Now that we’re a few days into the New Year, it’s a good time to think about what changes you would like to make in 2016.
The connection between the health of your gastrointestinal system and your overall health and well-being is becoming better understood – Hippocrates may have been onto something when he said “All disease begins in the gut” – so we have come up with 6 easy ways to support your gut health so you can start the New Year on the right foot.
Use this as your New Year Health Checklist and take some time to stock up your pantry so you are ready to start making changes.
1. Avoid inflammatory foods
Refined sugar, salt, oils, wheat, and processed, packaged foods are all inflammatory foods that supress the immune system and allow the pathogenic bacteria to proliferate and thrive. Additionally, one of the proteins contained in gluten (gliadin) has been proven to increase the ‘leakiness’ in our guts, causing further damage.
2. Stress less
We know this is a lot easier said than done and is a constant work in process. But stress causes so much havoc to your body – it supresses the immune system, decreases our nutrient absorption, slows down the blood flow to our digestive system and turns off or turns down our body’s healing processes. Check out our recent blog ‘Regain control of your life – 11 tips to managing stress’ for some tips and ideas.
We do recommend consuming cold-pressed (preferably organic/spray free) freshly pressed juices with mainly veggies, herbs and leafy greens and minimum fruit (or choose root vegetables like beetroot or carrot) for optimal nutrition. Juice contains loads of enzymes which are essential for digestive health, loads of nutrients and minerals which help to increase immunity and allow the body to gently detoxify of toxins and chemicals.
4. Fermented foods
It probably feels as though everyone is harping on about fermented foods of late, however there is a good reason for this! Fermented foods are packed full of antimicrobial and antifungal properties and probiotics, the friendly bacteria our body’s need. Fermented foods have been found to protect against gastrointestinal disease and are also a rich source of minerals, vitamins, essential amino acids that promote healing and repair, as well as general maintenance. Some fermented foods are rich in B Vitamins, Vitamin K2, thiamine, biotin, folates, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous which helps the body utilise carbohydrates, proteins and fats for cell growth, energy and maintenance. We love fermented food and drinks like Kombucha, Kefir, Yoghurt, Beet Kvass, Cultured Vegetables, Changing Habits Probiotics and more!
Natural fats are so very important for supporting our gut health! Be sure to include a variety of these beautiful fats such as; lard, tallow, duck fat, organic butter, ghee, Changing Habits Coconut Oil and Inca Inchi Oil, cold-pressed nut and seed oils like olive, almond, walnut, macadamia etc. Check out our recent blog on ‘The many benefits of fat’ to find out more.
6. Bone broth and marrow
Bone broth provides an easily absorbable form of minerals, trace minerals, calcium, magnesium, amino acids (proline and glycine) which are essential for supporting healthy sleep and healing of the digestive tract. Bone broth is also very rich in gelatin which helps the body with hormone balance, digestion, skin and hair health along with reducing cellulite. Bone marrow (the marrow inside of the bones) is made up of fatty acids packed with essential Omega 3s which are anti-inflammatory and are also required for healthy brain development. With the undeniable link between gut health and chronic illness, the age old adage “you are what you eat” becomes more accurate every day. Now is a great time to commit to improving your gut health.
Happy New Year and Happy Changing Habits,