Foods that heal the gut include Terminalia chebula (Haritaki), an herbal extract that offers many health benefits.
The importance of the gut system to our overall health cannot be underestimated. Gut health is a topic that has increasingly gained attention and more research from healthcare professionals globally. A wide range of studies has demonstrated the relationship between gut health and mood, mental health, cancer, skin health, and immune system.
The gut microbiome contains roughly 500 bacterial species in the digestive tract. While these species can be significantly beneficial to our gut health, they can also be harmful under certain circumstances. Effective and beneficial interaction between the gut and the microbiome helps to improve the host’s immune health and metabolism. What do you need to do when your gut is harmed?
Here, I’ll discuss foods that heal the gut, particularly Terminalia chebula, and I’ll highlight signs to look out for to determine if your gut may be unhealthy.
Signs that Your Gut May Be Unhealthy
High levels of stress, little sleep, frequent consumption of antibiotics, consumption of processed foods, and diets rich in sugars can harm the gut microbiota, which, in turn, may affect overall wellness.
An unhealthy gut often manifests in the following ways:
- Frequent Stomach Upset: People with an unhealthy gut often experience stomach disturbances such as constipation, bloating, diarrhea, heartburn, and gas.
- Sugar Cravings: Frequent consumption of processed foods, which often contain large amounts of sugar, can reduce the number of normal flora in the gut and result in constant sugar cravings.
- Weight Changes: An impaired gut reduces the body ability to metabolize, absorb nutrients, store fat, and regulate blood sugars, which can result in obesity or, conversely, weight loss.
- Difficulty Sleeping: Poor sleep and insomnia are common for people with an unhealthy gut, as the amount of serotonin hormone produced can be affected.
In sum, it’s important to consciously consume foods that heal the gut.
Gut Health Benefits of Terminalia chebula
Terminalia chebula is also called Haritaki or Abhaya in Hindu. The herb has been used traditionally in Hindu medicine to support treatment for a range of medical conditions, and it’s particularly valued as one of the best foods that heal the gut. The Haritaki tree can grow as high as 50-80 feet, and the fruit of the tree contains the following biochemical compounds that can help to restore gut health:
- Chebulagic acid
- Chebulinic acid
- Gallic acid
Terminalia chebula shows strong inhibitory activity against bacteria that may be harmful to the gut such as Escherichia coli and Clostridium perferinges. These antibacterial properties are beneficial in protecting the digestive tract against pathogenic bacteria.
In one study, the antibacterial activity of the herb against helicobacter pylori was observed. Terminalia chebula extract may help to increase the gastric emptying percentage. The ascorbic acid found in the herb can play a critical role in strengthening and protecting the gastrointestinal mucosa.
Foods That Heal the Gut: Try Terminalia
We sell Terminalia chebula extract in sizes of 200 grams (100 servings) and larger. We also sell it as GURGLE Digestive Health Support, which is part of our Health Made Simple line of smaller 100 gram extracts. A good place to start is our Terminalia chebula FAQ. We love Terminalia chebula. We think you will too.