Looking after the gut is key to your overall health, energy levels and vitality. Our bodies have trillions of living microorganisms and majority of them live in our gut. It has important connections to the brain, nervous and immune systems, and it can affect the interplay of hormones, energy levels and even the quality of our sleep.
When our gut’s a little disgruntled, it makes us more susceptible to a multitude of diseases and conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, inflammation, obesity and anxiety and depression, as well as conditions like insulin resistance.
If you’re keen to supercharge your gut through nutrition, these are the six foods nutritionist and founder of Superchargedfood.com Lee Holmes recommends you should add to your diet.
(Visit Lee at the Wanderlust Festival in Sydney on October 26.)
Pucker Up with Pineapple
The versatile pineapple contains an anti-inflammatory digestive enzyme known as bromelain - you know, the one that makes your tongue feel a little bit fuzzy after eating too much of it. Digestive enzymes are a vital tool when trying to maintain or rebuild gut health. They help break down larger molecules of food into more easily absorbed particles and so, are essential for good digestion and nutrient absorption. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to break down our foods properly. Through a whole range of complicated digestive processes, these enzymes break our food down into amino acids, fatty acids, cholesterol, simple sugars and nucleic acids. Why not try this delicious Pan Fried Pineapple with Mint and Coconut Yoghurt recipe.
Spice Up Your Gut Health
A yellow spice that has been on the lips (…and everywhere else because it stains everything!) of every health guru for the past few years is turmeric. Turmeric is another fiery spice that is rich in anti-inflammatory properties due to its high levels of curcumin. Curcumin can help alleviate digestive issues and it’s also capable of regulating the gut microbiota.
Ginger is Gut Health Gold
Including more ginger in your diet is a powerful ally for supercharging your gut. Ginger contains additional anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial compounds which block inflammation-producing genes, keeping your tummy happy, healthy and inflammation-free.
Give garlic some love
Garlic is another wonder-food that can help combat sickness, high blood pressure and gut issues. Garlic can help detoxify the body from heavy metals too. If you’re looking for an excuse to eat garlic bread, this is it.
Root for Root Veggies
Try adding some more root vegetables like parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes to your diet. Naturally gluten-free, they’re rich in prebiotic fibre and vitamin C. The pre-biotic fibres in these vegetables help to feed and maintain the healthy communities of good bacteria in the gut. You can even put it in the toaster!
Say Hiya to Papaya
Papaya is a zesty and refreshing source of digestive enzymes to boost gut health. Fruits that are rich in antioxidants and fibre are not only good for you, but can really help when it comes to dealing with gut issues. Papaya is particularly great for anti-bloating. It can help aid weight loss and help alleviate constipation.
© Prevention Australia
First published: 20 Sep 2019