Cleansing, nourishing and restoring your digestive (gut) health is a simple way to a healthy happy you.
Each choice you make, whether its the type or quantity of food you eat, the kind of exercise you do and how often, exposure to toxins in your work and home environment and so importantly – the amount of stress in your life and how you deal with it – may all impact your gut health.
This determines whether you feel energetic, vital and ready for life with a clear mind and happy outlook – or a whole lot less than that.
Here are six great ways to positively support your gut health, and help get your mind and body feeling great.
1. Get the basics right
Eliminate processed foods – the stuff that is pre-prepared and comes in packets and containers – ‘white’ foods (white bread, white pasta etc.), fried foods and sugar. And don’t forget processed meats – these are full of preservatives which do your gut no favours at all.
Read more about identifying processed foods here, you might be surprised!
Avoid alcohol as much as possible – it damages your gut in a big way.
Make fresh vegetables the most significant part of your meal with a moderate serve of protein and a serve of healthy fats like olive oil, avocado and nuts each time. These simple changes will impact your gut in a positive and happy way.
2. Replace processed foods with fresh, whole foods and cook it yourself
When you’re super busy plan your meals, cook some of it ahead and freeze it and then serve with some fresh veggies or salad. Keeping your recipes simple, but tasty saves you a whole lot of time too.
Go for organic or biodynamic and super fresh with your vegetables and fruit as often as possible. They are a sensational way to give your gut what it needs and keep the pesticide residues out.
Buying from growers markets is cheaper and freshest or check out when your local health food store gets its fresh produce in and buy your fresh food then.
3. Aim for 40+ different plant foods in your diet each week
For example, a green apple is one type of plant food, red apple is another. This will feed your healthy gut bacteria the things they need to keep you not only healthier, but happier.
There is a strong connection between how your mind feels and the type of bacteria is in your gut. Feed up the good ones that help you feel calmer and less stressed.
4. Focus on fibre and colour
The other key to nourishing and restoring your digestive health. Those rich, bright colours in fresh food are polyphenols – they feed up our good bacteria as well as being delicious. Veggies have lots of fibre, but try this for a powerful change:
Cooked and cooled potatoes (baked or steamed) and other starchy root veggies, cooked and cooled rice (white, brown, red or black) and gluten-free pasta – eat them while cool to preserve the resistant starch that forms during the cooling process.
Cashews, pistachios and slightly unripe bananas also contain resistant starch. Have some resistant starch food each day. One easy way is to cook some black or red rice the day before, cool it and add to a salad the next day. Yum!!
Add in some legumes eg. black beans which have both fibre and polyphenols – giving you more food for other kinds of healthy bacteria. Tofu is a good place to start, as it is easiest to digest. The key is to introduce legumes like beans and lentils slowly if you have a sensitive gut – just a teaspoon at a time and not every day, building up slowly to tolerance.
The red polyphenols in red rice, black rice, red quinoa, pomegranates, red and black grapes, eggplants, blueberries and all the other berries, cranberries, dragon fruit – any fruit or vegetable with a rich red/black colour will be rich in these wonderful polyphenols.
5. Include beneficial drinks
Drinks such as green tea & hot cocoa help support your lactobacillus levels. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying them daily!
Teas are important of a plant-rich diet and you will see the polyphenols and other healthy compounds in the colours of your brewed teas.
6. De-stress yourself
Building a healthy gut microbiome will directly benefit your mood – and it will help you handle the stresses in your life in a calmer way.
The other part of building a happy healthy you is that you are doing something each day the calms and centres your mind and spirit.
Over to you
Are you making 2020 your best year yet? What are your tips for a healthy happy you? Let us know in the comments below!