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Anti-Inflammatory Gut Health Diet Plan

A good diet is the very basis for good health. No amount of exercise, supplements or medication can take the place of proper nutrition. Therefore, we must stress the importance of following the advice in these guidelines very carefully.

Read through this guide thoroughly then review the linked resources to see how this healthier lifestyle is doable and possibly even easier than you thought!

Note: This food plan encourages moderate protein intake, moderate fat intake and low carbohydrate intake. The exact values for these macros will vary based on your individual goals and health needs. 

 

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Foods To Eat

Non-Starchy Vegetables

Non-starchy vegetables provide phytonutrients and antioxidants that nourish, energize and protect the brain. It supports memory and cognition and communication between the brain and the gut. The natural fiber in vegetables cleans the gut and feeds healthy gut bacteria.

  • Eat at least 6 servings per day.
  • Vary the color of your vegetables (red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple, white/tan) to take in a wider range of phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins.
  • Eat fruits/vegetables from every color category, every week.
  • Eat both raw and cooked vegetables. Avoid overcooking veggies and steam when able.
  • Choose organic whenever possible. Thoroughly wash or peel any non-organic vegetables.

Fruits

Fruits provide phytonutrients and antioxidants that nourish and protect the brain and support memory and cognition. It helps to control blood sugar (when eaten in moderation) and suppresses inflammation.

  • Eat 1-3 servings per day.
  • Vary the color of your fruits (red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple, white/tan) to take in a wider range of phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins.
  • Choose organic whenever possible. Thoroughly wash any non-organic fruits.
  • Pair your fruit with a protein and a fat (such as nuts) whenever possible to further regulate blood sugar.

Quality Raised Meats

Meats provide ample protein and key amino acids to build and maintain healthy cells, enzymes and muscles. It stabilizes blood sugar (important for brain health) and minimizes hunger and cravings. It is also an excellent source of B vitamins, iron and other critical nutrients.

  • Eat 2-3 servings per day (this can be increased if exercising or by suggestion of the doctor).
  • Vary the types of meat consumed with a focus on omega-3 rich fish and wild caught game (if accessible).
  • Choose grass-fed, pasture-raised, free-range, organic or wild meats which contain higher levels of nutrients and good fats and less “bad fats” and contaminants. “You are what your food eats”.
  • Protein in various forms can also be found in plants, legumes and nuts.

High Quality Fats – Oils, Nuts and Seeds

High quality fats are a nutrient dense energy source for the brain and body. It balances blood sugar and keeps inflammation in balance. They are rich in brain healthy omega 3, 9 and MCT.

  • Eat a moderate amount of healthy fats such as avocado, unrefined coconut and olive oils, most seeds and nuts, etc.
  • No need to choose “low-fat” ingredients or dishes. Fat does not make you fat!
  • Choose organic, cold-pressed, minimally refined oils and organic, raw nuts, seeds and nut butters whenever possible.
  • Cook on “medium” heat or less when possible. For high-heat cooking, use one of the following oils: avocado, ghee, coconut, lard. Non-virgin olive oil may also be used but is not preferred.

Beverages

  • Consume approximately half your body weight in ounces every day (200lbs = 100oz of water). Increase this amount if exercising, consuming alcohol or caffeine, pregnant, nursing or in hot/humid conditions.
  • Drink as much plain organic green tea as you’d like (aim for at least 1 cup per day but up to 5 is recommended). Green tea is full of antioxidants, is healthy for the brain, and decreases the risk of a long list of common diseases.
  • Other healthy beverages include organic bone broth, raw, cold-pressed vegetable juice, coconut water and herbal teas.

View a list of foods to fill your plate

 View our tips!

Foods To Eat In Moderation

The following foods are healthy for most individuals in moderate portions. They can be an important addition to your meals but should not make up a significant portion of your diet.

Gluten-free Grains

Gluten-free grains (like quinoa and rice) support heart health and blood sugar. They may improve mental health – seizures, anxiety, depression, ADD, and autism spectrum. They are also carb heavy and difficult to digest. It is possible for the body to mistake gluten-free grains for gluten (cross-reactivity) and have a similar reaction to gluten from them.

  • Eat no more than 1-2 servings of gluten-free grains per day, if desired.
  • Choose organic, certified gluten-free grains when possible. You must, however, only consume corn and soy if they are organic. Conventional corn and soy, and the products that contain them, must be eliminated.
  • Choose whole grains that have not been processed. Processed, store bought items such as breads, crackers and pastas should be avoided, even if they are gluten-free.

Starchy Vegetables

Starchy vegetables provide nutrient dense energy and contain vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. They are also high in carbs and can negatively impact blood sugar when eaten in high quantities.

  • Eat no more than 1-2 serving per day, if desired. You may add more servings if you are performing high levels of cardiovascular exercise.
  • Pair with a protein to balance blood sugar.
  • Choose organic whenever possible. Thoroughly wash or peel any non-organic vegetables.

Legumes

Legumes (beans, peas, lentils) are a source of folic acid, fiber and plant-based protein. They are complex carbs that stabilizes blood sugar promotes fullness. They also contain "antinutrients" (phytic acid & lectins) and can be irritating to the gut.

  • Eat no more than 3 servings of legumes per week, and no more than once a day.
  • Cook your own legumes when possible as proper preparation can reduce antinutrient impact. Rinse, soak (8-24 hours), strain then leave out to sprout prior to cooking.
  • Choose organic legumes when possible.

Beverages

  • Limit coffee and caffeinated teas (other than green tea) to one cup per day. If you experience anxiety or have trouble sleeping, eliminate caffeine from your diet completely.
  • Limit fruit juices to small portions and only as “treats”. Fruit juice lacks the fiber that whole fruits contain to help the body process the sugar.

 View our tips!

Foods To Avoid

The following foods have a negative impact on most individuals and provide little to no redeeming nutritional qualities. It is very important to completely avoid the foods in this category for the duration of your program.

Gluten

Our bodies cannot properly process gluten (a type of protein) which causes inflammation. Gluten consumption is associated with leaky gut syndrome, bloating and brain fog, autoimmunity, mental conditions and chronic inflammatory diseases, even for those without a gluten sensitivity.

  • Completely eliminate gluten containing grains such as wheat, barley and rye and products made with these grains.
  • Completely eliminate foods with added gluten such as sauces and marinades.
  • Completely eliminate gluten contaminated foods such as oats that are not certified gluten free or restaurant fries and chips that share a fryer with gluten containing items.

Guide To Eliminating Gluten

Processed Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Processed sugar triggers fat storage in the body and liver. This is the primary cause of obesity. It drives up insulin and inflammation and causes a roller coaster effect in the brain which contributes to anxiety and depression.

  • Completely eliminate all processed sugar.
  • Completely eliminate artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, Equal, etc.
  • Completely avoid foods, sauces and condiments that contain added sugars.

Guide To Eliminating Sugar

Dairy

Dairy is a common allergy/sensitivity which causes inflammation. Its consumption produces symptoms such as gut lining irritation, bloating and irritable bowel, respiratory and sinus stress, and skin conditions.

  • Completely eliminate all dairy products (butter, milk, cheese and cream).
  • Completely eliminate all foods containing dairy, even trace amounts.

Guide To Eliminating Dairy

Beverages

  • Eliminate alcohol from your diet, especially beer as it contains gluten.
  • Eliminate all sodas, sports drinks and fancy coffee shop concoctions. These contain sugars, chemicals and other additives that are not allowed on this plan.
  • Eliminate all “health” drinks with added sugar (this includes kombucha, vitamin water, store-bought green smoothies, etc.).

  View our tips!

Additional Resources

Dining Out Guide

Snack and Dessert Ideas

Healthier Food Swaps

Meal Delivery Services

Approved Foods List (w/ phytonutrient examples)

Guide To Eliminating Gluten

Guide To Eliminating Sugar

Guide To Eliminating Dairy