A an easy 7-ingredient gut friendly double chocolate bread recipe. Gluten-free, dairy-free, gut health and high protein. Skip to the recipe.
If you’re experiencing intense sugar cravings, sleep disturbances, constant fatigue, anxiety, depression, moodiness, skin problems like eczema and digestive issues, chances are, you may have an imbalance of good vs. harmful bacteria in your gut.
In the first installment of Brain Foods, we examined possible ways your gut health can affect your mental health. I broke down what is the gut-brain axis as well as the neurotransmitters produced in your gut that help regulate everything from mood to sleep. Read the post here.
If you are dealing with a severe symptoms or gut imbalance such as IBS, candida, SIBO, etc., there is an entire diet and supplement protocol to essentially rebalance your gut bacteria. This can include pulling out the offenders in your diet such as highly refined vegetable oils, gluten, sugar, alcohol and conventional dairy as well as supplementation with herbs such as oregano and probiotics.
While that type of protocol absolutely requires one-on-one individual support and monitoring, I did want to provide an overview of a few ways to begin improving your microbiome. I’ve also included a gut-friendly recipe for you to try below.
Ways to Improve Your Gut Health
Eat More Fiber & Prebiotic Foods
More than half the calories that Americans’ consume come from “ultra-processed foods (source) and for most of us, our diets are far too low in both dietary fiber and prebiotics.
High-fiber foods feed the healthy bacteria that improve immune function, reduce inflammation and chronic disease, normalize bowel movements, promote weight management and even help regulate mood (source). Prebioitcs are a type of fiber that passes through the body undigested and promotes the growth and activity of friendly gut bacteria (source).
Some high-fiber foods include: raspberries, artichokes, green peas, broccoli, and dark leafy greens. Good sources of prebiotics include Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root, raw dandelion greens, leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, spinach, beans, bananas and chocolate.
Take a Probiotic
Probiotics can aid digestion and help maintain gut health. One brand of probiotics that I like and take personally is SilverFern Brand. This probiotic contains prebiotics, pharmaceutical grade ingredients, is multi-strain to increase the diversity in your gut, and is lab tested to ensure the 8 billion probiotics in the product can actually reach your small intestine. The line is also DNA verified, meaning a third party tested their products to confirm what it says on the label is indeed what's in the bottle.
I used the SilverFern Brand protein powder, which contains digestive enzymes and the brand’s clinically proven probiotics, in the recipe below. Use code “Kerri” for 15% off your SilverFern Brand purchase. I absolutely love the protein powders. Skip to the recipe.
Excess stress has been shown to reduce gut flora diversity and alter gut flora profiles by increasing harmful bacteria like Clostridium and reducing beneficial bacteria like Lactobacilli (source and source). Other studies have shown that sleep deprivation can use cause changes to the gut flora and increase the abundance of bacteria associated with weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes and fat metabolism (source and source). Meditation helps regulate the stress response, thereby suppressing chronic inflammation states and maintaining a healthy gut-barrier function (source).
Clinical research on the microbiome is still an evolving field. Without a doubt, further investigation must be done to understand the complete picture of the potential of the gut microbiome in our overall health, especially the gut-brain axis. Having your healthcare provider test your gut bacteria is one avenue to explore for a better overall picture of both your mental and physical health. Functional Medicine practitioners and nutritional psychiatrists usually specialize in gut microbiome testing.
Dairy Free, Gluten Free and Gut Friendly Double Chocolate Bread RecipePrint
Gut-friendly double chocolate bread made with SilverFern plant-based organic protein powder. Use code “Kerri” for 15% off your order of any SilverFern brand purchase.
4 eggs, organic and pasture raised (I use Vital Farms or from the farmers market)
⅓ cup + 1 tbls cacao
⅓ cup + 2 tbls applesauce
½ cup SilverFern Chocolate Protein Powder (code Kerri for 15% off)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
Dairy-free and sugar-free chocolate chips (option here)
1. Beat eggs in stand mixer (or electric hand mixer) until eggs fluff and stiff peaks form. Do not rush this step.
2. Add remaining ingredients and continue to mix 1 minute.
3. Pour batter into a bread loaf pan that is lined with parchment paper and greased, top with chocolate chips, and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
*Store in fridge or freezer.
Recipe inspired by lilsipper.
Keywords: chocolate, dairy free, gluten free, dessert, gut-friendly
Thank You SilverFern Brand for sponsoring this post and thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. As always, opinions are my own.
Patrick Sporleder Photography