Heartburn, bloating, irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, indigestion, constipation, gas, allergies…the list goes on and on. Digestion is everything. Gut health is crucial to good overall health. Below are some smart ways to keep your belly happy and healthy.
1. Eat Real Foods. Shop the perimeter of grocery stores in the refrigerated sections for real food. Fresh fruits and vegetables are foods that are “alive” and contain the healthy enzymes that your body needs to digest foods properly. Foods that are found in packages on the inside aisles of the store are “dead” foods that contain NO enzymes that your body needs to digest.
2. Fermented Foods/Probiotics. Consuming fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, kefir and tempeh keeps the gut flora healthy because they contain natural probiotics that our guts need to stay healthy.
3. Eat Seasonally. Our body can assimilate produce better when eaten during its peak season. When we eat in harmony with nature, all systems of the body are more at ease.
4. Stay Hydrated. Keeping your system hydrated is key for overall health, especially with digestion. Water helps to lubricate your organs allowing them to help guide your digestion and elimination smoothly along.
5. Eat Your Fiber. Be sure to include plenty of fiber in your diet. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are some of the best sources of dietary fiber that will keep your gut healthy and may help to rid you of some diseases and illnesses.
6. Trust Your Gut. Connect with that instinctual “gut feeling” when you have one and trust it. Be true to yourself, to others and in every other aspect of your life.
7. Take 3 Deep Breaths. Eating in a relaxed environment as often as possible is important for healthy digestion. Sit down before you eat and pause to take a few deep breaths before you begin eating. Slow down, relax.
8. Chew Your Food. Try to chew your food at least 10 – 20 times before swallowing. Digestion begins in your mouth and will flow a lot smoother through your digestive tract when food is chewed properly.
9. Avoid Sugar. Limit your sugar intake, especially any artificial sugars.
10. Have a Cup of Tea. Calm your belly and digestion with a cup of hot, herbal tea. Chamomile, ginger, peppermint or fennel tea are very soothing to the stomach.