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I love baked goods and anything creamy. Some of my favorite treats are a moist piece of banana bread and a bowl of hearty granola with milk. Over the years, I learned that gut health is key to your hormone and overall health. A healthy gut affects how often you get sick, your sleep, your ability to handle seasonal allergies, PMS, and a host of other factors. Working on my gut health is the single best thing I’ve ever done for myself because it directly affects hormone health, immune health, moods, stress, and cravings. Your gut actually “talks” to your brain via the vagus nerve. However, a healthy gut is definitely more of a journey than a destination. I also love to eat, so giving up banana bread / muffins wasn’t going to work for me. I learned how to make a gut-healthy version instead.

Here are four easy swaps you can make in your own kitchen that will help clean you up your diet and contribute to a healthier gut:

 

Vegetable or Canola Oil → Avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil or ghee

This one is an absolute no-brainer as vegetable oils may look healthy (look at all those veggies on the bottle!), but in reality are far from nutritious. It’s basically inflammation in a bottle and you’re much better off using avocado, olive, coconut oil or ghee (if you’re not vegan). Avocado, coconut oil, and ghee work better for high heat cooking and cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is my go-to for salad dressings.

Cow’s milk → Plant-based milk

Cow’s milk may be delicious, but it can be a gut irritant without many of the health benefits, unless you’re drinking raw milk. This is because the nutrient density of conventional dairy is greatly diminished by the processes of pasteurization and homogenization. You can read more about this here. Plant-based milk will love your gut more, especially around period time, unless they’re loaded with inflammatory oils, gums, and fillers, so be sure to look out for these in the ingredients! Some of my favorite plant-based milk brands include Malk, Three Trees, and Elmhurst.

Wheat Flour → Almond flour

Wheat flour is so stripped from nutrients by the time it makes its way over to your kitchen that it’s essentially “dead” food. Our soil today isn’t the same as it was many (50+) years ago due to industrial farming and if you see a product with high amounts of vitamins and minerals, know that these were added back in to make the product seem more nutritious. Almond flour is my go-to for baking these days. Don’t think banana bread or muffins made out of almond flour can taste good? Think again

Sparkling water → Kombucha

Many brands of sparkling or flavored carbonated water can increase the acidity in your stomach. Why not drink something tasty that can help heal your gut instead? If you’ve never heard of kombucha, it’s a fermented effervescent black tea which aids digestion and helps your body get rid of toxins. A little goes a long way and be sure to avoid the brands with added sugar. Some sugar will always be necessary for the fermentation process, but you just don’t want extra sugar added back in after this. Some people say kombucha makes their stomach hurt. This could be because you’ve overdone the probiotic supplements or just can’t handle the extra probiotics in the kombucha. Picking a different brand or drinking less of it may work better for you.

As always, let me know what you think about these four easy swaps!

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