of consumption (in the extreme sense) can be harmful. (Learn more about this in our gut health online course)!

In Western medicine, gut health foods tends to focus on improving gut bacteria and quality of the gut microbiome. While gut inflammation and leaky gut are common diagnoses for those with gut health issues, it only focuses on the gut and not all of the other qualities we look to understand in TCM.

Gut health - back to basics

Gut health is becoming increasingly popular these days and in due time. Many of the chronic ailments our modern society is experience includes a tendency to be stressed, which impacts sleep, then impacts our digestion, and in turn affects the home in which our food is meant to transform into nutritive goods for our body. In Chinese Medicine, the gut represents the Stomach/Spleen network or otherwise the Earth Element.

The Earth Element is considered one of the most important elements because it acts as the foundation for all things to grow well. Fermented foods is to heal the gut is as fertilizer is plant soil.

So what's causing leaky gut? (food related)

  • too much food / too little food
  • over nourishment / undernourishment
  • excessive alcohol
  • hormone-laced foods
  • cold and iced foods (not nice for the gut bacteria)!
  • meal replacements
  • skipping meals
  • not eating the same time

So what's causing leaky gut? (the non-foods)

  • lack of sleep / poor sleep
  • sustained stress for prolong periods
  • prescription medication (antibiotics, birth control)

So you identify with one or more of the above gut-impairing causes. What next?

Let's work together to learn how to improve gut health. That's okay - me too (once upon a time). I too did not understand what iced-cold coffee would do to my spleen. I also ate fried foods on a regularly basis, at school and out with friends. At the time I thought it was normal to (TMI alert) poop once or twice a week.

3 ways to start eating gut health foods to improve your gut health

You can improve your gut health with natural bacteria through a selection of foods. Here are some TCM-approved recommendations that you should try to incorporate everyday

  1. making your own fermented vegetables this is the perfect time of year to collect the rest of the farmers markets harvest and we consider any home-made fermented vegetable as a digestive superfood. Check our intro to fermentation videos from Pro Home Cooks! not sure what to ferment? we love to pickle cauliflower, daikon radish or kohlrabi, and baby carrots!

  2. drink Pu-erh tea — this traditional Chinese tea contains tons of high fungal and bacterial diversity in Pu-erh tea and metabolites that not only heal the gut but also provide anti-inflammatory. For safe drinking, recommend discarding the first brew!

  3. homemade kombucha - yes homemade. Fun fact, Dr. Sun used to drink Kombucha as a child; they were made in neighborhoods and everyone would drink and share them as a community

4. Find foods with Chitin - (read research article here) based on TCM super herb Chuan Tui, it has shown to boost health gut bacteria. can reduce inflammation, may be good for weight loss and preventing constipation can moisturize and protect your skin from drying

How can you improve your gut health with TCM?

To help you learn more about your gut health, we are launching our Gut Health Online Course.

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