Foods to Eat for a Healthy Gut

As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. Unfortunately, people eat too much sugar and processed foods, but lack fruits and vegetables in their diet.

We are slowly turning into a constipated and bloated nation. People spend thousands and thousands of dollars on enzymes, fibers, antacids and laxatives when in fact, a healthy diet helps tremendously to keep your stomach soothed, lean and healthy.

There are a lot of foods that can help you tackle those digestive problems. Most importantly, it is essential that you consume organic, non-GMO foods. The pesticides and herbicide residue wreaks havoc on our whole intestinal system. Eating mindfully is a good start in keeping out guts healthy. As with most things, it is one piece of the puzzle.

Read on to find out what type of foods you should eat to keep your digestive tract running smoothly.

Fiber

Fiber is important for our overall digestive health. A fiber-rich diet aids in digestion and prevents constipation.

For a healthy gut, fill your fridge with fruits and green, leafy vegetables. There is simply no substitute for consuming a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Pears, figs, beans, broccoli, apples, carrots, cauliflower and spinach are great sources of fiber.

Whole grains

Whole grains such as brown rice, millet, quinoa, amaranth, barley, oats and sprouted whole wheat bread support healthy digestion due to its high fiber content. Grains should be a small part of one’s diet, concentrating on live, fruits and vegetables.

Water

Water, on its own, is essential to the metabolic process. Drinking too little water slows down and constipates your digestive system. It is recommended that you drink ½ your weight in ounces every day. Drink most of your water away from meals. Drinking some water with your meal is OK, but limit it to 4-8 ounces. Drinking too much water with your meal dilutes the necessary enzymes and acid for good digestion. Also, drink filtered water that has had the chlorine and fluoride removed, which are two very toxic and carcinogenic chemicals.

Avoid consumption of caffeinated drinks such as coffee, soda and tea. Coffee and tea are diuretics, which rob your body of water. Soda is highly acidic due to the high sugar content. Absolutely avoid any and all artificial sweeteners. They have been shown to cause brain and liver damage. Plus, they make you fat!

Good Fats

Good fats in your diet support good digestion as well as balance cholesterol and feed the brain. These include; avocado, coconut, cold pressed olive, sesame, flax and pumpkin seeds; cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, halibut, sole, cod and tuna. Avoid vegetable oils.

Fermented Foods

Believe it or not, trillions of beneficial bacteria are present in your gut. Eat foods that contain probiotics like coconut kefir, water kefir, kumbucha, fermented seaweeds and veggies to improve the ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria. Eat yogurt occasionally. Although there are some live bacteria cultures present, the dairy does not contribute to a healthy gut.

Good bacteria help reduce digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea and indigestion. They also help support our immune system which is seated in our digestive tract.

Also, chew, chew, chew your food. Then chew it some more before you swallow! Your tummy will thank you!

you are what you eat_healthy food for a healthy gut tips

Simple Ways to Detoxify Your Body

Feel tired, bloated and guilty after consuming too much sugar, carbs, alcohol and salts?  It might be time for body detox.

While our body is designed to detox naturally, sometimes, it can use a little help. In this blog post, we’ll give you some simple ways to cleanse your body without going hungry or depriving yourself of essential nutrients. Read on to find a cleansing method that works for you.

detox body naturally

Sweat it out

We all know that exercise can help us shed some pounds and is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. But it is also a great option to turn to if you want to clear your body of toxins.

Our skin is a major eliminative organ. The more you sweat, the more efficient your body becomes at circulating and flushing out toxins. Start your day with physical activity. Go for a walk, do yoga exercises or hit the treadmill. You can also go the sauna once a week so your body can eliminate waste through perspiration.

Replace morning coffee with green tea

Green tea is a much better choice if you need caffeine to get going in the morning. Coffee contains toxins that can impair kidney and liver function. Plus, it can contribute to dehydration.

An occasional cup of coffee is fine. But if you want to cleanse your body, you might want to replace coffee with green tea. Green tea contains a small amount of caffeine, which is enough to help you jumpstart your day. Add to that, it also offers antioxidants that our body needs.

Add naturally detoxing foods to your diet

Stock your home with healthy and delicious foods such as fruits, vegetables and taking a good quality probiotic such as coconut or water kefir. Don’t forget to add foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids like flax seeds, olive oil, walnuts, tuna and salmon. High fiber, high water fruits such as avocado, olives, cantaloupe, pears, grapefruit and berries will help keep your digestive system active and clean out your gut.

As a way to eat healthier, try incorporating organic foods into your diet in addition to increasing fruits and vegetables. Eating organic can have a drastic effect on keeping your digestive system active and your body healthy.

Drink lots of water

Since excess salt, sugar and alcohol can dehydrate our body, you need to increase your fluid intake.  Make sure, however, that the water you drink is filtered to remove toxins such as Fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals and pathogens.

How much water should you drink every day? Experts suggest 11 cups (2.7 liters) for the average female adult and 15 cups (3.7 liters) for the average adult male. Proper hydration can contribute to properly functioning organs, healthier skin and a more effective metabolism. It’s also one of the easiest ways to detox your body.

 

3 Odd Tips that STOP Holiday Fat Gain

This is a guest post from Dr. Sara Gottfried MD of the Gottfried Institute and SaraGottfriedMD.com. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Dr. Sara here. Tis the season to be jolly when we indulge and let go of our usual food code, but then feel awful starting around January 1. Ugh. I want to save you that anguish and suffering with a few wise tips that I’ve been following myself (and so far, I love what they’re doing to the bathroom scale).

Tip #1: Prime your muscles to soak up incoming calories

If you want your body to utilize all those extra calories instead of storing them as fat, then before you sit down to eat, get your muscle “hungry.” To do this, simply contract your muscles forcefully for a few seconds or better yet, do 10-20 push ups or hold a wall sit for 1 minute. (My kids do them with me!) Sounds odd but your body (i.e., your muscles) are most receptive to nutrients after they’ve been called into action and sensitized to insulin. That’s why your biggest meal should often come after you workout.

But if you don’t have time to workout, doing a few simple exercises can prime your muscles to soak up those incoming calories and nutrients instead of storing them as fat.

Tip #2: Follow your feast with a mini fast

If you’re having a huge meal (or several of them), then your body will have plenty of energy reserves to last you several days. One way you can allow your body to burn through more of that excess fuel (and stored fat) is to follow a day of feasting with a day of fasting. It’s as simple as this:

Start your fast at night after your last meal. (I stop eating before 7 p.m.)

When you wake up in the morning, half of your fast will be complete. Hurray for that. Then, if you can make it until the early afternoon on water and herbal tea, then you’ll have completed your intermittent fast. I break my fast with a green shake at 1 p.m. – that’s 18 hours!

Of all the health promoting and fat loss accelerating strategies, fasting is easily the cheapest and in some people, the most powerful.

Here’s just one aspect of the science behind it that I learned from my friend Yuri Elkaim, a New York Times bestselling author and former professional soccer star: Uncoupling protein-3 is a very important protein found in our muscles that is associated with fat burning. When fat burning increases, so does the amount of uncoupling protein-3 in our muscles. In as little as 15 hours into a fast, the gene expression for uncoupling protein-3 increases 5X, according to a study in theJournal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. That translates into 5X more fat loss. I’m suggesting for you to skate through the holidays by incorporating ONE 18-hour fast during each week, especially after a heavy day of eating.

Tip #3: Eat carbs before bed

Yum! Carbs! If you’ve been told that carbs are evil, then rest assured that the right carbs at the right times can be your best fat-loss friend. Here’s why: Carbs are especially important for healthy adrenal and thyroid function, as even several days of low carb intake can raise cortisol and lower your T3 levels. They’re also important for the proper functioning of your satiety hormone, leptin.

Research shows eating healthy carbs (sweet potatoes, quinoa, yucca) about 4 hours before bed increases time spent in deep sleep (where growth hormone is released, which also speeds fat loss) and reduces the time it takes to fall asleep.

This occurs because carbs are a strong precursor to tryptophan uptake into your brain (more so than even Turkey), where it is then converted to serotonin, and then into your sleep hormone melatonin.

Getting quality sleep may be the most important thing you can do to stop unnecessary weight gain and ensure great health since it regulates all your body’s circadian and hormonal rhythms.

According to the Quebec Family Study, the risk of developing obesity was elevated 27% higher for those who slept 5-6 hours per night compared to those who slept the ideal amount of 7-9 hours. (I’ve been reviewing these studies for my new book.)

In case you’ve been told not to eat carbs later in the day because they will get stored as fat, the research simply disproves that too. As long as total calories remain equal, there’s no danger – only upside – to eating more of your carbs later in the day.

Please pick at least one of these wise tips and put them to use during your holidays, so that you can wake up restored on January 1, happy with your body and peace of mind.

To your best health,

Dr. Sara

Tips for Good Digestion During the Holiday Season

Most people gain weight over the holidays. That’s because we give ourselves the permission to eat whatever we please. While indulging on holiday treats and meals is one of the best parts of the holiday season, it can also be hard on your digestive system.

Here are some tips to keep your digestive flow on track throughout the festivities or at any time of the year.

Slow down

Chewing food slowly allows for better digestion and helps prevent overeating. Studies show that the more you chew your food, the less you eat.

Take time to enjoy the flavors of the food before you swallow. Put down the utensils after every bite and try to get 30 chews out of each bite. Try not to pick up the utensils until you have swallowed the food.

Use a small plate

If you are trying to restrict your intake, use a small plate. It’s hard to eat less when you’re using a big plate. Smaller plates will help you control your portion and trick you into believing that you have a lot on your plate.

Focus on socializing

The holiday season is not just about the food. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends. Take time to converse with people around you and catch up with relatives you haven’t seen in a while.

Eat healthy foods first

With the abundance of foods and treats in front of you, it can be difficult to resist them. If you must indulge in a holiday treat, be sure to fill your plate with healthy foods first. You are more likely to overeat and experience indigestion if you go straight to the sweet stuff.

Know your body

You might want to let your host know if you are gluten or lactose intolerant. Or better yet, offer to bring foods you can eat. If eating chocolates leave you with serious heartburn, learn to say no politely.