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Why Winter Time is Ideal for Gut Healing

What you will learn:

  • Why Winter foods are gut healing

  • What Winter foods are beneficial

  • Seasonal Winter foods

  • Our favorite Winter recipes

  • Winter foods you can buy at the grocery store


Winter, Gut Healing, SIBO, IBS, Plant Based, Integrative Nutrition

Winter time is often correlated with runny noses, flu season, and holiday stress. We are here to inform you that Winter can be an ideal time to take charge of & improve your gut health and get on a sustainable path to truly having an optimal gut microbiome.


If you know anything about what we do at Married to Health, you likely know how much we value helping you and your fam, ‘Heal With Each Meal’. We’ve learned that the gut is the gateway to this and feel deeply that it is the nexus of all health.


Most of the diseases you or someone you know are experiencing can be traced back to the gut microbiome. Seasonal sniffles, high cholesterol, skin rashes, cancer, and the obvious chronic gut symptoms, all lead back to the microbes and viruses living in and on your body, especially those living in your gut.


Why Winter Foods are Gut Healing

Most whole food plant-based winter foods (depending where you live) are rich in polyphenols/antioxidants, gut healthy starches, insoluble (broom-like) fiber, and soluble (mop-like) fiber. All of this translates into amazing benefits for the vital structure/lining of your gut (mucosa, epithelial cells, pH, hydration, etc), the microbes in your gut, and what the microbes produce in your gut that are vital for us to thrive.


Eating Winter foods with these properties in abundance of variety and quantity can be the winning equation for the gut microbiome. The Winter variety of plants should not be discounted or forgotten as many can have increased levels of starches which can feed and seed the beneficial microbes living in your colon.


We are completely aware that many of you reading likely have issues properly digesting some of these foods. In reality, it is your microbes (or lack thereof) that are actually causing you to feel the struggle when it comes to highly fermentable (high FODMAP), high fiber, high histamine, or high sulfur foods. Keep reading to find out a simple way to help with digestion of these foods. If you are needing 1-on-1 help, do not hesitate to work with an expert Integrative Gut Health Registered Dietitian.


Our Favorite Winter Foods

Currently in Southern California we are still lucky enough to find hydrating foods like watermelon at our local farmer’s markets, but generally these are some of our favorite seasonal (Winter) foods:


Winter Foods, Gut Healthy, Plant Based, Integrative Nutrition

Winter Foods, Gut Healthy, Plant Based, Integrative Nutrition


There are so many more Winter foods we love like: Starchy winter squash such as Kabocha, butternut, & acorn, apples, persimmons, and pomegranate.


Winter Recipes

The number one recipe we recommend you make during Winter time to maximize the gut healing potential, especially if you are dealing with severe GI issues like: IBS, SIBO, Gastritis, Gastroparesis, Crohn’s Disease, and much more is SOUP! Why?


  • Soup helps to ‘pre-process’ fiber and plant foods in general making them easier to digest by using heat to break the fiber down.

  • Soup helps to reduce the amount of nutrients that may be harder for you to process if you are currently experiencing dysbiosis, including phytates and lectins.

  • Soup is a great way to get in a variety of roots, tubers, bulbs, greens, lentils, beans, and more all in one meal.

  • While some nutrients can be lost in cooking, there are other nutrients that can be enhanced and “unlocked” so-to-speak. Many antioxidants fall into this category.

  • Soup can be a warm meal, helping to sooth your nervous system and, according to several studies, may also slightly speed the rate of motility, AKA, gut movement.


For many with GI issues. you might find issues with FODMAPs, histamine rich and sulfur rich foods. You typically feel like you have been bounced around from doctor-to-doctor while spending a small fortune with no long-term relief to show for it. If that is the case, you will need a personalized approach that helps you properly navigate the intricacies of the food you eat, help you identify deep root causes in order to truly help you heal your gut microbiome. Do not hesitate to reach out for a customized approach to your needs.


Want to cook at home and try some of our soup recipes?


Don’t want to Cook at Home or Don’t Have Time?


Winter time can be a time of excessive eating, cold weather, holiday blues, and low vitamin D, but we also want to empower all of you to see this time as a way to continue or even start your gut health journey!. There are still great foods to find at your local farmers market, great soups to support your microbiome, and tons of nutrients to help you ‘Heal with Each Meal’TM!


Plant Based Dietitian, Gut Health Dietitian, Integrative Dietitian, Integrative Nutrition
James Marin, RD, EN and Dahlia Marin, RDN, LD, CGN

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References


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  • Wiertsema, S. P., van Bergenhenegouwen, J., Garssen, J., & Knippels, L. (2021). The Interplay between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System in the Context of Infectious Diseases throughout Life and the Role of Nutrition in Optimizing Treatment Strategies. Nutrients, 13(3), 886. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030886

  • Claud, E. C, Walker, A., Polin, R. A., & Neu, J. (2008). Chapter 5 - The Intestinal Microbiota and the Microbiome. In Gastroenterology and Nutrition: Neonatology Questions and Controversies (pp. 73–92). essay, W.B Saunders.

  • Camilleri M. (2019). Leaky gut: mechanisms, measurement and clinical implications in humans. Gut, 68(8), 1516–1526. https://doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2019-318427

  • Kumar Singh, A., Cabral, C., Kumar, R., Ganguly, R., Kumar Rana, H., Gupta, A., Rosaria Lauro, M., Carbone, C., Reis, F., & Pandey, A. K. (2019). Beneficial Effects of Dietary Polyphenols on Gut Microbiota and Strategies to Improve Delivery Efficiency. Nutrients, 11(9), 2216. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11092216

  • Calder P. C. (2022). Foods to deliver immune-supporting nutrients. Current opinion in food science, 43, 136–145. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cofs.2021.12.006

  • De Matos, B., Buchaim, D. V., Pomini, K. T., Barbalho, S. M., Guiguer, E. L., Reis, C., Bueno, C., Cunha, M., Pereira, E., & Buchaim, R. L. (2021). Photobiomodulation Therapy as a Possible New Approach in COVID-19: A Systematic Review. Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(6), 580. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060580

  • Mörbe, U. M., Jørgensen, P. B., Fenton, T. M., von Burg, N., Riis, L. B., Spencer, J., & Agace, W. W. (2021). Human gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT); diversity, structure, and function. Mucosal immunology, 14(4), 793–802. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41385-021-00389-4

  • All about probiotics: How to get them from both food and supplements. Precision Nutrition (2021, October 29). Retrieved November 10, 2022, from https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-probiotics



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