Foods have an amazing ability to promote health and make us feel wonderful. Last week I wrote about the Simple Steps To Kickstart Your Spring Detox. If you’ve been integrating these small tweaks, you’ll start to notice a boost in your energy, health and wellbeing.
This week, I’m introducing my top foods that work wonders on your digestion to further improve your overall health. Personally, the topics I write about, the recipes I create, and the functional foods I design for Healthy Chef, all come about because of my own personal need to get the best quality nutrition while supporting my IBS issues.
Research is showing that our gut flora performs pivotal roles in metabolism, nutrient digestion, absorption and synthesis, as well as immune function, hormonal regulation and disease prevention. Just by making a few simple changes to the ingredients you choose, you’ll be supporting the balance between good and bad bacteria in your digestive system, and you’ll be feeling the benefits that can last a lifetime.
Just by making a few simple changes to the ingredients you choose, you’ll be supporting the balance between good and bad bacteria in your digestive system, and you’ll be feeling the benefits that can last a lifetime.
Probiotics support our immune system, aid digestion and assist with nutrient absorption into our bloodstream. The word ‘probiotic’ actually means ‘pro-life’ so, where possible, enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables rich in fibre as they stimulate your own production of healthy probiotic flora.
The addition of Healthy Chef Organic Green Smoothie will also give you a rich source of probiotics, along with all the nutrients from organic green superfoods such as kale, spinach, alfalfa and broccoli.
Other sources of probiotics are fermented foods such as tempeh, kombucha, miso, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and yoghurt, as well as in powdered or capsule form from health food stores. The addition of Healthy Chef Organic Green Smoothie will also give you a rich source of probiotics, along with all the nutrients from organic green superfoods such as kale, spinach, alfalfa and broccoli.
Prebiotics fuel our intestinal probiotics. Prebiotics refer to natural soluble fibres that feed the good bacteria in our large intestine, helping to promote balanced gut flora and healthy bowel function. When our good bacteria eat prebiotic fibre, they produce beneficial short chain fatty acids, such as butyrate, which inhibits the growth of disease-causing pathogens and maintains the health of our intestinal lining.
Natural prebiotics are found in a variety of plant-based foods, which is another great reason to eat a nourishing wholefoods diet. Rich sources of prebiotics include green leafy vegetables, citrus, flaxseeds, chia, sweet potato, beetroot, carrot, leeks, cabbage and kiwi fruit.
Studies show that consumption of two kiwi fruits per day over a period of four weeks shortens colon transit time and improves bowel function in adults diagnosed with IBS.
Healthy Chef Organic Superfood is also in rich in prebiotics and contains one of the finest sources of dietary fibre, Jerusalem artichoke, to promote healthy digestion. I also recommend Organic Cold-Pressed Wheatgrass, which contains naturally occurring nutrients including chlorophyll, beta carotene, vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, amino acids, calcium, potassium and magnesium, to help nourish and support the gut. Wheatgrass also helps to stimulate the production of bile, which acts as a natural laxative and increases stomach acid, allowing you to break down your food more effectively.
Rich sources of prebiotics include green leafy vegetables, citrus, flaxseeds, chia, sweet potato, beetroot, carrot, leeks, cabbage and kiwi fruit.
Bone broths are super nutritious when they are homemade with quality ingredients such as grass-fed meat, organic chicken or wild-caught fish, as they have amazing healing effects on the body. Bone broth is also one of the best foods to consume for those suffering digestive issues, as it is rich in gelatin. Gelatin is essential for connective tissue function – it literally acts to heal and seal the gut.
Because of its amino acid and mineral rich properties, combined with essential minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, bone broths can help reduce inflammation, nourish your digestive system boost your immune system. You can get one of my favourite bone broth recipes and read more on The Healing Benefits of Bone Broth here.
I also have wonderful bone broth recipes in my cookbook Purely Delicious that are simple to make and delicious to eat. Make sure to invest in a good quality slow cooker if you decide to make these on a regular basis.
Drinking teas such as matcha, lemon balm, chamomile and ginger are calming to the digestive system and also rich in antioxidants.
Lemon aromatics, as well as ginger, are my favourite tea blends to support digestive health. This is exactly why I created Healthy Chef Lemon Delicious tea as it combines the amazing benefits of lemon and ginger aromatics that can help restore and calm digestive function.
Lemons, in particular, are a great source of vitamin C and also contains potassium, magnesium and copper. The acids in lemon juice also help with the enzyme functions in the body, stimulating the liver and flushing out toxins.