Did you know that your digestion system is 70% of your immune system? It contains the same chemicals that are produced in the brain and holds 10x more bacteria than cells in your entire body! What does this all mean? It means that your digestive system is where most all diseases, infections and other sicknesses stem from. Many health gurus consider your digestive system your second brain because it actually contains more neurotransmitters. So how do you take care of your digestive system?
Listen to how it feels: I would recommend by starting a food journal for a week or two. Write down what you ate and then how you felt after and during the hours of digestion. At the end of the week or two you will be surprised at how easily you can point out what foods are causing pain, inflammation, constipation, etc.
Eliminate these foods that caused you problems. See how you feel a week or two without them. Do you feel more energized, more regular in the bathroom, less sluggish?
Add in good bacteria into your diet. This could be through incorporating a probiotic or eating foods that contain it such as fermented foods (kimchi, saukeraut, etc.) Also look to add in healthy fats; avocado, nuts, tuna, salmon or omega 3 supplements.
Hydrate: Drink lots of water. Lemon water; especially hot in the morning is great to boost metabolism and aid in digestion. Stay away or work to reduce caffeine beverages, sodas, and any fruit juices that aren’t natural and fresh pressed.
Increase Fiber Intake: Make sure you include fiber rich fruits and vegetables into your daily routine. Other whole grains such as quinoa, oatmeal, amaranth, etc. are also great to add in occasionally.
Digestive Teas: Look out for or make your own digestive teas. Ginger tea is an amazing way to aid in digestion and help get your digestive system back in a cleansing state.
Recently, I have become a frequent cereal eater again thanks to a company called; One Degree Organics. I stumbled upon their products in Whole Foods Market and immediately loved their mission and most importantly their ingredients.
One Degree Organics is a great company that prides itself on its’ organic and sustainable line of products. I have recently fallen in love with their cereals. Each cereal is composed of a handful of ingredients that you can read and completely understand what they are. The cereals are made with sprouted ancient whole grains that are both vegan and organic. There are GMO free and contain no other additives or added sugars. The cereals are high in fiber and very low in fat and sugar contrary to many cereals on the market these days. They are a great source of grains and pair amazing with some almond milk and a sliced banana or handful of berries. My favorite flavor is the Honey O’s (yes, just like Honey Nut Cheerios, but much healthier). One Degree Organics also makes lots of other products including breads, flours, and seeds.
What is Sprouted Grain?
Sprouted grain differs from whole grain in three fundamental aspects:
1) sprouting activates food enzymes
2) sprouting increases vitamin content
3) sprouting neutralizes antinutrients like phytic acid which bind up minerals preventing your ability to fully absorb them
What are the Benefits?
Increased Digestibility – Sprouting breaks down starches in grains into simple sugars so your body can digest them easily.
Increased Absorption of Minerals – Sprouting breaks down enzyme inhibitors, so your body can more easily adsorb calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.
Increased Antioxidants – Sprouting releases more antioxidants that are naturally stored in the grains and seeds.
Increased Vitamin C – Sprouting produces vitamin C
Increased Vitamin B – Sprouting increases the vitamin B2, B5 & B6
Another great company to consider when looking to buy sprouted grain products is Food for Life. They have extensive lines of breads, tortillas, waffles, buns, and cereals. I love their line of sprouted grain breads, which are a perfect way to have toast or a sandwich without all the added chemicals and processed flours found in other bread brands! It is important to feed your body carbohydrates often even though many “diets” like to rule them out. Carbohydrates are our main source of energy and provide the ideal fuel for our body to function, as well as many essential vitamins and minerals. Complex carbohydrates provide long-term energy and help jump-start your metabolism. I recommend scanning both websites to take a closer look at all their products as well as their nutritional facts, they are a great swap to introduce to your diet instead of processed grains!