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Meal Plans for Digestive Problems: Fill your plate with Nutritious and Delicious foods for a healthy gut!

Many facets of our modern-day lifestyle can damage our gut microbiome. The signs of an unhealthy gut include digestive issues, skin irritation, unintentional weight change, brain fog, autoimmune diseases, constant fatigue, and sleep disturbance. Many diseases are related to bad gut bacteria such as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, cancers, autism, liver disease, and stroke.

Hence, to improve gut health a gut-friendly diet is essential as it contains a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains that feeds the good gut bacteria in your gut and helps maintain a healthy gut ecosystem therefore a digestive system.

Your gut health impacts your whole body. A healthy gut means strengthened immunity, improved mood, good digestion, better heart and brain health, quality sleep, and prevention against autoimmune diseases and certain cancers, and for that gut-healthy foods are something we all need. Hence, listed below are some diets that promote healthy gut bacteria.

Popular diets for Gut health

No. #1 Vegetarian Diet

A vegetarian diet prohibits eating meat, poultry, and fish. Prebiotics can be found in plant-based products, which provide natural fuel for gut bacteria. Combining them with fermented foods, such as fermented dairy products, can significantly boost your gut and digestive health. For instance, kefir and yogurt are great sources of probiotics (or good bacteria). A vegetarian diet is also known to help reduce inflammation.

No. #2: Low FODMAP diet

A low FODMAP diet is often recommended to people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to help them control its symptoms by limiting certain foods. IBS symptoms include bloating, cramping, diarrhea, constipation and flatulence.

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. FODMAPs are certain fibers and sugars in foods that absorb water into your digestive tract and stay there for too long, causing gas. They are not harmful unless you consume too much of them, but some people can be sensitive to them. A low FODMAP diet emphasizes eating foods that are low in FODMAPS and limits (or eliminates) foods high in FODMAPS.

There are three stages in a low FODMAP diet. Its purpose is to figure out which foods trigger your IBS symptoms. This will allow you to follow a less restrictive, balanced diet in the long run and only omit those foods that worsen your IBS symptoms. The three stages are as follows:

  1. Excluding all high FODMAP foods in your diet– Avoid all the high FODMAP foods from your diet for 2 to 6 weeks. You may begin to feel relief in as little as a couple of days. Once you start feeling better, you can go on to the second stage.

  2. Gradually re-introduce high FODMAP foods– You can bring back one high FODMAP food in your diet every three days.

  3. Identify the foods that work for you and the ones that don’t– At this stage, you know how your body reacts to different foods, and whether or not high FODMAP foods are a problem at all. You can have the foods that don’t trigger your IBS symptoms and limit or avoid the ones that do.

It can be difficult to follow a low FODMAP diet on your own. A registered dietician can guide you through this process. Remember, a low FODMAP diet is highly restrictive and is only a temporary diet plan.

Some benefits of the low FODMAP diet include:

  1. It can reduce the symptoms of digestive disorders– A low FODMAP diet has therapeutic benefits for people suffering from IBS and significantly reduces its symptoms.

  2. It improves overall performance– People suffering from IBS often report a reduced performance due to severe digestive health issues. This also affects their social and work life. A low FODMAP diet reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue while enhancing vitality.

Examples of low FODMAP foods include:

Examples of high FODMAP foods include:

Meal plan for a low FODMAP diet

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It usually takes 2-6 weeks for people on a low-FODMAP diet to notice an improvement in SIBO or IBS symptoms, but the results may vary from person to person.

A low FODMAP diet is not designed for people without IBS, nor is it recommended for everyone with the condition. People with an eating disorder should avoid this diet, as it may lead to more diet restrictions and worsen food fears. Additionally, people with food allergies or those on an already restrictive diet, such as a vegan diet, may not be able to meet their nutritional requirements by following this diet. Underweight or malnourished people should also avoid this diet. The low FODMAP diet has only been studied for IBS. Therefore, one should avoid it if they don’t have IBS and unless it has been recommended by your dietician.

No. #3: Eat a Clean Diet

Clean eating is defined as eating minimally processed, whole foods that do not contain any artificial ingredients. The basic idea behind this diet is to eat foods in their most natural forms. It involves excluding processed or refined foods, heavily saturated fats, trans fats, and added sugar.

Here are some guidelines that can help you in your clean eating diet.

  1. Cook your own meals: It is the best way to control what goes into your food. This way, you make sure you are only using high-quality ingredients while avoiding unhealthy fats and excessive salt and sugar, which are inevitable in restaurant foods.

  2. Read the Nutrition Labels: Choose products with fewer ingredients. Avoid foods whose labels read “modified’’ or ‘’hydrolyzed’’, as it indicates that the foods have been processed. Look for words ending with ‘’-ose’’, as it means the product has added sugar (think sucrose).

  3. Avoid packaged foods and eat more whole foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lentils, beans, full-fat dairy, nuts, and seeds. These foods have not been processed and don’t contain refined sugars, preservatives, and other additives.

  4. Eat a balanced diet: Make sure to eat a variety of foods and include the right amount of complex carbohydrates, proteins, unsaturated and healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Here are some of the health benefits of eating clean.

  1. Whole foods are nourishing: They provide all the necessary nutrients required by your body.
  2. Weight-loss: They are lower in calories, which keeps you full and helps maintain a calorie deficit.
  3. Gut health: They are rich in fiber and antioxidants which fuels the gut and ensures a healthy gut microbiome.
  4. Better energy levels: Clean eating keeps your blood sugar levels in control and improves your energy levels.
  5. Protection from diseases:  Whole foods help lower the risk of stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
  6. Reduced inflammation: They are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
  7. Strengthened immunity: A healthy diet enhances the functioning of your immune system.

Meal plan for clean eating

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Studies have shown that it only takes a couple of days to notice the difference in your gut health through clean eating. However, the healing time largely depends on the underlying condition. It is important to maintain your healthy eating habits to prevent your gut microbiome to go back to its original composition.

The greatest advantage of an eat clean diet is a wholesome diet which is suitable for most people unless you have certain food allergies or conditions that require you to avoid certain foods, such as IBS, leaky gut, etc.

Signs your gut is healing.

1. Digestive issues subside: You no longer experience digestive issues like bloating, diarrhea, constipation or heartburn.

2. Skin clears up: An unhealthy gut often leads to skin problems, such as eczema, inflammation and acne. You may begin to see these issues subside as your gut begins to heal.

3. Food sensitivities go away: If you can now enjoy the foods that used to give you digestion problems, it is a sign your gut is healing.

4. You are your best self: You have mental clarity; your mood is uplifted and you feel re-energized. These are one of the best barometers that determine your gut health.

How meal prepping and batch cooking can help you stay consistent in your diet?

You can be fully determined to eat well, but it may seem like a daunting task if you don’t plan ahead. Meal prepping and batch cooking can make healthy eating hassle-free. It is easier to follow your diet when you don’t have to think much about your next meal and already have everything prepared in advance. Plus, it can also save you a lot of money and reduce wastage. It is a good idea to stock up your pantry and keep your basic cooking tools and storage containers handy.


Consider healthier substitutes for the foods you are used to. With every small change, you will notice a positive impact on your overall well-being. Besides, healthy substitutes can cut hundreds of calories from your diet. A healthy grocery list ensures that you stock your kitchen with nutritious foods and don’t have junk food lying around. Combine sensible eating with healthy lifestyle habits such as food journaling, regular exercise, and chronic stress management. Also Read: [Best Gut Foods and Diets for the Best Digestive Health!]

Above all, you must listen to your body. It is normal to have food aversions to certain foods. There are plenty of foods to choose from and you don’t have to eat anything out of compulsion. The key to long-term healthy eating is to enjoy it.

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