Fight Inflammation

Fighting Inflammation with Food!

A chart describing the types of foods and how they help your gut.

Gut, a small three letter word with a big impact. Besides “Beer Gut” what does this mean?

The term “gut” refers to our stomach and digestive system as a whole where many natural, live bacteria reside that are working to regulate our metabolism, protect us from infections by supporting our immune system, and promote normal digestion. It’s easy to disrupt the normal function of our gut and destroy good bacteria by eating processed foods that contain unhealthy fats such as baked goods, and the constant use of oral antibiotic medications. Frequently consuming processed foods and diets lacking in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains cause inflammation that can lead to common aliments like indigestion, diarrhea, weight gain and acne; or more serious conditions like IBS and heart disease.

While some of the foods that we eat can cause inflammation, there are others that promote positive gut health to reduce inflammation. More specifically, foods that help to balance the bacteria in our gut fall into two categories: Prebiotics & Probiotics. Don’t be scared by these two words!

  • Prebiotics are everyday natural food components that help to promote the growth of bacteria in our gut. Prebiotic dense foods are high in fiber and include: green leafy vegetables, bananas, onions, soybeans and whole grains. Spices and herbs also have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Probiotics are bacteria, or live cultures. They help to repopulate bacteria already in the gut. Probiotics are found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. 

Positive gut health is all about eating good bacteria, and feeding the good bacteria with prebiotics so it continues to grow. A breakfast of yogurt, a banana and a bowl of whole grain cereal is a great start! 

Louise Bilek Spartannash Health and Wellness Specialist

Louise joined SpartanNash in July 2016, with a background in health and wellness with a large emphasis on business and sales. She has a degree in Nutrition and is also a Certified Personal Trainer.

Prior to her role at SpartanNash, she was working for a health promotion company that provided large employers with evidence-based health improvement programs for their employees led by health professionals. Louise developed the network of professionals, sold the program and led employee engagement initiatives. This work would not have been successful if it wasn’t for her previous four years with the YMCA. She held many roles with the organization with an overall mission to promote healthy lifestyles. She worked one on one with clients, groups and developed wellness programs. As a manager, she developed staff, drove sales and leveraged community partnerships.