FMT, Diets, and the Foods Your Gut Will Love

August 2, 2023

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Have you ever felt like you're battling your own body? 

Our director, Saffron Cassaday, knows this feeling all too well. As an ulcerative colitis sufferer, she has experienced the frustration of traditional treatments and the hope of emerging ones like fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT)

Saffron's personal journey into the world of gut health is the driving force behind our mission and the inspiration for our upcoming documentary film, “Designer Shit Documentary

Gut health is a popular topic these days and with good reason. Our gut, or more specifically, our gut microbiome, plays a vital role in our overall health and well-being.  

From determining how we digest food and absorb nutrients to influencing our immune system and even our mood, the gut microbiome is essential. But how can we ensure our gut is healthy and functioning optimally? 

In this article, we will cover diet recommendations and their associated books to help you better understand–and deal with–your troubled gut. 

If you're in a Crohn’s or Colitis Flare, Try SCD

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) might be your salvation. As explained in the book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle," this diet is grain-free, low sugar, and low lactose. 

Here is what Saffron says about this diet,

“It is admittedly very restrictive and difficult to follow long term, but in my years of suffering with colitis, this diet often served as a safety net to get me out of a bad flare when nothing else worked.“

The University of Massachusetts has been studying this diet and finding promising results. Check out their website for daily meal plans and recipes.

If Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is your concern, the FODMAP diet could be the answer 

FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides,

and Polyols) are specific types of carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in

certain foods. This diet involves eliminating or significantly reducing high-FODMAP foods from your diet for a specific period, typically 2 to 6 weeks. 

This elimination phase can help identify foods that are known to trigger symptoms in people with IBS, or other functional gastrointestinal disorders, such as:

  • bloating, 
  • gas, 
  • abdominal pain, 
  • diarrhea, 
  • or constipation.

After the elimination phase is complete, you can gradually start reintroducing different FODMAP groups one at a time to identify which specific types of FODMAPs trigger your symptoms. In doing so, you can customize your diet to include only the FODMAPs that your digestive system can tolerate without causing discomfort.

To guide you on your FODMAP journey, consider the following resources:

  1. Low FODMAP Diet for Beginners
  2. The FODMAP Friendly Kitchen
  3. The Gut-Friendly Cookbook: Delicious Low-FODMAP, Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Recipes for a Happy Tummy
  4. The Low FODMAP Recipe Book

Eating for your Microbiome

But what if you're just looking to improve your gut microbiome in general?

You can do this by promoting microbial diversity through your diet. No gimmicks: just simple, wholesome foods that help improve your gut microbiome.

Here are a few cookbooks that Saffron recommends:

  1. Eat More, Live Well: Enjoy Your Favourite Food and Boost Your Gut Health with The Diversity Diet
  2. The Well-Fed Microbiome Cookbook: Vital Microbiome Diet Recipes to Repair and Renew the Body and Brain
  3. Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F**k
  4. Sweet Laurel: Recipes for Whole Food, Grain-Free Desserts: A Baking Book

Caring for Your Gut After FMT

When it comes to gut health, diets are just one part of the puzzle. 

Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT), a therapy in which fecal matter from a healthy donor is transplanted into a patient, has shown remarkable results for those with serious gut health issues. However, maintaining this balance post-treatment can be challenging. 

As Ryan, an FMT expert from Injoy, explains:

"The optimal diet for a patient to follow post-FMT to maintain a healthy microbiome is still under investigation. A survey of health professionals found the common dietary suggestion post-FMT was a diet high in fiber, prebiotics, and fruits and vegetables. In general, incorporating prebiotics and probiotics into your diet is recommended to maintain a balanced microbiome."

In addition, it's essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle to support your gut health. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Avoiding Artificial Additives and Processed Foods: These can disrupt your gut microbiome.
  • Mindful Eating Habits: Overeating and eating too quickly can disrupt your gut microbiome.
  • Hydration: Water helps maintain the balance of good bacteria in the gut.
  • Physical Activity: Regular exercise promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria.
  • Stress Management: Practice relaxation techniques to manage stress, which can negatively affect your gut health.

So, whether you're dealing with a specific gut health issue or simply looking to improve your overall gut health, there are many strategies to consider. Remember, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or trying therapies like FMT.

In the world of gut health, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one person may not work for another, so it's important to listen to your body and find what works best for you. Here's to happy, healthy guts!

Upcoming “Designer Shit” Documentary 

If you found this article insightful, you won't want to miss our upcoming documentary on FMT.   ‍  

This eye-opening film will dive deeper into the science behind fecal microbiota transplantation and share real-life stories of people who have undergone the procedure.   ‍  

"In the end, our goals with this film are to give a voice to those suffering from chronic illnesses and to help alleviate some of the shame and embarrassment around something we all deal with every day."

–– Saffron Cassaday, Director

To stay current on the documentary's release and receive more valuable information on gut health, subscribe to our newsletter.  ‍  

Together, we can continue to learn and share knowledge about the fascinating world of the human microbiome and its impact on our health.