By Dr. Josh Axe
Feeling frustrated and angry often? Have difficulty forgiving others? Have liver or gallbladder issues? Then you likely have an “Angry Gut.”
Take my Gut Type Quiz to find out if that’s the case — and please know that eating the wrong foods can make your gut health worse.
Relying on ancient Chinese herbalism, I created five different gut types impacting all of us. Once you know your individual gut type, then you can learn about the best foods, supplements and recipes that fit best … along with the foods that you should avoid.
So take the quiz, and if you’re designated an “Angry Gut” type, then the hints and recipes in this article should help!
What Is An Angry Gut?
An “angry gut” is one that is simply unhappy dealing with occasional constipation or diarrhea.
- Feelings of frustration and anger
- Trouble forgiving others
- Current or past need for gallbladder support
Foods to Include
- Sour foods are the most therapeutic foods for the liver and gallbladder, according to ancient Chinese herbalism. Here are the top sour foods to help an angry gut: apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, bok choy, swiss chard, sprouts, celery, asparagus, mung beans, citrus fruits, plums, green apples, olives, yogurt, kefir, chamomile tea and rye sourdough bread.
- High-fiber foods: Aim for 30 to 40 grams of fiber per day.
- Beets, artichokes and dandelion greens: All three of these vegetables work to improve bile flow and to break down fat.
- Coconut oil: Include this fat in moderation; it’s easier to digest than other fats and oils.
- Liver (organ meat): Both beef and chicken liver are high in such nutrients as vitamin B12, folate, biotin, choline and vitamin A, which support liver function.
- Sprouted seeds: Sprouting flax, chia, hemp and pumpkin seeds makes them more digestible and can reduce inflammation. Eat just one or two tablespoons daily.
- Raw living foods: A diet high in raw fruits and vegetables reduces the incidence of gallstones. Consume lots of large salads and vegetable juices.
- Quality Protein: Eat antibiotic-free chicken and turkey, grass-fed beef, bison, wild-caught fish, organic protein powder and real bone broth.
- Soil-based organism (SBO) probiotics promotes healthy bowel function and supports healthy elimination, supports healthy digestive function and helps to maintain healthy gut microflora. Plus, it reduces occasional constipation, gas and bloating. Take two capsules with 8 ounces of water each morning.
- Lipase enzymes can improve fat digestion and the use of bile. It’s usually taken with meals that contain fat.
- Milk thistle supports the liver. Dandelion and artichoke extract also support the liver in a similar way and can be found in combination formulas.
- Turmeric tablets can supports a healthy response to inflammation. Take one tablet daily with a glass of water.
Foods to Avoid
Here are foods that can contribute to an angry gut:
- Fried foods and hydrogenated oils can cause a sluggish gallbladder.
- Sugar and simple carbohydrates increase the likelihood of gallstones.
- Packaged foods contain pesticides and GMOs, which are toxic to the liver.
- Pork and conventional meats are high in fats that increase inflammation of the liver.
- Conventional dairy products contain hormones, antibiotics, omega-6 fats and medications, all of which overstress the liver.
- High-fat foods place stress on a weakened gallbladder and, at this point, even healthy fats can cause problems.
- Artificial sweeteners are toxic to the liver.
9 Bloated Gut Recipes
Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Smoothie
Total Time: 5 min
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- ½ cup goat’s milk kefir or yogurt
- ½ cup coconut water
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao
- 1 scoop Multi Collagen Protein Chocolate
- In a high-powered blender, combine all ingredients.
- Purée on high until smooth.
Total Time: 15 min
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- sea salt, to taste
- coconut oil
- In a medium bowl, combine the bananas, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Season with the salt and mix well.
- Heat a skillet coated with the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Drop the batter into the skillet to form pancakes. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, flip and cook through.
Beet and Pomegranate Salad
Total Time: 1 hr 15 min
- 3 beets with tops trimmed to 1 inch
- 1 cup diced red onion
- ¼ cup coconut vinegar
- ¼ cup chicken bone broth
- 3 tablespoons grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon pure
- maple syrup
- sea salt
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 cups spinach and arugula leaves
- ¼ cup crumbled raw goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap the beets tightly in heavy-duty foil.
- Roast the beets until tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool, peel and cut into cubes.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the beets, onion, vinegar, broth, orange zest and maple syrup to a boil, stirring often. After 5 minutes, remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Season with the salt to taste.
- Stir the pomegranate seeds into the beet mixture. Serve over the salad greens and top with the cheese.
Total Time: 1–5 days
- 1 medium head napa cabbage or purple cabbage
- ¼ cup Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
- ½ cup water
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons seafood flavor like fish sauce (or use more water to make this a vegan kimchi)
- 1 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (add double or triple the amount if you want it spicier)
- 8 ounces Korean radish or daikon radish, peeled and cut finely
- 4 scallions, trimmed and cut finely
- Slice the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Then slice into fine strips.
- Add your salt to the cabbage in a large bowl. Use your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to become soft and give off water. This might take several minutes.
- Let the cabbage stand for 1 to 2 hours, then rinse it under water for several minutes. Combine the garlic, ginger, coconut sugar and fish sauce (or water) in a small bowl. Mix to form a smooth paste, then add it to the bowl with cabbage.
- Add the chopped radish, scallions and seasoning paste. Then massage all the ingredients together using your hands until they are coated. Pack the mixture into a large glass jar and press down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables.
- Make sure to leave at least 1–2 inches of space and air at the top of the jar (important for fermentation). Tightly close the lid and keep the jar standing at room temperature for 1 to 5 days.
- Check your homemade kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables if need be to keep them submerged under the liquid brine. Taste it after several days to see how if it has become sour enough to your liking. If not, let it continue for several more days before storing in the refrigerator sealed for up to 3 months.
Slow-Cooker Bone Broth Chicken Veggie Soup
Total Time: 6 hrs 30 min
- 3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cups chicken bone broth (or 4 scoops of Bone Broth Protein mixed with 4 cups water)
- 5 ribs celery, chopped
- 5 carrots, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 thyme sprigs
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped
- fresh parsley
- In a slow cooker, combine the first 7 ingredients. Season with the salt and pepper. Cook on low for 6 hours.
- Using a fork, shred the chicken in the mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Serve topped with the parsley.
Shredded Beef Sliders
Total Time: 8 hrs 15 min
- 2–3 pounds grass-fed steak
- 2 small onions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup beef bone broth
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- Bibb lettuce leaves
- In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cook on low for 8–10 hours.
- Use a fork to gently pull apart the beef in the slow cooker until shredded. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
- Serve in the lettuce leaves.
Slow-Cooker Pulled Mexican Chicken
Total Time: 4 hrs 30 min
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 jar (16 ounces) organic no-sugar-added salsa
- In a slow cooker, combine the chicken and salsa. Cook on low for 4–6 hours.
- Use a fork to gently pull apart the chicken in the slow cooker until shredded. Stir to combine with the salsa.
- Serve over a bed of the lettuce with the guacamole.
Grilled Maple-Glazed Salmon
Total Time: 20 min
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ghee, melted
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger
- sea salt and pepper
- 2 pounds wild-caught salmon fillets
- In a shallow baking dish, whisk together the maple syrup, coconut aminos, garlic, ghee, thyme and ginger. Season with the salt and pepper.
- Place the salmon into the dish and coat with the mixture. Chill for 15 minutes, turn the fish to coat the other side, and chill another 15 minutes.
- Lightly oil the grill and set at medium heat.
- Shake off the excess marinade from the salmon and discard. Grill until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 12–15 minutes per inch of thickness.
Total Time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup goat’s milk kefir
- 1 cup blueberries
- 3 avocados, halved and pitted
- ¼ cup sprouted chia seeds, ground
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 drop peppermint oil
- stevia, to taste
- In a high-powered blender, combine the coconut milk, kefir and blueberries. Scoop the avocados into the blender. Add the chia seeds, vanilla extract, salt and peppermint oil.
- Sweeten with the stevia to taste (such as a full dropper of the liquid variety). Purée until smooth.
- Transfer the pudding into a saucepan and warm over medium-low heat until heated through. Serve warm.
Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is a doctor of chiropractic, doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food and nutrition. He operates leading natural health website DrAxe.com and is co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, a health supplement company. He’s also author of the books Eat Dirt, Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine, Keto Diet, Collagen Diet and the newly published Ancient Remedies.