Ultimate guide

Heal and Nourish: Replenishing Your Gut After Antibiotics

A healthy gut microbiome plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. It is a complex ecosystem composed of trillions of microorganisms that aid in digestion, immune function, and even mood regulation. However, factors such as diet, stress, and the use of antibiotics can disrupt the delicate balance of this ecosystem, leading to various health issues. In this article, we'll delve deeper into the post-antibiotic gut and explore how to restore the gut microbiome after antibiotic use.

Antibiotics and Your Gut

An autoimmune rash is an inflammatory response triggered by the immune system's misguided attack on healthy cells. It often appears as itchy, red patches or bumps that may blister and ooze when aggravated. While these rashes can result from various factors, their presence may indicate an underlying autoimmune disorder that requires attention. (Source)

Consistent antibiotic use might be masking underlying health concerns that could eventually add up to autoimmune issues. Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own healthy cells and tissues, leading to inflammation and a range of symptoms. By addressing the root cause of these health problems and focusing on restoring gut health, you can support your body's natural defenses and promote overall well-being. (Source)

Gut Dysbiosis

Antibiotics are designed to eliminate harmful bacteria that cause infections. Oftentimes they have a non-selective approach and wipe out not only the targeted pathogens, but also beneficial gut bacteria. This disruption of the gut microbiome can lead to an imbalance known as dysbiosis, which can result in health issues ranging from digestive discomfort to weakened immunity. After completing a course of antibiotics, it's essential to focus on restoring your gut microbiome to ensure the proper functioning of your body's systems. Failing to replenish gut bacteria after antibiotic use can have several consequences, which may include:

  • a weakened immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illness
  • digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea
  • the development of chronic inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases 

The gut microbiome can gradually recover on its own, but taking a proactive approach to restoring and maintaining it can help protect you from the potential consequences of post-antibiotic gut imbalances and promote overall health and well-being. (Source)

Gut Health and Autoimmune Disease

The connection between antibiotic use and autoimmunity stems from the complex relationship between the gut microbiome and the immune system. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for proper immune system functioning. When the balance of gut bacteria is disrupted by antibiotics, it can impair your body's natural defenses and increase your risk of developing autoimmune-like symptoms. This immune response can be triggered or exacerbated by factors such as genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and the state of your gut microbiome. The diminished gut flora resulting from antibiotic use can lead to a compromised immune system that is more likely to develop autoimmune responses. (Source)

Addressing the root causes of health issues and restoring the gut microbiome after antibiotic use can help mitigate the risk of developing autoimmune diseases. By focusing on repopulating your gut with beneficial bacteria and supporting overall gut health, you can strengthen your immune system and reduce the likelihood of experiencing autoimmune-like symptoms. (Source)

Gut Health and Autoimmune Disease

The connection between antibiotic use and autoimmunity stems from the complex relationship between the gut microbiome and the immune system. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for proper immune system functioning. When the balance of gut bacteria is disrupted by antibiotics, it can impair your body's natural defenses and increase your risk of developing autoimmune-like symptoms. This immune response can be triggered or exacerbated by factors such as genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and the state of your gut microbiome. The diminished gut flora resulting from antibiotic use can lead to a compromised immune system that is more likely to develop autoimmune responses. (Source)

Addressing the root causes of health issues and restoring the gut microbiome after antibiotic use can help mitigate the risk of developing autoimmune diseases. By focusing on repopulating your gut with beneficial bacteria and supporting overall gut health, you can strengthen your immune system and reduce the likelihood of experiencing autoimmune-like symptoms. (Source)

Replenish Gut Health Post Antibiotics

Supplements, foods, and lifestyle practices can aid in replenishing the gut microbiome and promoting a healthy immune system. Implementing these strategies can help protect against the potential consequences of antibiotic use and promote long-term health and well-being. Read on to learn how to replenish your gut health post antibiotic use.

Supplements —

Restoring the gut microbiome after antibiotic use can be supported by incorporating specific supplements into your daily routine. These supplements may help repopulate the gut with beneficial bacteria, support the growth of existing gut flora, and promote overall gut health. When incorporating supplements into your gut replenishment protocol, it's essential to consult with a health care professional for personalized guidance, as individual needs and tolerances can vary. Remember that supplements should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle practices to support optimal health and well-being. (Source)

Some key supplements to consider include the following. 


Probiotic supplements contain live microorganisms that help replenish beneficial bacteria in the gut. Look for multi-strain probiotics that include well-studied strains such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Start with a low dose and gradually increase as tolerated. Be sure to consult with a health care professional for personalized dosing recommendations. (Source)


Prebiotic supplements such as inulin provide non-digestible fiber that serves as a food source for beneficial bacteria, promoting their growth and activity. If you choose prebiotic supplements, follow the manufacturer's dosing guidelines and consider consulting with a health care professional for personalized advice. (Source)


L-glutamine is an amino acid that plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the gut lining. Supplementing with L-glutamine can help reduce inflammation and support the repair of the intestinal barrier after antibiotic use. Dosages can vary, so it's best to follow the manufacturer's recommendations and consult with a health care professional if needed. (Source)

Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes can help support the digestion and absorption of nutrients, reducing the strain on the gut and promoting overall gut health. Look for a comprehensive blend that includes enzymes such as amylase, protease, and lipase. Follow the manufacturer's dosing guidelines and consult with a health care professional if necessary. (Source)

Foods —

In addition to supplements, incorporating prebiotic and probiotic foods into your diet can significantly support the restoration of gut health. These foods provide essential nutrients and beneficial bacteria that contribute to a balanced gut microbiome.

Prebiotic Foods

Prebiotic foods are rich in non-digestible fiber and resistant starch that act as a food source for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. By consuming these foods, you can encourage the growth, activity, and maintenance of healthy gut flora. Some excellent prebiotic food options include:

  • onions
  • garlic
  • leeks
  • asparagus
  • artichokes
  • bananas
  • chicory root
  • apples


Probiotic Foods

Incorporating probiotic foods into your daily routine can help replenish the beneficial bacteria lost or diminished during antibiotic treatment. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can restore the balance of gut flora by repopulating it with beneficial bacteria. These microorganisms can be easily incorporated into your diet by consuming these popular fermented, probiotic-rich foods:

  • yogurt
  • kefir
  • sauerkraut
  • kimchi
  • tempeh
  • miso
  • kombucha
  • pickles 


Pre- and Probiotic Food Ideas

Incorporating these foods into your diet can be as simple as adding yogurt to your breakfast, enjoying a side of sauerkraut with your meal, or sipping on a glass of kombucha. Here are a few recipe ideas for inspiration:

  • AIP Tiger Nut Smoothie Bowl: This prebiotic smoothie bowl is packed with nutrients and follows the autoimmune protocol (AIP), which aims to reduce inflammation and support gut health.
  • AIP Ginger-Carrot Sauerkraut: This tangy kraut is simple to make and would add a boost of probiotics to any AIP meal.
  • Superfood Hauskraut Slaw: This AIP friendly dish brings sauerkraut and slaw together to not only satisfy your taste buds but also fulfill both your pre- and probiotic needs. 

By integrating both prebiotic and probiotic foods into your daily routine, you can support the replenishment of the gut microbiome and promote overall gut health. (Source)

Lifestyle Practices for Gut Health —

In addition to diet and supplements, adopting healthy lifestyle practices can significantly affect gut health after antibiotic use. The following are some key lifestyle practices to consider.

Manage Stress and Anxiety

Chronic stress and anxiety can negatively affect the gut microbiome by increasing inflammation and potentially worsening autoimmune symptoms as well. Developing effective stress management techniques can help maintain gut health and promote overall wellness. Some helpful stress-reduction strategies may include: 

  • deep breathing exercises
  • meditation or mindfulness practices
  • yoga or tai chi
  • engaging in hobbies or activities you enjoy
  • connecting with friends and family for support


Exercise Regularly

Moderate exercise can positively influence gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and improving gut barrier function. Aim to engage in regular physical activity that you enjoy, such as walking, swimming, cycling, or even dancing. Be mindful of your body's limitations and determine the most suitable exercise regimen for your needs. (Source)

Prioritize Sleep

Quality sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome and supporting overall health. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, and establish a consistent sleep schedule that complements your natural circadian rhythm. To improve your sleep hygiene, consider the following:

  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
  • Limit exposure to screens before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine and heavy meals close to bedtime.


Avoid Gut-Damaging Substances

Certain foods and substances can harm the gut microbiome and exacerbate autoimmune symptoms. Be mindful of your consumption and consider avoiding or reducing:


By adopting these lifestyle practices, you can support your gut health and create an environment that fosters the recovery of your gut microbiome after antibiotic use. A comprehensive approach that includes a balanced diet, supplementation, and healthy lifestyle habits is essential for promoting gut health and managing autoimmune symptoms effectively.

The Bottom Line

Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is crucial if you have an autoimmune disease or autoimmune-like symptoms, as it plays a vital role in supporting a well-functioning immune system. The use of antibiotics can disrupt the gut microbiome, leading to various health issues and potentially exacerbating autoimmune concerns. To counteract these effects, it's essential to adopt a comprehensive approach that includes repopulating the gut microbiome with beneficial bacteria through supplementation, incorporating prebiotic and probiotic foods into your diet, and embracing healthy lifestyle practices that support gut health.

By managing stress, exercising regularly, prioritizing sleep, and avoiding gut-damaging substances, you can create an environment that fosters the recovery of your gut microbiome after antibiotic use. If your current gut protocol isn’t cutting it, consider a WellTheory membership to eliminate guesswork and work with a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner for a personalized approach to replenishing your gut health.

Tips & Tricks

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The Ultimate Guide To Phytonutrients

Lycopene is the phytochemical that gives fruits and vegetables their red color. Lycopene is a potent antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties that protect the body from oxidative stress. Lycopene has also been found to decrease “bad” low density lipoprotein (LDL) and increase “good” high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Lycopene may also protect the skin against ultraviolet (UV) damage from the sun. One small study found that participants who added 16milligrams of lycopene to their diet every day had less severe skin reactions to UV light over 10 weeks than a control group without the added lycopene. (Of course, consumption of lycopene-rich foods doesn’t replace sunscreen!)

AIP-Compliant Red Foods and Their Phytonutrient Compounds
Blood Orange
flavonoids, hesperidin, isohesperidin, limonene, limonin, lycopene, naringin, terpenio
anthocyanin, flavonoids, hydro-xycinnamates
anthocyanin, catechins, ellagic acid, hippuric acid, kaempferol, lycopene, triterpenoids, quercetin, quinic acid
beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, polyphenois
anthocyanin, cyanidin, ellagic acid, lycopene
Red Grape
anthocyanin, cyanidin, ellagic acid, flavonols, kaempferol, lycopene, myricetin, peonidin, quercetin, resveratrol
Pink Guava
alkaloids, ellagic acid, lycopene
Red/Pink Grapefruit
beta cryptoxanthin, lycopene, naringin, narirutin, ponciri
Red Onion
copaene, flavonols, lycopene, polysulfides, quercetin, vinyldithiins
Red Beet
betacyanin, flavonoids, lycopene, phenolic acids
Other Red Foods and Their Phytonutrient Compounds
beta-carotene, kaempferol, lycopene, rutin
Red Bell Pepper
anthocyanin, capsaicinoid, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin
beta-carotene, canthaxanthin, lycopene, tocopherols
Red Potato
alpha linoleic acid, anthocyanin, flavonoids, polyphenols, tocopherols
beta-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin

Ways to incorporate more red foods into your diet

  • Add red-colored fruits and vegetables to salads.
  • Opt for red pasta sauces made from tomatoes instead of carbonara or Alfredo sauce. Red sauces can also be used as toppings for other dishes!
  • Have salsa as a dip alongside tortilla chips or eggs, or on top of potatoes.
  • Make a juice using lycopene-rich foods.
  • Add some goji berries to your chrysanthemum, chamomile, or any other tea.

Phytonutrients in Orange Foods

Carotenoids are responsible for yellow, orange, and red color in many fruits and vegetables. Research suggests that one carotenoid in particular, beta-carotene, may protect against decline in lung function. A study done in 2017 also suggested that eating fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene ,and beta-cryptoxanth in had protective effects against lung cancer.
Like lycopene, dietary intake of beta-carotene has protective effects against diseases that are mediated by oxidative stress, such as diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. High levels of alpha carotene are associated with longevity — one large U.S. study found that high levels of alpha-carotene in the blood were linked with a reduced risk of death over a 14 year period. Aside from its antioxidant effects, the carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin may prevent bone loss and may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.

AIP-Compliant Orange Foods and Their Phytonutrient Compounds
beta-carotene, lycopene, rutin, tartaric acid
Butternut Squash
alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, phenolic acids, zeaxanthin
beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, gallic acid, kaempferol, lutein, zeaxanthin
alpha-carotene, beta-carotenes, beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, lycopene
Mandarin Oranges
alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, flavonoids, lutein, zeaxanthin
beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, beta-glucogallin, ellagicacid, quercetin
beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, flavonoids, hesperidin, isohesperidin, naringin, terpineol, limonene, limonin
beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin
alpha-carotene, anthocyanidins, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, phenolic acids, rutin
beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, catechin, kaempferol, proanthocyanidins, quercetin, triterpenoid
alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, phenolic acids, phytic acid, zeaxanthin
Sea Buckthorn
beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, lycopene, quercetin, zeaxanthin
Sweet potato
alkaloids, anthocyanin, betacarotene, flavonoids, oxalic acid, phenolic acids
alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, tangeritin, zeaxanthin
curcumin, curcumenol, demethoxycurcumin, eugenol, turmerin, turmerones, zingiberene
Winter Squash
alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin
alkaloids, beta-carotene, flavonoids, phenol
Other Orange Foods and Their Phytonutrient Compounds
Orange Lentils
beta-carotene, flavonoids, phytic acid, tocopherols, flavonols
Orange Bell Pepper
beta-carotene, lycopene, capsaicinoid, lycopene, phenols

Ways to incorporate more orange foods into your diet

  • Have a baked sweet potato instead of white potato
  • Add turmeric powder to stir-fries, or make a warm cup of ginger and turmeric tea.
  • Have orange-colored foods as a snack throughout the day, such as tangerines, papaya, or peaches
  • Make a pumpkin, butternut squash, or carrot soup.
  • Make a smoothie out of orange-colored foods

Phytonutrients in Yellow Foods

Lutein and zeaxanthin are also part of the carotenoid family, along with beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only dietary carotenoids that reach the retina, the thin layer of tissue that lines the inside on the back of the eye. They are known to support eye health and have preventative effects against age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease that can lead to the loss of vision as we age. However, lutein and zeaxanthin also have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. Zeaxanthin can also help to recycle glutathione, another important antioxidant in the body. (9, 15)

AIP-Compliant Yellow Foods and Their Phytonutrient Compounds
Yellow Apple
catechin, chlorogenicacid, flavonols, quercetin, rutin
beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, tartaric acid
beta-carotene, lutein, oxalic acid, zeaxanthin
Golden Beet
beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, flavonoids, lutein, phenolic acids, zeaxanthin, flavonoids
Yellow Cauliflower
beta-carotene, polyphenols, protocatechuic acid, quercetin
Yellow Dragon Fruit
betacyanin, betacarotene, flavonoids, lutein, phenolic acid, zeaxanthin, phenolic acid
alpha-carotene, anthocyanin, betacarotene, flavonoids, lutein, polyphenols, zeaxanthin
alkaloids, betacarotene, biolaxantin, gallicacid, neoxanthin, quercetin, terpenoids, zeaxanthin
gingerol, monoterpenes, oxalicacid, quercetin
Golden Kiwi
beta-carotene, betacryptoxanthin, caffeicacid, chlorogenicacid, lutein, phenolics, quinic acid, zeaxanthin
alkaloids, alphacarotene, betacarotene, flavonoids, lignans, lutein, phenolics, terpenoids, zeaxanthin
alkaloids, betacryptoxanthin, flavonoids, phenols, quinines, rutin, terpenoids
anthocyanin, betacarotene, phenols
Yellow Pear
beta-carotenecaffeic acid, pectin, quercetin, tocopherols
anthocyanin, betacryptoxanthin, lutein
Rutabaga/Swedish Turnip
beta-carotene, indole 3-carbinol, lutein, luteolin
Summer Squash
beta-carotene, betacryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin
Star Fruit
alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolics, phytofluene
alkaloids, betacarotene, betacryptoxanthin, chlorogenic acid
beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin
Yellow Watermelon
beta-carotene, betacryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin
Yellow Zucchini
alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin
Other Yellow Foods and Their Phytonutrient Compounds
Yellow Bell Pepper
beta-carotene, capsaicinoid, lutein, phenols, zeaxanthin
anthocyanin, betacarotene, flavonoids, phenolic acids
beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, ferulic acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid
Yellow Potatoes
beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, phenols, anthocyanin

Ways to incorporate more yellow foods into your diet

  • Add diced yellow bell peppers and corn to your stir-fry.
  • Make honey and lemon tea.
  • Make stove-top popcorn with healthy fats such as olive oil and coconut oil.
  • Roast, bake, or mash yellow (Yukon) potatoes instead of white potatoes.
  • Use bananas to make banana pancakes and bread.
  • Slide some banana into your oatmeal.
  • Blend frozen pineapple, almond milk, and honey or maple syrup to make pineapple sorbet.

Phytonutrients in Green Foods

Dark green, leafy cruciferous vegetables are a good source of sulfur (isocyanate, sulforaphane, glucosinolate). Our body needs sulfur in order to synthesize certain essential proteins. These sulfur compounds break down into isothiocyanates and indoles in the gut, which are known to have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects. (36, 52, 33)

Research suggests that sulforaphane may support heart health by reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure. It may also have antidiabetic effects. One study found that sulforaphane reduced fasting blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. (55, 41, 47)

Glucoraphanin, a glucosinolate that’s found in some cruciferous vegetables, has been found to protect the blood–brain barrier in mice with induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (used to study MS, which can’t be induced in the same way), suggesting it may reduce the risk of developing MS. (16, 40)

AIP-Compliant Green Foods and Their Phytonutrient Compounds
cynarin, gallic acid, quercetin, rutin, silymarin
glucosinolates,indole-3-carbinol, lutein, sulforaphane, thiocyanates, zeaxanthin
lycopene, rutin, glutathione, quercetin, caffeicacid, kaempferol, ferulic acid
Bitter Gourd
anthraquinones, beta-carotene, glucosinolates, isoflavones, lutein, phenolic acids, sterol,
Bok Choy
beta-carotene, flavonoids, glucosinolates, kaempferol, lutein
alpha-carotene, betacarotene, glucosinolates, kaempferol, lutein, sulforaphane
Brussel Sprouts
indole-3-carbinol, isoflavonoids, isothiocyanate, kaempferol, lutein, zeaxanthin
beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid,indole-3-carbinol,lutein, sulforaphane, tocophero
beta-carotene, lutein,indole-3-carbinol, isothiocyanates, sulforaphane, zeaxanthin
beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin
Gai Lan/Chinese Broccoli/kale
beta-carotene, carbinol, chlorophyll, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, sulforaphane, zeaxanthin
Honeydew Melon
beta-carotene, caffeicacid, ellagic acid,ferulic acid, gallicacid, kaempferol, lutein, terpenes
glucosinolates, lutein, polysulfides, zeaxanthin
beta-carotene, glucosinolates, indole-3-carbinol, kaempferol, lutein, zeaxanthin
anthocyanin, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, flavonoids, lutein
anthocyanin, beta-carotene, glucosinolates, isothiocyanate
allicin, alliin, betacarotene, gallic acid, isothiocyanate, kaempferol, lutein
beta-carotene, chlorophyll, lutein, zeaxanthin
Mustard Greens
glucosinolate, betacarotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, phenolicacids, anthocyanin
beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavonoids, lutein, phytosterols, zeaxanthin
apigenin, beta-carotene, caffeic acid, citral, dillapiole, elemicin, limonene, luteolin, myristicin
beta-carotenes, lutein, quercetin, zeaxanthin
Swiss Chard
catechin, epicatechin, kaempferol, lutein, myricetin, quercetin, zeaxanthin
beta-carotene, glucosinolates, lutein, zeaxanthin
Other Green Foods and Their Phytonutrient Compounds
apigenin, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, chlorophyll, flavonoids, kaempferol
anthocyanin, betacarotene, chloroform, lutein, phytosterols, violaxanthin

Ways to incorporate more green foods into your diet

  • Add chopped spinach and asparagus to an omelet or frittata.
  • Make a green smoothie using a variety of green vegetables and fruits.
  • Make kale chips using green kale.
  • Use basil or any dark green vegetable of your choice to make a pesto sauce.
  • Dip cucumbers in hummus, or celery in peanut butter.
  • Make wraps using lettuce leaves, cabbage leaves, perilla leaves, or Swiss chard.
  • Saute your choice of green vegetables with garlic, lemon, and olive oil.

Phytonutrients in Blue/Purple/Black Foods

Anthocyanins are phytochemicals that give red, blue, and purple plants their vibrant coloring. Anthocyanins have antioxidant properties that may boost heart health and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular-related and other chronic diseases. (26)

Anthocyanin-rich foods have been linked to reductions in inflammation and reduced blood sugar concentrations, suggesting they may also have antidiabetic effects. Anthocyanins have also been found to protect eye health. One study found that daily supplementation with pharmaceutical anthocyanins improved the visual function of individuals with normal tension glaucoma (where the optic nerve is damaged despite pressure in the eye being normal). (30, 43)

Other phytochemicals called stilbenoids are typically found in grapes and blueberries. Like anthocyanins, stilbenoids have been shown to have a variety of benefits such as protective effects on the heart and brain, as well as antidiabetic, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. (4)

AIP-Compliant Blue/Purple/Black Foods and Their Phytonutrient Compounds
Purple Asparagus
anthocyanin, beta-carotene, ecdysterone, lutein ,zeaxanthin
Purple Basil
anthocyanin, betacarotene, kaempferol, myrcene, phenolicacids, quercetin, rutin, terpinolene
anthocyanin, caffeicacid, chlorogenic acid, kaempferol, myricetin, quercetin, terpenoids
anthocyanin, beta-carotene, lutein, salicylic acid, zeaxanthin
anthocyanin,catechins, ferulic acid, gallic acid, myricetin, phenolic acids, quercetin, stilbenoids
Purple Cabbage
anthocyanin, betacarotene, flavonoids, glucosinolates, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, sulforaphane, zeaxanthin
Purple Cauliflower
anthocyanin,beta-carotene, glucosinolates, iindole-3-carbinol, lutein, sulforaphane, zeaxanthin
Purple Carrots
alpha-carotene, anthocyanin, betacarotene, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin
Black Currants
anthocyanin, caffeicacid, kaempferol, phenolic acids, lignans, myricetin, quercetin
anthocyanin, flavonoids, polyphenols
anthocyanin, betacarotene, chlorogenicacid, lutein, rutin, zeaxanthin
Purple Grapes
anthocyanin, betacarotene, caffeic acid, catechins, coumaricacid, ellagic acid, ferulicacid, kaempferol, lutein, myricetin, quercetin, stilbenoids, zeaxanthin
Purple kale
anthocyanins, betacarotene, flavonoids, glucosinolates, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, sulforaphane, zeaxanthin
anthocyanin, chlorogenic acid, lutein, phytosterols, sorbitol, terpenoids, zeaxanthin
anthocyanin, ellagicacid, lutein, lycopene, quercetin, zeaxanthin
Other Blue/Purple/Black Foods and Their Phytonutrient Compounds
Chia Seeds
caffeic acid, quercetin, myricetin, phenolic acids, chlorogenic acid
phenolic acids, tocopherols, flavonoids, anthocyanin, phytosterols, phytic acid
anthocyanin, aubergenone, flavonoids, glycoalkaloids, phenolic compounds

Ways to incorporate more blue/purple/black foods into your diet

  • Substitute purple cabbage, carrots, and onions for green cabbage, orange carrots, and white onions.
  • Add blueberries, blackberries, black currants, figs, and plums to yogurt or oatmeal.
  • Have a baked purple sweet potato instead of a white potato, or use them to make sweet potato patties.
  • Make sauerkraut using purple cabbage.
  • Use purple vegetables in salads.
  • Make a cannelloni using eggplant.

Phytonutrientsin White/Tan/Brown Foods

Allicin, a phytochemical produced when garlic is chopped or crushed, has been associated with a lower risk of coronary events in older adults. Research suggests allicin may help reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels when consumed for more than 2 months. (8, 39)

Garlic is well known for its antimicrobial effects and has historically been used to combat infectious diseases. It is also known to be effective against a variety of bacteria, such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus. (8)

Another phytonutrient that is found in many white, tan, and brown foods is quercetin. Quercetin has anti-inflammatory properties and may be effective against obesity, cancer, viruses, allergies, and high blood pressure. (5)

Serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are a biomarker of inflammation in the body. High CRP levels are associated with heart disease, obesity, and lupus. One study done in 2008 found that the intake of foods rich in flavonoids, such as quercetin, is associated with lower serum CRP concentrations. (12)

AIP-Compliant White/Tan/Brown Foods and Their Phytonutrient Compounds
beta-carotene, flavonoids, glucosinolates, indole-3-carbinol,lutein, sulforaphane, zeaxanthin
beta-carotene, flavonoids, lutein, phenolic acids, zeaxanthin
Japanese Turnip
anthocyanins, betacarotene, ferulicacid, glucosinolate, lutein, quercetin, violaxanthin
allicin, allin, caffeicacid, ferulic acid, kaempferol, polysulfides, quercetin, triterpenoid
gingerols, paradols, shogaols, terpenes
Lotus Root
catechins, catechol, gallic acid, phenolic acids
anthocyanidins, catechins, malvidin, quercetin, rutin
catechins, gartanin, mangostin, normagostin, rosin, xanthones
beta-glucans, ergosterol, ganoderic acid, lucidenic acid
hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein
allicin, alliin, caffeicacid, ferulic acid, fumaric acid, phytosterols, quercetin, rutin
alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, phenols, quercetin, terpenoids
Other White/Tan/Brown Foods and Their Phytonutrient Compounds
catechin, kaempferol, methylquercetin, protocatechuic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, resveratrols, vanillic acid
caffeine, flavonols, quercetin, theobromine
caffeoylquinic acid, gallic acid, kaempferol, myricetin, quercetin
flavonoids, lutein, phenolic acids, tocopherols, zeaxanthin
lignans, phytosterols, sesamin, sesamolin, tocopherols
beta-sitosterol, daidzein, genistein, isoflavone
gallic acid, phenolic acids, phytosterol, proanthocyanidins
Whole Grains
beta-cryptoxanthin, flavonoids, lutein, zeaxanthin
White Potatoes
flavonoids, phenolic acids, beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid
beta-carotene, caffeine, chlorogenic acid, phenolic acids
campesterol, lignans, triterpenes, sitosterol, stigmasterol

Ways to incorporate more white/tan/brown foods into your diet

  • Use dates instead of refined sweeteners to sweeten a dish or drink.
  • Add onions and mushrooms to a stir-fry.
  • Make your own granola or trail mix using whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
  • Stir-fry lotus root with bell peppers and garlic sauce.
  • Add cacao to smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal.
  • Pickle some Japanese turnip to have as a snack or side dish.

The Bottom Line on Phytonutrients

The thousands of phytochemicals produced by plants for their own protection may also help prevent and treat many of our own medical conditions and diseases. Phytonutrients give fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and other plant foods their variety of colors, so “eat the rainbow” to maximize the health benefits offered by these plentiful chemical compounds.