5 Secrets to a Healthier Digestive System

5 Secrets to a Healthier Digestive System

We are all familiar with the fundamental tenets of basic nutrition. However, amongst the overwhelming information supporting this Spring’s fad diets while resoundingly discrediting those we’ve been following for the past 4 months, it can become very difficult to filter out the noise. Let’s read between the lines and uncover some very important secrets about keeping our digestive system healthy.

1. Slow down to keep gas and bloating to a minimum.

The faster we consume our meals, the more air we swallow which gets trapped in our digestive tract leading to bloating, nausea, pain and our dear friend: flatulence. Additionally, by moderating carbonated beverages, alcohol, chewing gum, the use of straws or even sucking hard candy or smoking we can avoid the discomforts of gas and bloating.

2. 3 out of 4 of us will develop lactose intolerance in our later years.

Thanks to the domestication of cattle, humans have evolved into the only animals on Earth to drink milk into adulthood. The only problem is, most of us will lose our ability to process lactose as we age. Use other viable sources of calcium such as broccoli, kale and collards if you happen to account for one of the unlucky ones.

3. Pound for pound, Watercress is King.

A recent study at William Paterson University in New Jersey ranks watercress as the most nutritious thing you can eat due to its incredible vitamin and nutrient profile. Runner-up is Chinese cabbage, with the closest fruit being tomato which only scored 20 out of 100. Make your mother proud and let watercress pack a punch in your next dish.

4. Happy belly, happy brain.

Serotonin, the neurotransmitter which regulates mood and sleep, is predominantly found in the intestinal tract: 90% of it actually. By increasing our intake of collagen-rich foods we can boost our moods and sleep like babies. Next time, opt for the tofu instead of chicken or beef.

5. Bulk up against cancer by eating more fruits.

Apparently an apple a day really could keep the doctor away: even an oncologist. Fruits like apples contain the antioxidant quercetin and other flavonoids shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells leading to breast, colon, prostate and other tumors. In addition to fruits, vegetables and green tea are also good sources of antioxidants. But don’t put away your fiber supplements just yet. Fiber may not have protective effects against colorectal cancer, but it is responsible for moving food through your intestines quicker, allowing toxic substances less time to make their mark.

Reference:

CBS Health Guide. (February/March 2015). Your Body.


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