Ways to be Healthy in February
Eating well can be a delight for our taste buds and choosing foods that are good for our overall health, especially our gut, is a great thing too. According to a Reader’s Digest article “The 50 Best Foods (and Recipes) for Gut Health”, asparagus, blueberries and other berries, fruits, almonds, pistachios, mushrooms and lentils are all great foods for your gut. They not only protect your gut from inflammation and infection but also introduce health-promoting antioxidants and minimize harmful bacteria.
Everyone has gut issues every now and then. But did you know, if you incorporate just a few of these foods, you can minimize many GI issues like constipation? For example, apples are a great source of fiber. One apple with the skin on contains 4.4 grams of fiber, which is 17 percent of the recommended daily intake. And pectin in apples helps gather water in the intestines to soften waste and get it moving through the GI tract.
Adding another healthy fruit in your day is simple. Those great little clementines you see in bags at the supermarket are perfect to drop in your pocket or purse on your way out the door. They’re small, easy to peel and have so many benefits like facilitating digestion, promoting skin health, strengthening bones, relaxing muscles (great after a workout!) and protecting the body from some cancers!
Another way to introduce beneficial gut foods into your diet is to snack on almonds and/or pistachios. Did you know that a small handful of almonds or pistachios can decrease certain kinds of bacteria that are harmful to your gut? Nuts that are rich in fiber and phytonutrients have been shown to decrease lactic acid thereby promoting good bacteria in your digestive tract.
If you like certain vegetables, but not others, you have a variety to choose from in the spring that will each have their own benefits for your gut. Asparagus, leeks and onions are all rich in fiber and manufacture important vitamins for your body. They even help to regulate metabolism and contribute to feelings of well-being. Who knew? So, the next time you make a favorite dish, include leeks or onions for flavor and add a side of asparagus for a vitamin-packed meal!
You can choose the fruits or legumes listed here, or you can mix it up. The beauty with incorporating any of them into your meals is you are promoting a healthy gut, an overall healthy body and healthy mind.