It's the time of the year for spring cleaning. Beyond the impending onslaught of tinier summer outfits, sometimes you just want to feel better — and a different kind of spring cleaning can resolve that bloated, churning, burning belly.
In the spirit of spring, focus on your digestive system. You may see amazing benefits when your digestion clears up: less puffiness and bloating, clear skin, better sleep, and relief from aches and pains. Here's a few ways to get your digestive tract in tip top shape!
First, eat more magnesium-rich foods. Try dark leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard, and kale. Reacquaint yourself with granola and nibble on nuts and seeds. Get fishy with mackerel, Pollock, turbot, and tuna, and try to incorporate beans and lentils to your daily meals. Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, and buckwheat are a great idea, too.
A lesser known fiber source is organic psyllium husk in the form of a pill, wafer, or powder. It can ease constipation and lower cholesterol if consumed regularly. Just sprinkle ground flax seeds or psyllium husk it in a smoothie for a quick hit of fiber to get you moving.
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Now that you’ve dropped some good bacteria into your gut and set them loose, you’ve got to feed them. Ask your doctor about prebiotic-rich foods that you can enjoy with your probiotic-rich foods. Root vegetables such as garlic and onions are natural sources.
Talk to your doctor about taking digestive enzymes to help your body break down food. These enzymes help your digestion and ensure less negative effects from undigested foods that you've already eaten. I've been taking enzymes with every meal and snack for the past decade and it's helped tremendously with my leaky gut, inflammation, and Candida.
So, no excuses: This kind of spring cleaning for your gut can start before a visit to the doctor. Next time you shop for groceries or dine out, you can start scrubbing out that gut of yours to keep bloat at bay!
Amie Valpone, an NYC-based personal chef & culinary nutritionist, decided to adopt a "clean" lifestyle after she was diagnosed with a host of serious health issues. Now, she spends her days curating The Healthy Apple, a blog that discusses everything from food intolerance tests to her favorite go-to meals — all gluten-free, of course.