You may have heard that your digestion is important, but here’s why you should care:
If your digestive system isn’t working optimally, your overall health and well-being will suffer.
Scientists are now discovering that the health of our digestive system can impact everything from bodyweight to mood to immunity to skin and more.
You see, our digestive tracts are a complex system that is home to trillions of microorganisms that make up your gut flora (also called gut microbiota).
When we have a healthy balance of “good bacteria” to “bad bacteria”, say somewhere in the range of 80% good to 20% bad bacteria, these little allies of ours help us produce energy, digest food, absorb nutrients, and a host of other bodily functions.
When the “bad bacteria” start to take over, we can run into a number of problems, so that’s why keeping these little buggers happy is incredibly important for your overall health and wellbeing.
In this article we are going to show you 7 foods that help optimize your digestion so you can take back your health and fitness. Some of them aren’t quite what you’d expect, so make sure you read on to learn more!
Why Keeping A Healthy Gut Flora Is Important For Your Health… And Waistline
A healthy gut flora can help bolster your immune system, reduce inflammation and risk factors of cancer and heart disease, as well as potentially reducing cognitive decline.
Research even suggests that a healthy gut flora is connected to a reduction in depression, anxieties and other mental and emotional ailments.
Not convinced yet? Well, maintaining healthy gut flora may also help improve your metabolism and reduce insulin resistance, keeping you slim and healthy.
Digestive Health Is The Future Of The Fitness World
We’ve seen a huge transition in the health and fitness market where a larger emphasis is being placed on digestive health and maintaining a healthy gut flora.
More and more research is coming out showing the overall benefits and necessity of healthy digestion and the link it shares to a healthy metabolism.
With that said, here is our list of the top 7 foods for optimal digestion.
The most common foods you’ll find on this list and other lists of top foods for digestion are fermented foods and foods high in natural fibers:
Top 7 Foods For Optimal Digestion
1. Yogurt and Kefir
Dairy products like yogurt and kefir can be loaded with healthy, live cultures and probiotics.
Our favorite dairy product with digestive benefits is Kefir. It is 99% lactose free and typically has more probiotics than traditional yogurt.
Dairy free? Try raw coconut yogurt and kefir, they are delicious and still pack a lot of probiotics!
2. Sauerkraut and Kimchi
Sauerkraut is an amazing food that has been used throughout history as a immune system booster and digestive aid… and hot dog and sausage topping.
It is made from fermented cabbage and is loaded with natural probiotics and you can make it yourself or purchase from your local market.
Just make sure that when purchasing sauerkraut from a store, that it was made with salt, not vinegar, and that it is not pasteurized as the pasteurization process kills a lot of the good bacteria.
3. Probiotic + Digestive Enzyme Supplements
Probiotics and digestive enzymes are essential to healthy digestion and overall health. With the modern American diet that damages our gut flora (the healthy bacteria in your digestive tract) simply eating foods naturally high in probiotics is not enough.
Probio-30 contains over 30 Billion healthy bacteria per serving and uses special, highly advanced acid resistant capsules that ensure the probiotics reach your lower intestines where they do the most good (unlike most probiotic supplements that burn up in your stomach acid without making it where they need to).
Considered a prebiotic, a nondigestible food ingredient that promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines, garlic is an excellent food to help improve gut health if you can stomach the flavor.
Try chopping or mashing a raw garlic clove into fine, small pieces and adding to meats, salads and pastas.
Like ACV, ginger has been used throughout history as an ailment for many digestive health issues as it aids in many functions of the digestive tract.
More recently, ginger has even been studied for its role in preventing gastrointestinal cancer.
Try peeling and grating fresh ginger into warm water, on salads or main course.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has been touted as a cure-all and superfood.
As a digestive aid, coconut oil is a great natural source of medium chain triglycerides, or fatty acids (MCTs) which can help other nutrients absorb better, as well as aid in intestinal inflammation.
One thing to remember is that coconut oil, as an oil, is very high in saturated fat, so try adding a little to your diet at first to see how your body responds.
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