Do you want to know the secret to optimal health? It could be as simple as taking care of your gut health.
Our digestive system can only be as healthy as the food we eat, and all fruits and vegetables go a long way to keeping it in good shape, but regularly including certain superfoods in your diet may help give you the edge.
When it comes to digestive health, turmeric, and its active constituent curcumin is a winner.
A popular ingredient in Indian curries, turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine as a digestive support.
Not a fan of curries? Try adding turmeric to sauces, soups and casseroles.
If you’ve been ignoring the crinkly, dark-green, leafy vegetable at your local greengrocer, it might be time to take a closer look.
Eating kale and other bitter greens such as endives may help your digestive system to break down foods more efficiently, increasing the amount of nutrients you absorb when you eat.
How? The bitter taste stimulates the secretion of certain juices and enzymes which aid the process of digestion. Kale can be eaten raw in salads, smoothies and juices or added to soups and casseroles.
Next time you’re in the mood for an afternoon snack, skip the chocolate bar and crunch on almonds instead.
A handful a day will not only keep you satisfied between meals, it may also give your inner health a boost by promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
And you’ll be giving your intestines a helping hand too, because eating a 30g serve of almonds on most days will boost your intake of dietary fibre, which will help keep you regular.
4. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar digestive ‘superpowers’ may lie in its ability to help relieve indigestion.
The best way to take apple cider vinegar is to use two or three teaspoons in a glass of water before meals.
Or, if that’s not your idea of a pre-dinner drink, you can add it to a salad dressing instead.
It’s a fermented milk drink that derives its name from the Turkish for “feeling good” – and with good reason.
The ultimate superfood when it comes to gut health, kefir has historically been used in many traditional cultures for digestive health.
Made from cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk, it contains several species of beneficial gut bacteria. Kefir also contains an enzyme that could improve your ability to digest milk products.
If you haven’t heard of jicama, you’re not alone. This turnip-like root vegetable grown in Central America is relatively new to Australia.
One cup of jicama provides 25 per cent of our daily fibre requirements and a big hit of inulin. Inulin is a prebiotic – a natural fibre that helps to increase levels of good bacteria in the gut.
If you decide to give this unusual vegetable a try, make sure you remove the tough outer skin which is toxic. It can be eaten raw or cooked.
Had one too many last night? Then try munching on some strawberries.
Feasting on this popular sweet berry appears to soothe the mucous membranes which are irritated by alcohol. You’ll also give your immune system a boost, with one cup of fresh strawberries providing an impressive 160 per cent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C.