Heck yes! I can hear you screaming.
Then it’s time you jump on top of your digestive health, the tool that’s going to tick all of the above boxes and leave your gut in a happy, healthy, balanced state. Like Jessica Gomes’s here…
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But first, a bit of info. Your gut is considered your body’s second brain, working tirelessly to balance hormones, digest food, eliminate toxins and ward off disease to name just a few. The workers in your gut are known as intestinal flora, which come in both good and bad varieties. Processed foods, sugar, wheat and food made from genetically-modified crops tend to deplete the good bacteria and nurture the bad, leaving your digestive system in a state of imbalance, ergo, causing all kinds of tummy issues that leave you lethargic and, at times, sick. The solution? Up your intake of both prebiotic and probiotic foods to get your good guys firing again.
So grab your grocery bag and start stocking up on these tasty treats…
One of the best sources of prebiotics – the non-digestible, short-chain fatty acids that stimulate the growth of good bacteria – artichokes are a quick and healthy way to improve digestive health. Add them to salads or eat them roasted with olive oil. Yum!
Another great source of prebiotics, onions are a really easy and accessible way to feed your gut bacteria. Cook them, eat them raw (if you dare) and pile them onto any meal you can. Your tummy will thank you, trust me.
One of the easiest ways to increase the good bacteria in your gut is to increase your intake of fermented foods. Kombucha is a raw, fermented tea that is loaded with antioxidants and probiotics, which helps digestion, boosts your immune system and is great for anyone who suffers from IBS. Your local health food store should sell it, but I recommend making your own.
Considered a powerhouse of health benefits, kefir is a fermented food that is rich in probiotics, high in protein, dairy and sugar free, and a great addition to your diet. Throw it in salad dressings, over your morning muesli or in smoothies.
5. Pickled Vegetables
Another fermented superfood, pickled vegetables like the Korean side dish Kim Chi is amazing at flooding your gut with good bacteria. Buy it from any Asian supermarket and enjoy it as a side with barbecued (organic) meat and salad. Alternatively, sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) is another wonderful option. Cabbage is full of phytonutrients, while the fermentation process adds the benefit of probiotics to help your digestive system (along with your hormonal and emotional health). Look for a high quality option for your health food store or make your own from scratch. It’s easier than it sounds.
BONUS POINT. Plants
It’s no secret that a plant-based diet is good for you. When it comes to digestive health, munching on greens gives your microbes something to chew on, break down, digest and steal nutrients from. Essentially, plants are the foods your gut bacteria feed off. By eating plants regularly you’re creating strong, robust bacteria that fight disease even more effectively. So hit your farmer’s market and look for leafy greens like kale, spinach and bok choy, as well as a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.