Hippocrates new the value of putting the right foods into your body when he said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” But between a busy lifestyle and being surrounded by so many bad choices, it’s hard to always follow through with this advice as often as I’d like. We are lucky that there are many great supplements out there to help make the healthy choice also the easy choice and the variety of superfoods sold in grocery stores is higher than ever.
Superfoods are foods that are considered very high in antioxidants and nutrients making them very beneficial for your overall health and wellness. Supplements are typically foods you add to your diet to make it more complete, meaning you shouldn’t be just living off supplements. While they are great for you, adding just these supplements and superfoods to a diet full of highly processed and chemical laden food will not do much for your overall health and wellness. The goal should be to first eat a diet of whole and unprocessed foods, then work on adding more of the following superfoods.
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this blog to see 17 ways to implement these superfoods and supplements into your daily diet.
Superfoods For a Healthy Gut and Balanced your Hormones
1 | Ginger
Ginger has great anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which means it will help your muscles recover faster from exercise, promote healthy blood sugar levels, and reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.
2 | Turmeric
Turmeric has all the benefits that ginger does, plus it has been shown to treat depression.
3 | Lemons
Lemons have similar benefits to ginger and turmeric. Besides all the anti inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, lemons are a great way to add Vitamin C to your diet and will help you fight colds and promote good digestion and adrenal function.
4 | Cinnamon
This inexpensive spice has incredible anti inflammatory, antioxidant, anti fungal, and anti bacterial effects. It’s a great way to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.
5 | Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is a great prebiotic, which serves to create an optimal gut environment for good bacteria to flourish and is another powerful antioxidant. In addition, ACV helps regulate blood sugar levels, raise good cholesterol levels, detoxifies the liver, and maintains a healthy pH level to prevent premature aging. Apple cider vinegar is also a great, all natural beauty product for hair, skin, and more.
Check out our Apple Cider Vinegar challenge on Tik Tok!
6 | Coconut Oil and MCT Oil
MCT Oil is very popular in the Keto world. While you don’t have to be full Keto, adding more healthy fats to your diet will improve your health and wellness significantly. MCT oil can help you get leaner, boosts your brain power, will improve your gut health, helps to manage your blood sugar levels, and provide you with more energy. MCT is derived from coconut oil, however coconut oil only contains 55% MCT oil. I personally just add both to my diet. Plus, like apple cider vinegar, coconut oil is also a great beauty product.
In addition, the caprylic acid found in coconut oil is one of the best ways to heal leaky gut. If you don’t cook with coconut oil, consider just buying caprylic acid in supplement form.
7 | Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are packed with fiber, protein, and Omega 3’s and like most foods on this list, they are high in antioxidants and help to regulate insulin levels.
8 | Maca Powder
Interesting fact, maca is actually related to broccoli and cabbage. It has an earthy taste that makes a nice addition to meals. Maca powder is great for increasing libido and fertility, as well as decreasing menopausal symptoms. Like everything else on this list, it is a powerful antioxidant and has been shown to protect the skin from the sun. It is also good for boosting memory and mood.
9 | Moringa
You might not have heard of this superfood, but it’s quite popular now. Moringa is another powerful antioxidant high in protein, Vitamin A and C, calcium, and potassium. It decreases inflammation, balances hormones, improves digestion, thyroid function, and immune health. In addition, it slows the aging process and regulates blood sugar to prevent diabetes. Start by taking half a teaspoon of dried moringa with a meal since it can cause upset stomach.
10 | Matcha (Green Tea)
Matcha has similar benefits as moringa but is much lower in amino acids than moringa. However, compared to moringa, matcha provides a high dose of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is known to boost brain power. Moringa doesn’t contain EGCGs. Bottom line: integrate both 🙂
11 | Chlorella
Chlorella helps with cellular repair and regeneration, which may promote collagen synthesis. Collagen (see supplements section) is important for skin, hair, nail, and gut health.
12 | Beets
Beets are a powerful liver detoxifier and a toxic liver will lead to a myriad of issues especially pertaining to the hormones and gut. Plus, they are dense in potassium, betaine, magnesium, folate, and Vitamin C to help reduce blood pressure and anemia, improve circulation, and boost brain power.
13 | Prickly Pear Juice
Prickly Pear, a type of edible cactus, is a powerful liver detoxifier. Studies show that drinking prickly pear before alcohol significantly decreases your chance of a hangover.
Supplements to Heal your Gut and Rebalance Your hormones
14 | Vitamin C
It’s really hard in this day and age to not have some degree of adrenal exhaustion. Life is just too busy and intense! One of the cheapest and easiest ways to support your adrenal health is by adding more vitamin C to your diet. If you are constantly wired and tired or have injuries that just won’t go away try taking 1,000mg of Vitamin C three to five times a day for a week and see how you feel. If you feel great, then 1,000mg once or twice a day is probably enough.
15 | Probiotics
While you should first try to get your probiotics through your food, supplementing with a high quality probiotic supplement is highly recommended. I like getting a liquid probiotic and mixing it with my Emergen-C packet once a day. Probiotic tablets are an okay alternative.
One of the best ways to get more probiotics in your body is through fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Plus, they are great for healing the gut and rebalancing your hormones.
16 | Grapeseed Extract
Grapeseed extract, which contains high levels of resveratrol, is a powerful liver detoxifier, which means it will help rebalance your hormones.
17 | L-Glutamine
This amino acid is very important in healing leaky gut syndrome because Glutamine helps rebuild the intestinal cells that often get damaged from food intolerances.
18 | Collagen
Collagen is a protein found in the body that helps keep your skin firm and looking young, plus it helps your hair, nails, joints and prevents leaky gut by keeping the intestinal wall strong. Collagen is especially important if you are active because it helps you build muscle and decreases joint pain. Many of the foods listed on my blog 25 best foods for an active lifestyle and a healthy gut help promote collagen production naturally. Aloe, algae, and ginseng also help to boost collagen production.
19 | Berberine
Berberine has gained a lot of popularity lately for it’s abilty to regulate metabolism. It is especially good if you have type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. It also helps if you have fatty liver, is another powerful antioxidant, and decreases inflammation. Berberine’s anti fungal properties also helps you to fight candida overgrowth. If you have severe candida overgrowth, you may also want to supplement with oregano oil.
20 | Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle is a popular liver supplement that contains silymarin which is known to have antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Other liver detoxifiers include dandelion root powder & artichoke leaf. Milk thistle helps brain function, blood sugar regulation, and even prevents acne lesions.
21 | Licorice
Licorice (which I can’t get myself to like no matter how hard I try) is great at helping your body to maintain homeostasis for your hormones and moderates cortisol levels so not only does this help with leaky gut, it also helps with adrenal fatigue (two things that typically go hand in hand). Most detox teas contain licorice and other liver supplements.
22 | Digestive Enzyme
Most people have some degree of food intolerances and poor diet can limit your body’s own ability to create digestive enzymes. Adding a digestive enzyme to each meal can help boost your body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients and give you an advantage when trying to lose weight and improve overall health. Enzyme supplements come in different varieties suited to different intolerances as well as some overall version.
23 | Slippery Elm (or Marshmallow Root)
Slippery Elm is a powerful antioxidant and prebiotic. Plus, it has mucilage which coats the intestines, making them less open to damage. Marshmallow root also works like slippery elm and also helps to seal tight junctions in the gut lining, helping to keep toxins from leaking into the bloodstream.
24 | Fish Oil
Omega 3’s are a great way to decrease inflammation, which will help heal leaky gut. The fatty acids can also promote survival of all the beneficial probiotics in your digestive tract
25 | Kombucha
Okay, this is a superfood not supplement, but I was lazy and didn’t want to renumber everything 😉 Kombucha has a ton of probiotics in it. We love Kombucha so much that now we just make our own. Click here to read How to Make Kombucha at Home.
More Foods + Supplements that Promote a Healthy Gut and Balance Hormones
Check out this list of prebiotic foods such as cocoa, flaxseeds, and seaweed that also help improve your gut health
I didn’t include quercetin, zinc, or resistant starch because they are found in many of the foods in my blog 25 best foods for an active lifestyle and a healthy gut so if you are eating those foods regularly you will also be helping your gut health and hormone levels. If you don’t eat these foods regularly you will definitely want t o be consuming quercetin, zinc, and resistant starch.
How to Integrate Superfoods into your Daily Diet:
- Chamomile Tea with lemon, turmeric, and ginger before bed
- Drink an almond latte with turmeric
- Drink a Mocha Maca Matcha (Use 1/2 tsp of each with steamed almond milk)
- Cook all meat + eggs with turmeric
- Add turmeric and MCT oil to your rice
- Sprinkle cinnamon on your coffee
- Make your salad dressing with apple cider vinegar
- Sprinkle chia seeds on your cereal
- Try the smoothie recipe below
- Drink a kombucha in the afternoon when you feel tired
- Add lemon, ginger, + beets to your green’s juice
- Start the morning with lemon water
- Bake + cook with coconut oil
- Mix 1 tsp of chia seeds in 20 ounces of lemon water and let them expand for a half hour before drinking
- Sprinkle chia seeds on cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, or acaí bowls
- Add bone broth to your meals
- Use prickly pear juice as a base for your smoothie
- Add maca powder to chili or soups
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