With one of the most over-indulgent holidays just days behind us, most of us are still swimming in Thanksgiving leftovers. Butter, milk, bread, cheese, meat, alcohol, and loads of sugar are still filling our plates and bellies. All of these foods have one thing in common…. they wreak havoc on our digestive health.
These foods also cause a large amount of inflammation; the root of all disease. They affect the pH level in our body causing our system to become “acidic” and in turn, causes inflammation as it tries to get back to neutral. You may find yourself feeling a little foggier during these days, a bit more bloated or (let’s face it) a bit more “plugged up” as your body tries to focus it’s energy on reaching homeostasis.
With Thanksgiving behind us and the countdown to Christmas upon us, we all need a little extra lovin’ in the gut department this time of year. I’ve rounded out my top 5 ways to help your digestive system with whole, natural foods to become one well-oiled, digestive machine.
1. Bone Broth
Bone broth is an extremely vitamin-rich food full of healing powers. It’s loaded with gelatin, which is a gel-like substance meant to hold on and attach to liquids (YEP, it’s the stuff that makes Jell-O jiggle). Your gut is supposed to be permeable and allow digested foods to pass right on through. Well…in most people, that’s not the case. The gelatin in bone broth can help fill those gaps in your gut lining and allow for an easier flow. Bye bye, leaky gut! You can find bone broth at most grocery stores or make your own with this easy recipe from Nourished Kitchen.
2. Coconut Oil
As probably my favorite food on the planet (behind chips and salsa), coconut oil is the ultimate definition of a “Superfood.” It’s extremely high in fat......but this kind of fat shouldn’t be feared. We need those good fats in our diet in order to absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D & K. These essential fatty acids also help clear away parasites, bad bacteria & yeast that usually make their way to our intestines and mess with our digestive health. Try cooking with coconut oil or blending in a bit with your morning coffee courtesy of Wellness Mama.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Digestion stems from your tongue all the way to your toosh. That’s a lot of travel time with a load of enzymes needed to fully break things down. Even if you are eating a clean diet, if your stomach acid isn’t up to par things won’t be broken down properly for digestion. Hydrochloric acid helps break down protein and promotes the digestion and absorption of carbs, fats, Vitamin A & Vitamin E. If our bodies aren’t producing enough on their own, that’s where apple cider vinegar comes into play. It helps increase the HCl and allows your food to be digested properly. Try adding in 1-2 teaspoons in your morning tea.
4. Chia Seeds
Similar to bone broth, chia seeds help things “pass” through due to their gelatin-like texture once mixed with liquid. They expand up to 3X their size once they get wet and become a gooey texture similar to that of a tapioca ball. With that being said, there is a right and a wrong way to eat chia seeds. They MUST be mixed with liquid before consuming them. Don’t eat them dry as they will expand before they reach your stomach and cause on uncomfortable experience. I love to add mine into my morning juices, smoothies or make my own chia seed pudding with coconut milk and vanilla!
Alright. Kombucha isn’t just some hipster drink that people are having because it’s currently “cool.” Kombucha is one gut-healthy powerhouse full of digestive enzymes, probiotics, good acids, and antioxidants. Kombucha is a fermented tea, which means that it produces billions of good bacteria that help keep our gut working properly. These probiotics help restore balance to the digestive system and counteract yeast growth to help fight candida. My favorite brand is GT’s Kombucha as the sugar content is extremely low and their flavors are to die for. I even make my cocktails with kombucha (guide coming soon!) or add in chia seeds to up the benefits.
Our overall health directly correlates to our gut health. We have to take care of all the working systems in our body individually; digestive, lymphatic, neuro, etc. If we don’t take care of each moving part, the whole system will begin to feel the neglect. These 5 foods are definitely worth a shot to help you heal your gut naturally.
In love & health,