3 super star foods to improve your gut health
Since eating is something we do multiple times a day, most days of our life, it is a great place to incorporate some “nutritional medicine.” Just by choosing the right foods, we can help out body break down, absorb and assimilate our nutrients easily, minimising gas, bloating and other digestive discomforts or problems.
The process of eating and digesting takes up a huge amount of our energy every day and is lots of work for all our digestive organs. They are sweating it out big time for you! However, your stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine and liver will just love it if you chip in too. How? Get these wonder foods into your guts ASAP!
Including blended foods in your diet is an amazing strategy to help digestion. This means green smoothies, superfood smoothies (visit our FIT locations to grab one of our nutritional blends) and soups.
Why? The blending process means that the food is already broken down into fine particles, which equals less work for your system, which equals more energy conserved for repair. By incorporating blended meals into our daily intake, it lets our digestive organs have a bit of a rest, as opposed to eating a complex meal that we have to chew (and most people don’t chew anywhere near enough!), churn endlessly in the stomach, continue to break down in the small intestine, and so on. Blending the food also makes the nutrients in it more available and easily assimilated by the body. A high-powered blender can break down cellulose (the fibrous part of fruit and veggies that we cannot digest), unlocking the goodness inside.
Important tip: just because it is blended, does not mean we can skip the important step of digestion, which is chewing. You need to still “chew” your blended meals in your mouth before swallowing in order to mix saliva with the food. Our saliva contains amylase, the enzyme needed to break down carbohydrates and sugars, which is a vital part of the digestive process.
One word: sauerkraut. This is a true superfood for the gut and can offer your digestive system a dose of good stuff in the form of probiotics and enzymes.
Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that we ideally want to have flooded throughout our digestive system. They help us maintain a healthy gastrointestinal flora, keeping the ugly bad guys (like candida albicans) at bay.
When raw sauerkraut or other fermented foods (such as yoghurt, kefir, miso, unpasteurised apple cider vinegar, natto and kim chi) are made, it allows the ingredients to culture. This process grows millions of beneficial lactobacilli bacterium that we can then easily consume!
The fermentation process also means that the food has become pre-digested, making the vitamins and minerals highly bioavailable and readily assimilated in the body. This is particularly helpful if you suffer from digestive problems, such as damaged intestinal villi because it helps make it easier to get the valuable nutrition out of our food.
Ginger not only tastes delicious added to meals and tea, it also has amazing healing properties for the digestive system. If you suffer from any kind of digestive discomforts or disorders, the addition of this wonderful food to your diet is highly recommended.
Ginger both aids and soothes digestion by stimulating muscle contractions in the stomach, which help pass food into the beginning of the small intestine. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which make it a wonderful aid to an irritated and inflamed gastrointestinal tract. In fact, ginger has been used for centuries to effectively help with indigestion, gas and bloating, nausea, diarrhoea, and irritable bowel syndrome, many of which are associated with low or irregular gastric mobility.
Easy ways to incorporate ginger as a healing food into your diet include adding it to your blended meals (such as smoothies and soups), adding it grated into salads, using it in your favourite dressings and sauces, lightly sautéing the root in cooked dishes (great with Asian foods such as healthy veggie stir fries), putting slices into miso soup or herbal tea (great with peppermint or green), and adding it to your juices.