And it’s not just because we want a flatter stomach
Eighty percent of your immune system is located in your gut, which means it’s health impacts a long list of things - including how you store fat, your likelihood of getting diabetes, your cravings, your sleeping patterns, your mood, and your skin health. Clearly, it’s important to have a healthy gut, but you’re probably wondering what exactly comes into play for that to happen. Diet happens to play a major role.
Hold your horses… we’re not referring to a colonic here! Instead, we’re referring to a colon cleansing diet. In particular, that means eating whole grains and leafy greens. When the colon is cleansed, it may support nutrient absorption and digestion waste is pushed out.
Probiotics are strains of bacteria that contribute to digestion health by supporting the immune system.* The best natural probiotics are usually found in fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles. You can find them in fortified foods too - those range from granola to bread - but they’re usually less effective because of the manufacturing process.
For digestive health, look no further than fiber. A good portion of good digestion comes from your fiber intake.* Don’t be confused, though, not all fibers are the same. Essentially, they can be grouped into three families: insoluble fiber, soluble fiber, and resistant starch-like fiber. The last two play important roles as prebiotics and they happen to be the ones that we fall short of in the average diet. To increase your intake, it’s recommended to eat foods like cashew nuts and ripe bananas. To ensure you get all three, it’s a great idea to include legumes such as red kidney beans and chickpeas. If you’re not use not eating them, it’s best that you start off slowly.
As mentioned, fiber is very important to help improve your digestion, but it can only work its magic if you’re drinking enough water for it to help flush out your system. If you up your fiber intake and fail to drink enough water, you might experience bloating, stomach pain, and constipation. Consuming at least 80 ounces of water per day helps you digest solid foods.*
Avoid Heavily Processed Foods
Oreos and other sugary packaged foods, as well as overly fatty and salty, chemically drenched ones aren’t only noxious for your waistline, they may wreak havoc on your digestion.
As always, please consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet.