The New Year is already upon us and many are looking for ways to improve their overall health. Did you know wellness can start from the inside out? While working out at your local City Sports Club on a regular basis is a commitment all in itself, why not honor that commitment by complementing what you do in the gym with what you prepare in the kitchen?
We all know the saying you are what you eat. We wanted to challenge this notion and suggest that “you are also what’s in your gut.” If you haven’t caught on, 2018 was the year of the probiotic. In fact, according to Health Magazine, sales for these gut-boosters grossed forty billion dollars since they came on the market in 2017.1 However, when it comes to picking your probiotic there is no perfect answer. “Experts agree it’s better to nurture a diverse microbial community”2 the good ol’ fashioned way, by means of your diet.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, our bodies are made up of about 100 trillion types of good and bad bacteria that find their home in our digestive system. Collectively, they’re known as the gut microbiota. These bacteria species are responsible for improving our overall well-being, not only in helping our body receive the benefits from the healthier food choices we make but by also combating certain diseases such as heart disease and cancers.
Here are some suggested Gut-Friendly Staples that may be in your pantry already and may help give those trillions of microorganisms the boost they need:
Walnuts are not only a great snack and salad accessory but are rich in omega-3’s. A handful of walnuts on a daily basis have shown positive results in improving one’s gut health by lowering inflammation and increasing insulin sensitivity, all of which are signs of a healthy gut!
Oatmeal is an oldie-but-goodie that champions many people’s diets, especially at breakfast. Oats, as well as barley and even shiitake or reishi mushrooms, contain a fermentable fiber called beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is responsible for eliminating cholesterol from your digestive tract leaving more room for the good-bacteria to work efficiently when breaking down the food we eat.
Apples – an apple a day might actually help to keep the doctor away as they are high-producers of butyrate. Apples contain butyrate (also be found in leafy greens, kiwis and oranges), which is responsible for giving our gut the energy it needs to support the functionality of your digestive tract.4
Olive oil makes for a wonderful base for dressing salads or marinating your favorite foods. In addition, its high contents of monosaturated fats are huge helpers to our digestive systems as they allow your bowel movements to work as smoothly as possible. Other healthy-fatty oils you can substitute include safflower and sesame oils.
When it comes to approaching wellness, it is important to acknowledge the full spectrum of what it truly means to live well. Wellness isn’t just maximizing on the strength training floor, monitoring how many steps you walk in a week, or following the next nutrition fad. Wellness can also mean how we are treating our body in order to assist in achieving such goals.
Usher in new ways of approaching such trends as naturally as possible with resources you may already have. Being healthy and sustaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be overwhelming or burdensome. These suggestions are meant to be guidelines towards a healthier you in the long run. Wherever you are on the wellness journey, we encourage you to approach healthier living with an open mind, an able body, and with these tips, a healthier, happier gut.