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How can I keep my digestive track healthy?

Answer

Think of your digestive tract as a commuter system for your health. Nutrients from the foods you eat travel through, taking exits into the surrounding cells to carry out functions for a healthy body.

By eating the right foods and staying hydrated, you offer the support needed to absorb nutrients, improve cholesterol levels, reduce bloating and support a strong immune system.

Probiotics, prebiotics and fiber all play a crucial role and are easier to incorporate than you think. In fact, you’re probably already on your way!

Try incorporating these strategies into your diet to improve your gut and overall health:

Probiotics are found in yogurt and cottage cheese with live cultures, kefir, miso and kimchi. They help support the good bacteria in your gut that promote a strong immune system.

Prebiotics found in honey, bananas, onions, artichokes and garlic serve as the “food” for probiotics, feeding them so they become more abundant.

Fiber (soluble and insoluble) from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds will absorb water and help maintain regularity, form a gel to help lower cholesterol and balance blood sugars, and keep you fuller longer to aid in appetite regulation.

Variety, hydration and consistency are the remaining pieces that come into play. By including a variety of foods, we avoid feeling bored or restricted in our choices. Play around with new vegetables and fruits as they come into season and try a new recipe once a week. Hydrate with half of your body’s weight in ounces of water daily to help the digestive system flow optimally. Finally, maintain consistency with your healthy eating habits so your taste buds and body begin to expect tasty and nutritious foods. Soon your body will begin to crave whole, real foods and even display discomfort when you overindulge in nutrient-poor, highly processed foods.

A healthy body takes care and maintenance. By viewing food as a roadway to longevity and vitality, it becomes easier to begin incorporating more healthy habits, knowing that daily changes in nutrition can add up to years of stronger immunity, increased energy and a road paved with adventures!

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