It is well known that a balanced diet is the foundation for good health. But even health conscious individuals can be tempted into eating the traditional foods of the holidays. If indulging in Thanksgiving mashed potatoes, Christmas candies or New Years libations has left you feeling sluggish, consider the following superfoods to get your diet and digestion back on track.
Golden flaxseed. Flaxseeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They promote regularity as well as decrease inflammation in the intestines. (Note: Grind the flaxseeds into a powder and add 1 tablespoon per day to food, for example a bowl of oatmeal, a protein smoothie or a cup of applesauce. Drink the recommended 8 glasses of water per day when increasing fiber in the diet.)
Plain yogurt. Yogurt contains live cultures that replenish good bacteria in the colon. These beneficial bacteria have many functions including strengthening the immune system, competing out bad bacteria and yeast, making specific vitamins and minimizing food allergies.
Pineapple and papaya. Fresh pineapple and papaya contain live enzymes that aid in digestion. The enzymes, bromelain and papain, help breakdown food into very small pieces making them easier to digest and thus decreasing gas, bloating and prolonged fullness after meals.
Broccoli. Steamed broccoli is high in antioxidant vitamins and minerals that keep the cells in the digestive system healthy. Broccoli also contains indole-3-carbinol, a substance that helps the liver bind and remove toxins from the body.
Lemon. Adding fresh squeezed lemon to your drinking water helps balance the body’s electrolytes. Electrolytes help the organs of the digestive system stay hydrated. Adequate hydration is important for both nutrient absorption and waste elimination.
Start this new year by improving your diet. Regularly include foods that contain enzymes, beneficial bacteria, fiber and essential fatty acids, the
Naturopathic cornerstones for optimal digestive health.
1. Pratt, S, Matthews, K. SuperFoods Rx. New York: HarperCollins, 2005.
For more info, contact Jessica Edge, ND at (775)324-3500, specializing in Naturopathic Medicine.