Digestive Supporting Foods. Technically, all foods that we consume should be supportive to our digestive system! However there are some that we can single out that are of particular importance.
Healthy Fats - these are supportive to the digestive system for a variety of reasons. They act as vehicles for vitamins and nutrients, they provide anti-inflammatory effects and some even have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
Probiotic Foods - foods like sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt & kimchi contain a vast array of probiotics that provide the gut with beneficial bacteria which it can use for fuel. Providing your body with beneficial bacteria can also help prevent the overgrowth of certain strains of bacteria that can cause problems if they are allowed to proliferate to much.
Bone Broth - bone broth is nutrient dense and ever so versatile! It's great as a base for soups and stews, but did you know you can also sip it just like tea? The collagen and gelatin found in bone broth is soothing and helps repair the damaged lining of the gut.
Anti-inflammatory Ingredients - spices like turmeric which contains the anti-inflammatory compound curcumin, garlic which contains sulfur or fish that contain omega-3 fats are all great for the digestive system as they help to balance out inflammation that is caused by our environment and pro-inflammatory foods.
Water - Just as water is important overall health, it of course plays a role in the functioning of our gut heath. Water is needed to maintain a healthy gut lining. In fact, 98% of the mucous that makes up the lining of our gut is composed of water. Water also helps to lubricate the 'material' that passes through our digestive system, thus helping to prevent constipation and other uncomfortable symptoms.
And don't forget, water quality counts, I recommend using the best filtration system you can afford, and making sure filters are changed as frequently as recommended.
Get good sleep - Sleep is crucial for gut health. Did you know that the body needs deep sleep to complete vital restoration tasks, which includes making sure the digestive system is running smoothly? Eating to close to bed time, not giving ourselves enough time to sleep, and nutritional or hormonal imbalances can all effect the quality and quantity of sleep that we get.
Exercise. Walking does wonders for digestive health! Any healthy body movements, also helps keeps your digestion moving optimally. Yoga and other activities that have you twisting or stretching, can work like a 'massage' on the digestive system.
Stress management & Mental Health - stress impacts all areas of our body. The digestive system is no exception. Stress can lead to diarrhea or constipation, bloating, malabsorption of nutrients. It can also affect our mood as much of our feel good neurotransmitters are synthesized in the gut. Therefore, the health of our gut is directly related to the health of our brain and vise versa.
I hope you found this information useful. Stay tuned as we dive into a new topic in April!
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