These gut healthy foods in your kitchen could improve your digestion
Improving gut health doesn’t have to be a difficult feat if you keep gut healthy foods in your kitchen. We all know that gut health is important, but many of us don’t realize just how much of an impact the foods we eat play a role in how we feel, think and behave. Before you plan your next shopping list, read more about the foods that can improve your life in more ways than one.
Cayenne Pepper for Digestion
Spice up your day with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper in your meals! Research has shown that cayenne pepper can contribute to gut health as it has shown to increase digestive fluid production and assist in bringing necessary enzymes to the stomach which ultimately aid in metabolizing food (1). Cayenne pepper is also a great aid for relieving intestinal gas as it encourages peristaltic motion–the movement of muscles located in the digestive tract (2).
Yogurt for Digestion
Spoon your way to better digestion with a cup of yogurt! Yogurt contains probiotics, which are a powerhouse for digestive health. Probiotics are live micro-organisms that promote health benefits when consumed and support the “good” bacteria in the gut (3). Look for yogurts that contain live cultures–an active bacteria that has been shown to help promote in overall gut health and aid in reducing digestive distress (12). Consume your yogurt in a creative way on a hot summer day with these tasty Peaches and Cream Popsicles.
Avocado for Digestion
Avocados are not only a delicious addition to any meal, they are also a one-stop-shop for a wide array of vitamins and nutrients, and are full of potassium, fiber, magnesium, and monounsaturated fats (4). Fiber is largely found in avocados with approximately 4.5 grams per half, which contributes to healthy digestion as a result of its ability to feed the ‘friendly’ bacteria and remove waste in a minimal amount of time (5). Looking for an easy and hearty recipe to consume avocado? Check out this Chocolate Avocado Smoothie to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way.
Rooibos Tea for Digestion
Gut healthy foods don’t necessarily have to be a food! Steep a warm cup of sweet and flowery rooibos tea for it’s digestive health benefits. Rooibos tea is rich in nutrients such as manganese, iron, zinc, and calcium to promote a healthy inflammatory response. Studies have shown that rooibos tea has the ability to promote improved digestion and abdominal comfort (6). Add a scoop of Vital Proteins Bone Broth Collagen in your cup for an added digestive boost.
Quinoa for Digestion
Quinoa is fiber-rich with a whopping 5 grams per cooked cup (8), mostly consisting of insoluble fibers which help to deliver friendly bacteria to the gut (7). Rich in antioxidants–which flush out free radicals from the digestive tract (10)–and other minerals, quinoa boasts even more iron, fiber, and zinc over other common grains (9). Magnesium is the star player in quinoa, where one cup can offer 30% of the recommended daily amount (9). Try this healthy Apple and Coconut Breakfast Quinoa recipe for a filling and nutrient-packed start to your day.
Did you know?
Gut healthy foods can be made even healthier with an all natural supplement. Maintain a digestive support with supplements such as Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin. Gelatin is most beneficial for improving the lining in the digestive tract and combatting intestinal damage which ultimately prevents permeability (11). Keeping a canister of Beef Gelatin handy is a great idea for adding gut-friendly protein into recipes like a California Burger or Pumpkin Streusel Muffins.
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(2) “Spices Exotic Flavors & Medicines Chile Pepper.” History & Special Collections UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, 2002. Accessed 27 Feb. 2017.
(3) Guarner, F., Perdigon, G., Corthier, G., Salminen, S., Koletzko, B., & Morelli, L. (2005). Should yoghurt cultures be considered probiotic? British Journal of Nutrition,93(06), 783. doi:10.1079/bjn20051428
(4) Lu, Q., Zhang, Y., Wang, Y., Wang, D., Lee, R., Gao, K., . . . Heber, D. (2009). California Hass Avocado: Profiling of Carotenoids, Tocopherol, Fatty Acid, and Fat Content during Maturation and from Different Growing Areas. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,57(21), 10408-10413. doi:10.1021/jf901839h
(5) Naveh E., Werman M. J., Sabo E., Neeman I. Defatted avocado pulp reduces body weight and total hepatic fat but increases plasma cholesterol in male rats fed diets with cholesterol. Journal of Nutrition. 2002;132(7):2015–2018.
(6) Gilani, A. H., Khan, A.-u., Ghayur, M. N., Ali, S. F. and Herzig, J. W. (2006), Antispasmodic Effects of Rooibos Tea (Aspalathus linearis) is Mediated Predominantly through K+-Channel Activation. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, 99: 365–373. doi:10.1111/j.1742-7843.2006.pto_507.x
(7) Slavin, J. (2013). Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits. Nutrients,5(4), 1417-1435. doi:10.3390/nu5041417
(8) Repo-Carrasco-Valencia, R. A., & Serna, L. A. (2011). Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa, Willd.) as a source of dietary fiber and other functional components. Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos,31(1), 225-230. doi:10.1590/s0101-20612011000100035
(9) Nascimento, A. C., Mota, C., Coelho, I., Gueifão, S., Santos, M., Matos, A. S., . . . Castanheira, I. (2014). Characterisation of nutrient profile of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus), and purple corn (Zea mays L.) consumed in the North of Argentina: Proximates, minerals and trace elements. Food Chemistry,148, 420-426. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.09.155
(10) How to Help Digestion. (n.d.). Retrieved April 19, 2017, from http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/14432/1/How-to-Help-Digestion.html
(11) Cardile, V. (2012). Gelatin tannate reduces the proinflammatory effects of lipopolysaccharide in human intestinal epithelial cells. Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology, 61. doi:10.2147/ceg.s28792
(12) Guyonnet, D., Chassany, O., Ducrotte, P., Picard, C., Mouret, M., Mercier, C., & Matuchansky, C. (2007). Effect of a fermented milk containing Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 on the health-related quality of life and symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome in adults in primary care: a multicentre, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics,26(3), 475-486. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2036.2007.03362.x