Coming up to Christmas with the onslaught of parties and office nibbles, it's hard to maintain balance with food an exercise. This year I'm saying no to bloating and discomfort! There are ways to enjoy festivities without hindering your health goals. Naturopath, fellow health blogger and leading author Lee Holmes talks us through her top tips for keeping your gut healthy, keeping us healthy through the silly season.
1. Taking your beauty regime from the inside out
You don’t have to strictly follow a beauty regime, but it is incredible to notice how just a few small changes to your diet and daily routine, can make a huge difference to how you feel. With the right regime, you’ll notice that your skin starts to develop a glow, your digestion improves and you’ll experience more energy than ever. SOUTHERNATURE’S Grape Seed 40 000 PLUS Green Tea contains potent antioxidants, which helps protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. The Vitamin C, Green Tea and Grape Seed in the tablets, help maintain healthy skin, they help strengthen collagen fibres in the body, and ultimately improve the look and feel of skin.
2. Oil pulling
As we get older it can become harder to ignite digestive fire and reduce the accumulation of toxins in our gut. Oil pulling is an age-old technique that can help eliminate toxins and support gut health. We all know that a build-up of germs and toxins can cause inflammation leading to diseases, illness and poor gut health. Many of these problems can begin by a contamination in the mouth and which is why oil pulling is essential to gut health because you want to killing the bacteria and germs before they can reach the gut.
TIP: Every morning, place one tablespoon of extra virgin cold-pressed coconut oil in your mouth upon rising, before you’ve eaten or drunken anything. Swish the oil around your mouth for 10 minutes, then spit it out. This will release all the toxins and bad bacteria in the mouth.
3. The gut brain link
People will become more educated and aware on the increasing amount of research demonstrating the link between the gut and the brain. Interestingly the gut sends more messages to the brain than the other way around. The vegus nerve transmits these messages from the gut to the brain. For example it may be a feeling of threat and is signalling the brain to do something. Hence we should 'listen to our gut' or go with our 'gut feeling'. Environmental factors (such as toxins and chemicals) impact our gut, food (i.e. preservatives, processed food), prescription drugs/antibiotics, smoking, alcohol and caffeine can all have a negative impact on our gut flora. Firstly, look at the foods that aggravate the gut and the digestive process. Look at those foods that you wouldn't expect to upset the gut but often do, such as avocado, coconut oil, garlic, onion and tomatoes. Experiment with your diet. Secondly, improve the integrity of the gut lining. Choose foods that are easy to digest with a good nutrient profile such as bone broth. Did you know that glycine, found in bone broth can help to stimulate stomach acid, which in turn aids digestion. Lastly, increase your good bacteria. Eat more fermented foods (such as sauerkraut, kefir yogurt or kombucha) or add a probiotic supplement to your diet.