By Michelle Tirmandi of michellenutrition.ca
Thanksgiving has come and gone. We practiced gratitude, spent time with friends & family, ate to our hearts content, and it was great!
But now, having eaten all of the heavy and sugar-laden foods that we traditionally consume during these types of celebrations many of us are finding ourselves feeling less than optimal. With feelings of bloating, sluggishness, brain fog and even cold and flu symptoms, the bright side of post-holiday remorse is that it offers great motivation to kick our health back in to high gear!
Sometimes it can seem overwhelming to know where to begin when you want to get your health on track – but I’ve simplified it for you below. It all starts with getting your gut back in gear!
The digestive system is arguably the most important system in the body – it runs the metabolism, manufactures vitamins and is the epicenter of our immune system (cool, huh?!). Besides taking all of the food that we eat every day and turning it in to usable energy and waste products, it communicates with cells in all the other systems in the body. This alone makes paying attention to its health as pretty darn important!
Here are few quick and surprising facts about the Digestive System (from the book “Digestive Wellness” By Elizabeth Lipski):
- If you were to lay out your entire digestive system flat it would cover an entire tennis court
- Approximately 70% of your immune system is located in the digestive system
- There is an entire ecosystem (known as a “microbiome”) of good and bad bacteria living in the digestive system and the balance of good vs. bad bacteria plays a huge role in your overall health
- Your gut makes neurotransmitters: the chemical messengers in the brain that impact how you process and feel emotion (i.e. what you eat affects how you feel!)
- Digestive insufficiencies may play a role in a wide role of health issues that don’t intuitively seem connected to digestion (i.e headaches, depression, arthritis, autism, foggy thinking, headaches…)
When we think about the digestive system, it is also important to note that the food we eat, supplements we take and how we live our lifestyle play a huge role in our digestive health! After all, for optimal health we must not only digest the food we eat, we must also absorb and assimilate all of the nutrients in order to thrive! Here are 5 easy steps to ensure that your gut health is on track:
5 Steps to Fix Your Gut:
- Eat a diet filled with whole foods (foods that are closest to their most natural form found in nature) including plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds. This will ensure you are getting plenty of fibre, vitamins and minerals important for the digestive system to work properly.
- Eat a diet rich in fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kombucha and kefir. These foods help to provide good bacteria to naturally rebalance the microbiome.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day away from your meal times. Adding a fresh squeeze of lemon or apple cider vinegar to your water in the early am before breakfast can also work wonders on the digestive system!
- Devote a few moments every day to hit the mat for a few digestive supportive yoga poses (twists, forward folds, bridge pose, child’s pose and cat/cow)
- Take a gut-supportive natural health supplement like fermented whole body NUTRITION with greens+, which nourishes the microbiome through its fermented ingredients that help the body to increase the ability to absorb and metabolize nutrients.
Check out Michelle’s nutritious, delicious creations on Instagram @michellenutrition