There’s a lot of information out there about how to aid your digestive health – and a lot of it doesn’t sound terribly revolutionary, interesting or tasty! If you’re lacking motivation to put in the good stuff, try my 5 fun ways to soothe those digestive enzymes, kick start that metabolism, and aid your overall wellness of mind, body and soul!
- The new greens
Want to be inspired by some new types of greens? You may be the king of kale, but why not try kai-lan (Chinese broccoli), Asian napa cabbage and kolrabi? Full of nutrition and flavour, these sweet and crunchy members of the cruciferous family are full of vitamin C. Kai-lan and napa cabbage are great stir-fried; kohlrabi is tasty in a salad. And for those of you who struggle to feature ANY greens on your plate, add Inner Me Greens Powder or Organic Chlorella into your juices, smoothies or meals? You’re only a spoonful away from greeny goodness!
- Stop counting calories – combine them!
Forget counting calories – it’s all about eating the right sort of calories, and having a clear understanding on how different foods effect your body. Not all calories are made the same: an apple, a boiled egg and a piece of white toast are all about 100 calories each, but the effect of each of these foods on our body is dramatically different due to the nutritional values they contain. Make sure you eat the correct combination of macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fat – so your cells function properly and you’re healthy. It’s all about limiting your amounts of certain food groups as opposed to eliminating them. Here at ALT/HEALTHY, we advocate the general rule that 40% of your plate should be made up of complex carbs such as brown rice and vegetables and the remaining 60% cent should be divided between protein (eggs, legumes, poultry and meat) and good fats, such as avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds. But of course, everything in moderation (including moderation!).
- Take your pulse
Did you know that in a bid to encourage sustainable global food production, The United Nations has officially declared 2016 the international Year of Pulses? Along with their planet-saving benefits, pulses are cheap, filling, and the perfect option for savvy health-enthusiasts looking to cut their meat consumption without cutting their protein intake. Eating a plant-based diet is better for your health, cheaper for your wallet and more environmentally protective. Did we mention the fact that dried peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils are great for weight loss? They’re low GI, a great source of plant protein and packed with digestion-boosting fibre which keeps you feeling fuller for longer and there are so many ways to liven up this food group when you’re following a balanced diet. Try homemade dhals, curries, stews and falafel – the options are endless.
- Spice up your smoothies
Along with staple healthy ingredients such as spinach and kale, smoothie advocates are adding more unusual ingredients into the mix. Think turmeric for an anti-inflammatory hit, cayenne pepper for a metabolism boost, and maca to increase sex drive. Here at ALT/HEALTHY we love to get a protein and omega hit with Inner Me Superfood Vegan Protein Powder – which consists of sacha inchi, hemp and cranberry protein.
- Heal your gut
It’s time to go a step further in your quest to look after your digestive system. Imbalances in these microbiome (which are unique to the individual), could influence your desire for certain food groups such as sugar or trans fats, making you less able to shed the excess pounds. The good news is that scientists also discovered that you can bring friendly bacteria back into balance, simply by piling your plate with the right foods to change the strains of bacteria living in your gut. We love using plantains more in cooking, and always advocate including a banana in your morning smoothie. These are rich in resistant starch to help blood-sugar balance and feed beneficial bacteria in the gut. Exotic gut-restorative fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickled veg and kimchi are also fab. Don’t forget to take your probiotics in supplement form: we use Lactospore 15 Billion in our products, as this works at its optimum at the temperature and ph of your tummy.
Words by: Olivia Murphy